Treating PTSD after HG
Treatment is critical in healing PTSD after HG. The chronic and sometimes disabling effects of PTSD mean the disorder needs to be identified and treated quickly. However, the avoidant symptoms that appear with PTSD often keep the woman from seeking help.
Signs of postpartum depression combined with postpartum hormone changes and fatigue may make an accurate diagnosis challenging. Health professionals may be quick to treat the depression since she has recently been pregnant and fail to assess further and accurately identify PTSD.
Every person impacted by the stress and trauma of HG should be assessed for PTSD during and/or after pregnancy and offered appropriate treatment. Trauma treatment works, and when it incorporates good self-care, therapy, and sometimes medication, it is most successful.
While there are several newer therapies being developed and the evidence is still being studied, EMDR, Brainspotting, CPT, and/or a therapy and support groups are recommended.
- EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and is an example of a somatic treatment for trauma. This therapy uses bilateral brain stimulation to desensitize one to the traumatic memory. EMDR is a focus of trauma treatment based on new knowledge of neuroscience.
- Brainspotting is somatic mind-body therapy used to process deep challenges.
- TF-CBT is Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This is a version of talk therapy that is most commonly utilized and involves understanding how one’s thoughts, emotions, and behaviors are all connected while learning tools to eliminate or decrease negative symptoms. TF-CBT involves specific interventions that help clients process their trauma through a CBT filter.
- Support groups offer an opportunity to be validated by those in similar circumstances and share with others who understand. Any group support group for PTSD should be facilitated by an experienced clinician.
HER offers a monthly Online HG Support Group intended for general support of those who affected by HG.