1. Have you lived through a scary and dangerous event? You could be either the victim or simply witness it happen to someone else. For example, being (or witnessing someone else being) hit, harmed (by a close person), sexually abused, or violence, war, a plane or car crash, natural disaster (hurricane, fire), or an event where you thought you or someone would be killed.
2. Sometimes, all of a sudden, do you feel like the event is happening over again? Does it seem you never know when this will occur?
3. Do you have nightmares and bad memories of the terrifying event?
4. Do you stay away from places that remind me of the event?
5. Do you jump and feel very upset when something happens without warning, like a sudden loud noise?
6. Do you have a hard time trusting or feeling close to other people?
7. Do you get mad very easily?
8. Do you feel guilty because others died and you lived?
9. Do you have trouble sleeping and your muscles are tense?
If you answered yes to some of these problems, you might have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a real illness faced by millions of people, but there is very effective treatment. With the right therapy, you can be hopeful of overcoming PTSD, having peace of mind, and living a normal happy life.
WHAT IS THE TREATMENT FOR PTSD?
The good news is that PTSD is very treatable, and you might not need medication indefinitely, if at all. Hundreds of studies support that the most effective treatment for PTSD is a special type of behavior therapy, known as "Gradual Exposure Therapy." Gradual exposure enables sufferers to very gradually overcome their fears and avoidant behavior at a pace THEY choose and are comfortable with, so they are never overwhelmed. Results are achieved in a matter of months not years. Gradual exposure is more effective than medication or any other kind of therapy. Medication provides only temporary or partial relief and has side effects; symptoms just come back when you end the medication. Gradual exposure provides permanent relief, essentially eliminating excessive anxiety and other symptoms forever and restoring a normal life in which clients are more relaxed and less avoidant. Most of my clients benefit from exposure therapy with no medication at all. Many people's lives are transformed, getting the jobs and relationships they deserve but thought were possible until coming to treatment.
HOW DO I FIND A THERAPIST TO TREAT PTSD?
I practice in Manhattan (34th St. & 5th near the Empire State Building and Macy's) and New Jersey (15 minutess from the GWB), and would be happy to arrange an appointment for you or I can offer you a free phone consultation at 212-726-2390. You an also book your appointment online instantly yourself. If you live outside of the New York metropolitan area, you can find a local therapist by contacting the Association for Cognitive Behavior Therapies (www.abct.org) or the OCD Foundation (www.ocfoundation.org). Even though the latter is for OCD, the same people are equally competent to treat social anxiety. Ask them for a social anxiety (or social phobia) specialist in your area. If they don't have someone in your area, ask them if they know of a similar organization in your region that could make a referral to you. Such organizations would have words such as "Anxiety," "Fear," "Cognitive Therapy," or "Behavior Therapy" in their titles. Once they give you the names, you have to call and interview the therapists by phone.
IF YOU'RE CONSIDERING ANOTHER THERAPIST, THERE ARE 2 TEST QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK:
(1) Is gradual exposure therapy the main technique they use? If they don't, forget about using them. They might say they "talk" about it and help clients "see things more rationally," which is helpful, but that is no substitute for gradual exposure. And,
(2) How many people have they SUCCESSFULLY treated FOR PTSD? They should have treated at least several people, the people should no longer have severe anxiety and avoidance, and should not be taking medication any more by the end of therapy. They should NOT say they just helped people "live with" PTSD better. If you can't find anyone in your area, I offer phone sessions for those outside of the NY-NJ Metropolitan area. It's not ideal, but it's a lot better than going to someone who is not an expert on PTSD and gradual exposure.
BUT THE FIRST STEP IS TO EMAIL YOUR QUESTIONS about medication-free PTSD treatment to Dr. Brodsky now or call 212-726-2390 (only NY, NJ, CT calls) and get a free, prompt answer within 24 hours! Dr. Brodsky's 2 offices are convenient to the entire NY-NJ Metropolitan area, including midtown Manhattan (on 34th St., close to every subway, bus, and train line), Long Island, Westchester, Rockland, and New Jersey. You can MAKE AN APPOINTMENT INSTANTLY ONLINE yourself rather than wait, or call the above number.