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PTSD Research

Study on PTSD and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


Excerpts from the Department of Veteran's Affairs web site:

In cognitive therapy, your therapist helps you understand and change how you think about your trauma and its aftermath. Your goal is to understand how certain thoughts about your trauma cause you stress and make your symptoms worse.

You will learn to identify thoughts about the world and yourself that are making you feel afraid or upset. With the help of your therapist, you will learn to replace these thoughts with more accurate and less distressing thoughts. You will also learn ways to cope with feelings such as anger, guilt, and fear.

After a traumatic event, you might blame yourself for things you couldn't have changed. For example, a soldier may feel guilty about decisions he or she had to make during war. Cognitive therapy, a type of CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), helps you understand that the traumatic event you lived through was not your fault.

CBT treatment for PTSD often lasts for 3 to 6 months. Other types of treatment for PTSD can last longer. If you have other mental health problems as well as PTSD, treatment may last for 1 to 2 years or longer.

Is meditation effective in combating PTSD? A recent extensive study by Ohio State University concluded that the answer is yes, and reported a 50% reduction in stress levels. See the attached excerpt.

Ohio State Study on Meditation and Treatment of Female Trauma Survivors

It is estimated that PTSD among veterans in their first two years after deployment accounts for between $4.0 and $6.2 billion in total costs to society. On a per case basis over the first two years post-deployment, it is estimated that costs to society are $5,904 to $10,298 for PTSD cases, $15,461 to $25,757 for depression cases; and $12,427 to $16,884 for cases of combined PTSD and depression.[1] According to a memo written by an Army psychiatrist at Madigan Army Medical Center a soldier who retires with the diagnosis of PTSD could cost the government up to $1.5 million over his or her lifetime, because the average benefit paid by the Armed Services to a veteran with a 100% PTSD disability is $2,769 a month. Congressional Business Office director Douglas W. Elmendorf said the average cost of treating veterans with PTSD, TBI or both was "about four to six times greater . . . than for patients without those conditions." He said one in four recent combat veterans treated at the VA from 2004 to 2009 had a diagnosis of PTSD and about 7 percent had a diagnosis of TBI. In 2010, VA spent a total of $2 billion to treat Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

[1] Tanielian, Terri (2009). Assessing Combat Exposure and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Troops and Estimating the Costs to Society: Implications from the RAND Invisible Wounds of War Study (Report). RAND Corporation. Retrieved March 8, 2011. [2]Chan, Domin; Cheadle, Allen D.; Reiber, Gayle; Unützer, Jürgen; Chaney, Edmund F. (December 2009). "Health Care Utilization and Its Costs for Depressed Veterans With and Without Comorbid PTSD Symptoms". Psychiatric Services 60 (12): 1612-7.