This week in our website review series is the website for National Center for PTSD.

About PTSD

PTSD oftentimes is a loosely used expression in everyday conversation when discussing something scary or an event that has left a lasting impression or memory on the person using the term. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem that can occur after an individual has experienced and/or witnessed a life threatening event that causes the individual to relive the event on repeat, avoid things that remind them of the event, have more negative thoughts or feelings than before the event, and become hyper-aroused. The National Center for PTSD provides a plethora of information, resources, and tools for clinicians helping individuals with PTSD and for individuals who have endured traumatic experiences and have symptoms of PTSD.

National Center for PTSD Resources For Individuals & Families

  • Comprehending PTSD: The National Center for PTSD provides basic and in depth explanations of PTSD, symptoms that can occur, and how PTSD looks different for veterans, adults, and children. There is no specific age onset for PTSD, however 12 million people in the United States are living with PTSD. The website also defines trauma which can cause PTSD to occur.The National Center for PTSD goes into detail about combat and war trauma, violence and abuse trauma, and disaster and mass violence trauma. Having a better understanding of the type of trauma, what trauma is, and how it impacts thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and responses can provide individuals with increased awareness of what may have impacted/caused their symptoms.
    The National Center for PTSD also further explains how anger, depression, traumatic brain injuries, chronic pain, sleep problems, substance misuse, suicide, and grief can be interrelated and impact one another.
  • Evidence Based Treatment: The National Center for PTSD addresses concerns an individual may have about seeking treatment (stigma, too early, too late) and shares that treatment for PTSD can help an individual process and make sense of their traumatic experience, learn emotional regulation skills to address negative thoughts and feelings, engage in relationships, and set smart goals for themselves.The most effective treatments for PTSD are as followed:Trauma Focused Psychotherapy:
    Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
    Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)
    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
    Written Exposure Therapy (WET)

    Other Psychotherapies:
    Stress Inoculation Training (SIT)
    Present-Centered Therapy (PCT)

  • Medications Used To Treat PTSD: According to the National Center of PTSD there are 4 main medications which also aid in the treatment of depression, that have proven to be effective in alleviating PTSD symptoms. The following 4 medications are SSRIs or SNRIs which help balance the neurotransmitters within the brain of an individual experiencing PTSD symptoms.Effective medications:
    – Zoloft
    – Paxil
    – Prozac
    – Effexor

    Other medication options that have been used but have been shown to be less effective are:
    – Serzone
    – Tofranil
    – Nardil

  • Providers: The National Center for PTSD provides resources for individuals in crisis (911 and 988 Suicide and Crisis Hotline), where and how to find a desired provider (doctor, friends, family, insurance agency), and gives tips about searching the internet in which they have included several provider locator tools on their website. It is strongly encouraged that you consult a licensed professional regarding the most effective treatment for you and that you get more than one opinion if you do not feel treatment is working for you.
  • Self-Help: The National Center for PTSD recognizes that there are individuals that would like to handle their symptoms and experiences in their own way and own space and they provide helpful resources, coping skills, strategies, and tools that could help assist in self-lead ways.
  • Family & Friends: The National Center for PTSD also dives into how PTSD impacts families, relationships, attachment with children, and social activities. This section of the website provides ample resources on helping an individual experiencing PTSD in and outside of treatment. The website also helps with addressing ways to get support for the support system involved with helping the individual with PTSD.

National Center for PTSD Website Resources for Professionals

  • Assessment and Screeners: The National Center for PTSD directs attention towards assessments, their importance, and the assessing tools that specifically are used to help in the diagnosis and treatment of individuals with PTSD. Within the website there are links to the DSM-TR and DSM-5, adult interviews for providers to use, self-reporting measures that can be used, most recommended measures used for children experiencing PTSD symptoms, deployment measures, screening tools for doctors or referral sources, and other assessments that could help in determining a differential diagnosis to PTSD.
  • Treatment Education: The website provides guidelines, theoretical overviews, session content, and mobile apps for evidenced based treatment methods listed prior, that they recommended for PTSD.
  • Continuing Education Hours: The National Center for PTSD provides clinicians with over 60 free 1 hour CE credits through Training Finder Real-Time Affiliate Integrated Network, which on the website, are approved CE credits through ANCC, APA, ASWB, ACCME, and NBCC.
  • Tools: The National Center for PTSD has compiled Patient education aids and handouts, mobile apps, and other resources (including PTSD publications and clinical trials) for clinicians and providers to use to improve the clinical care and social welfare of those who have experienced trauma and PTSD.

The National Center for PTSD provides many valuable resources for individuals, families, and professionals. We hope these website reviews help you navigate the vast amount of mental health resources available online. Check back next week for a new review!

For previous reviews: