Fortunately, there is hope for PTSD sufferers, as there are several medications that specifically target many of the core symptoms of PTSD, including depression, anxiety, hypervigilance (or "jumpiness"), nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia, panic attacks, and other symptoms that can severely limit the quality of life of PTSD patients. These medications are typically used in combination with routine therapy (counseling), with promising outcomes.
It's important that both the prescribing psychiatrist and the therapist have in-depth experience in properly diagnosing and effectively treating PTSD. Untreated, PTSD can reduce life to a series of continuous flashbacks, nightmares and panic attacks. With proper, ongoing treatment, many PTSD patients are able to resume previous levels of functioning and quality of life.
If your husband is a veteran, he may be able to access services from the VA hospital. Otherwise, he should have a psychiatric evaluation as there are many medications and therapies that may be of help to him
Pamela Siller MD
Assuming there has been a significant past trauma and the diagnosis is right. Your husband would be benefitting from psychotherapy and medications. CBT for anxiety and depression in a individual therapy setting and group therapy with other patients with similar symptoms is extremely beneficial. Additionally, EMDR treatment with a experienced therapist will help. First line treatment with meds are antidepressants. Depending on previous exposure to them, they are chosen to target PTSD. Symptomatic treatment of panic symptoms with brief treatment with benzodiazepines is beneficial. Care should be taken that they may have addictive potential. Sleep meds might be needed for symptomatic treatment and Medicines like Prazosin might be beneficial for reducing nightmares. Most importantly your husband needs to learn appropriate coping skills so he can manage the triggers and prevent escalation of symptoms.
Satish Narayan, MD
Victor M. Santiago-Noa, MD