Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)


The main treatments for people with PTSD are psychotherapy (often called talk therapy), medications, or both. Everyone is different, so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another.

It is important for anyone with PTSD to be treated by a mental health care professional who is experienced with PTSD. Some people will need to try different treatments to find what works for their symptoms.


PTSD is diagnosed after a person experiences symptoms for at least one month following a traumatic event. However symptoms may not appear until several months or even years later. The disorder is characterized by three main types of symptoms:

News and Research

D-cycloserine Enhances PTSD Psychotherapy

Researchers found that D-cycloserine enhanced the effects of exposure therapy in a specific subgroup of patients with PTSD. In addition, those with more severe PTSD had a greater reduction in symptoms when they received DCS. (Biological Psychiatry, 71(11): 962-968) Read more.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Reacting to a Traumatic Event

It’s not unusual for people who have experienced traumatic events to have flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive memories when something terrible happens -- like the explosions at the Boston Marathon.

Be tolerant of your nervous system: It’s having a normal reaction. Try not to get hooked to news reports, which may seem particularly compelling. Spend time with loved ones in favorite activities or outside in nature, and avoid alcohol.

Learn more below, including how to help children.

Treatment of PTSD

Lori Zoellner, PhD

Associate Professor
Department of Psychology
University of Washington
Center for Anxiety & Traumatic Stress


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ADAA is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment, and cure of anxiety, OCD, PTSD, depression, and related disorders and to improving the lives of all people who suffer from them.