Psychological therapy is better than debriefing for PTSD

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 24 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:689
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) should be offered psychological treatment rather than drug treatment or the widely used practice of debriefing. This is the recommendation of a guideline for the NHS in England and Wales published this week.

    The guideline, from the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, says that up to 30% of people who experience an exceptionally threatening or catastrophic event may develop the disorder. The most characteristic symptom is reliving aspects of the traumatic event in a vivid and distressing way, including flashbacks, nightmares, and repetitive and distressing intrusive images or other sensory impressions from the event.

    After reviewing …

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