Effective Treatment for PTSD in Australia
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that develops following a traumatic event or events characterised by intrusive thoughts about the incident, reoccurring distress and anxiety, flashbacks and avoidance of similar situations. This often leads to depression and other related mental health disorders. PTSD affects around 3 million Australians at some time in their lives.
The good news is that PTSD is a treatable disorder. The Monarch Mental Health Clinic offers a range of treatment pathways that have been proven effective in combating PTSD. As a psychiatrist-led Australian mental health care provider focusing on early access to innovative next-step services for people experiencing mental health conditions including PTSD, we provide accessible treatment options at a range of locations around Australia.
What Causes PTSD?
PTSD can occur when fear, anxiety and memories of a traumatic event don't go away. The feelings and emotions persist for a long time and interfere with your ability to cope with everyday life.
PTSD is very common and affects more than 500,000 people per year in Australia. First-responders such as the police, fire and ambulance officers along with veterans of the armed forces are particularly at risk. PTSD is also more common in females.
It can affect anyone, particularly when exposed to situations like:
- Military combat
- Abuse or assault
- Natural disasters
PTSD can happen immediately or can develop over time and affect your well-being and social interactions. It is a complex condition, which symptoms include:
- Being on edge
- Difficulties sleeping
- Irritability and/or anger
- Depression, anxiety and/or stress
- Headaches, stomachache, chest pain
- Emotional numbing
- Abuse of alcohol and/or drugs
PTSD and TMS
Patients with PTSD frequently have a combination of depressive symptoms, anxiety and the specific symptoms of PTSD described above. For these patients, TMS can be helpful in improving mood and reducing anxiety. There is also emerging evidence that TMS may also reduce some of the troublesome symptoms of PTSD itself. At Monarch Mental Health Group, we have designed a protocol to target all of these symptoms within one treatment session, with stimulation applied to both the left and right sides of the brain.
Treatment for PTSD
Getting effective treatment as soon as PTSD symptoms develop can be critical to reducing symptoms and improving function. There are several PTSD treatments available across Australia, and the best course of action for each person will depend on their individual circumstances. As well as established PTSD treatments, there are also emerging therapies that may be suitable for treating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and related symptoms.
Recommended treatments for PTSD in adults include:
- Psychological treatments, particularly those designed specifically for the treatment of PTSD.
- Medication treatments, both to help with symptoms of PTSD and co-occurring conditions such as depression.
Next-Step PTSD Treatments
Just as each person's experience of trauma is different, so too is each person's response to treatment. For those who continue to experience symptoms despite first- and second-line treatments, there are several emerging next-step therapies to consider. These therapies are being investigated for their benefits and potential to improve PTSD symptoms.
Neurostimulation is one of the emerging therapies being considered as a PTSD treatment both in Australia and internationally. Currently, Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) is used to treat common comorbidities associated with PTSD, such as depression.
Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation involves placing a specially designed coil on the patient’s head to generate a magnetic field that stimulates the nerve cells of the brain. rTMS targets different areas of the brain to achieve the desired results. For example, when treating depression, rTMS targets the prefrontal cortex to stimulate the emotional centre of the brain.
For information about emerging next-step PTSD treatments, speak to your healthcare provider about whether a referral to The Monarch Clinic Australia is an appropriate next step.
Psychiatrist-led mental health service
Fast access to all services
Evidence-based, individualized treatment programs
*Please note - only Monarch Group initial assessments are bulk billed. Accessing clinicians through our consulting suites will incur out-of-pocket costs.