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Can Exposure Therapy "Cure" PTSD?

Discussion in 'Social' started by jods, Sep 1, 2006.

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  1. jods

    jods Well-Known Member

    Hi All

    Hope everyone is taking care of themselves.

    Hubby has started exposure therapy (4 sessions so far) & as of next week he will be seeing his doc twice a week.
    During his last session (I was not present during it) hubby asked how much better will he get with this new treatment & his doc said that he could cure him.
    Is the doc just BS him or is it just a case of reverse psycology in order to help him with the treatment.
    Hubby told the doc that with all the info we have been researching that it is not possible to cure PTSD & that you are taught to deal better with it.

    Any thoughts?
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  3. permban0077

    permban0077 Policy Enforcement Banned

    From what I have seen I think the word cure is too loosely used. One doc can medicate you and tweak your meds so your symptoms do not show and considered "cured". Or you can go as far as you can in threapy without meds and get to where you are on a functioning level and be considered cured. Fact of the matter you learn to cope for the most part or it is masked. Thing is you don't always cope it will still be there and eventually it will seem like more good days than bad and continue with more good, he won't be this bad off forever. But there will still be slips back and bad days where a trigger will hit and panic will come.

    Triggers will be triggers, they just ease in time to less severity I am learning through my own process. I developed many phobias during this and simple phobias can be cured through exposure as long as you continue to work not slide back and continue to face those fears. Some of my phobias are improving vastly because I am forced to face them as nobody can get out of the house except me to shop and run errands right now with hubs laid up. A couple weeks ago it was just unheard of and I could not face the outside world or drive except to get my kids to school, because I feared the bus more than my driving.

    Some phobias he may have developed can be fixed, PTSD as a whole I don't believe so as scars are too deep, scars are scars and never go away but may fade in time as to not be as noticable. My thoughts and opinion on it any way! I know my journey to living a somewhat normal life again is still in the young stages.
  4. jods

    jods Well-Known Member


    Thanks for your honesty, I really appreciate it.
  5. carpediem2006

    carpediem2006 Active Member

    These things are partly down to opinion, as is the diagnosis of PTS in the first place...many others will be diagnosed with anxiety disorder, depression etc.

    I think if we look at cure, we need to think what it means. When I take antibiotics for bronchitis, I goes away. So I am cured. But only until the next time I get a bad dose of flu and it comes back.

    If I have a vaccination, I am not cured but will never suffer the disease.

    I have an 'incurable' skin condition, that is supposedly stress related (among other factors). Bizarrely this is in almost complete remission for the first time in 30 years, despite stressors, triggers etc.

    One of the most important factors is a belief in the self as an individual to heal. The other is to accept the current level of recovery. While one doctor will talk about something as curable and another will say the opposite, I think a remission or recuction of symptoms is the first key.

    Telling me it is incurable, has always felt self-defeating. It is treatable, it takes time and effort. Most of all, it requires patience from the person suffering from it, as well as endless understanding for those around them (unfortunately this is often lacking).
  6. anthony

    anthony Donate To Keep MyPTSD Founder

    Jods, there is no medical cure to PTSD. Exactly what has already been stated above, with some very good points raised.

    Think of cancer, where you can go into remission, though after 6 years or something, if no more cancer returns, they call you cured, however; two years later again, more cancer could arise.

    The problem with PTSD though opposed to physical conditions, is this is a mental condition, and a mental condition not caused by simply our brain rewiring itself because it wants to, but our brain rewiring itself because it has been exposed to a significant traumatic event. Not just a traumatic event, ie. death in the family, etc, but a traumatic event to the point where your life has been threatened, at deaths door possibly, or your integrity has been threatened from prolonged abuse over many years, ie. constant bashing, physical and mental abuse, etc...

    Memories never go away, they never physically disappear like cancer can, they are always with you. Coming to terms with those memories and no longer fearing them, is a positive step forward and you can learn to reassociate yourself within society with little recourse from PTSD itself, however; one simple thing occurs, and bam, suddenly a memory is triggered, what you fear comes flooding back, and at this point you decide what happens, ie. you cope with the memory for what it is, a bad memory of your past, or you take that memory and become depressed, then anxious, then panic, then dream about it, then dwell upon it more, then start drinking or doing drugs to try and suppress the memory, then your on a downward spiral once again into the realms of PTSD. If you take that memory for what it is at the time is recalls, you work through it, you use all your self techniques you have learnt or adapted to suit yourself, and then suddenly the memory dissapates again along with all the sudden symptom outburst, and within a day you back to your normal life, except now you just found another trigger in which you may have to work upon to cope with next time it occurs, or you go and intentionally begin exposing yourself to such a trigger again to build a wall in response to it, where it no longer becomes a trigger, instead just an annoyance within your day, or reflection of the past, nothing more.

    If a significant event occured within your life though, ie. someone you cared about died suddenly, accident, child, etc, then that could spiral you out of control once again into the deepest and darkest we are / have lived with PTSD. You could remain there for another year or more if you regain guilt from the recent event, blame, etc etc... you then manifest a recent trauma into a significant traumatic memory for you, thus you have to then work that traumatic event through to gain the same resolution once again.

    Even when better, your mind will still try and overpower you every now and again, it will reraise symptoms, it will raise memories, PTSD does and will constantly make attempts to gain control over you, but with logical thought, support, discussion and technique implementation, you can keep it under control for the most part.

    The thing with PTSD is that your life as it was, will never be again, instead a new normal will become, and it is this that must be worked upon, not how you used to be and the things you used to be capable off doing.
  7. jods

    jods Well-Known Member

    Carp & Anthony

    Thanks for your feedback. I have to admit I thought a "cure" was a bit far fetched.
    I think the most important thing I have learnt so far is that I have grieved for the hubby I had. I am ready to get to know my new hubby & learn to grow & change with him so we can move on with the rest of our life together. I will not let this control us or destroy us.
  8. piglet

    piglet Well-Known Member

    With an attitude like that, you can only win for both of you. He's lucky to have you jods!
  9. jods

    jods Well-Known Member

    Thanks Piglet
    He's worth it! Hope your having a stress free day!
  10. cdunny

    cdunny Active Member

    Thats like saying you can cure herpies. you might not have any symptoms but once in a blue moon, but once youve got it youve got it for good.:naughty:
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