Fast Five Quiz: Can You Answer These Challenging Psychiatry Questions?

Stephen Soreff, MD


March 13, 2017

A meta-analysis showed that EMDR and trauma-focused CBT should be first-line nonpharmacologic approaches in PTSD. Some studies have found EMDR to be more time efficient. EMDR involves psychotherapy that combines various therapeutic approaches with eye movements (or other types of rhythmic stimulation) to stimulate the brain's information-processing mechanisms. During EMDR, the clinician has the patient perform a series of lateral eye movements while reviewing the traumatic events.

Studies have shown that short-term CBT can be effective. Even a single CBT for sleep abnormalities can significantly improve daytime PTSD symptoms. Self-managed CBT administered through the Internet can be useful as well. In a study of military veterans with PTSD, self-managed, Internet-based CBT led to a greater reduction in PTSD symptoms than did Internet-based supportive counseling.

When PTSD is assessed and treated quickly after the traumatic event—even before a diagnosis is made—many of the complications and disabilities associated with prolonged PTSD can be prevented, making a strong argument for swift intervention after the traumatic event. Alcohol and substance abuse problems, if present, should be the initial focus of treatment.

To learn more about the nonpharmacologic treatment of PTSD, read here.


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