Do I have to be on medication [for posttraumatic stress disorder] for the rest of my life?

Do I have to be on medication [for posttraumatic stress disorder] for the rest of my life?


Well, nobody has a crystal ball. If a person has had a good response to medication, the likelihood is that he or she is going to need to be on that medication indefinitely. Now what I do with my patients if they’ve had a good year of symptom free living, then we’ll test the waters; I won’t stop the medicine, what I’ll do is I’ll reduce the dose, and I’ll reduce it gradually, and if we can get away with it, I’m more than happy to stop the medication. But more often than not, people need to stay on their medication indefinitely unless—that’s another motivation for them to go into psychotherapy because psychotherapy a course of 10-12 sessions often, that’s it. They don’t need much more. So the big difference between therapy and medication is that the medication you need to be on indefinitely for the most part, psychotherapy, 10-12 sessions and then maybe a “booster” now and then, but you pretty much don’t need any more treatment.

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