Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) comes at an incredibly high cost. The toll emotionally, physically and financially can leave the person struggling and his or her family feeling hopeless. Some estimates suggest that for combat veterans alone, post-traumatic stress disorder costs the United States billions of dollars each year in lost time, treatment and overall economic loss.1 However, the rewards of successful treatment of PTSD cannot be measured in dollars. Untangling the responses to trauma can prove challenging, but with the right treatment program and financial assistance, those who struggle with PTSD can find help.
PTSD Treatment Options
Because PTSD describes a set of symptoms that can range from high anxiety to occupational difficulties, successful treatment of PTSD is often holistic. That means PTSD sufferers may require more than one type of therapy in order to fully heal.
Some common PTSD treatments that have good results include the following:
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)- EMDR focuses on the feelings associated with the traumatic event rather than the event itself. Therapists use hand motion techniques to guide the client’s eye movements from side to side focusing on helping the person to diminish the feelings that resurface when places, people, sounds or other situations trigger memories.2
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)- CBT is a type of talk therapy where a therapist helps a person struggling with PTSD recognize negative thought patterns and work to change them.3
- Prolonged Exposure Therapy- This type of therapy helps those struggling with PTSD confront places, people and situations that trigger the anxiety associated with the traumatic event. This includes learning breathing techniques that help the person relax when her or she thinks about the event.
Many individuals require ongoing therapy, including relationship or family therapy in order to foster interactions with loved ones in the wake of the psychological changes PTDS causes. Because of the high rate of job loss associated with PTSD, career counseling is often part of a treatment plan as well. Some people struggling with PTSD also require medication for depression and anxiety, as well as physical therapy to fully recover from the traumatic events.4
Help With PTSD Treatment Costs
Depending on the nature of the actual traumatic event, PTSD costs can be covered in a variety of ways. From privatized health insurance to subsidized government plans, many options for treatment have become available. The following are just a few of the options available to help PTSD survivors cover the cost of treatment:
- Private Health Insurance- Your private insurance benefits often include mental health coverage, allowing for a certain number of visits per year to qualified therapists within your approved health care network. Insurance company rules vary when it comes the requirements for a PTSD diagnosis. Be sure to ask your insurance provider what services are covered, including anxiety medications or antidepressants.
- Government Programs- Statewide or federal programs for trauma survivors, victims of crime programs or witness services often set aside money for victims of a natural disaster or violent crimes. Other relief funds for victims of natural disasters can be located by calling your local or state social services office.
- State-Funded Health Care- Generally offered through a variety of benefits, state-funded health care covers services ranging from therapy to medication, and even alternative therapies. If you participate in state-funded health care for low-income individuals, and find that the services you need are not covered, ask your case worker about other benefits that might supplement your care. State-funded health care workers can also point you towards private or government programs that can act as gap-stopping measures while funding is found.
- Private Foundations- In some cases, private foundations will offer financial assistance to victims of particular traumas. Performing an online search for these charities can be useful as many offer funding programs or scholarships for treatment. Nonprofit organizations often provide care free-of-charge in the form of free mental health clinics, addiction counseling, trauma counseling and occupational assistance.
- Sliding Scale Fees- Some therapists offer sliding scale fees for those who cannot afford mental health services. Sometimes, the reduction in fees can be anywhere from 20 to 80 percent, depending on the therapist’s policies. Most therapists will ask you to state – or in some cases, document – your income in order to receive a sliding scale rate.
Finding Treatment for PTSD
No matter your current income, help for PTSD is available for you or your loved one. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about treatment options and how to pay for them. You are not alone. Call us now.
By Patti Richards
1“PTSD in the Military: Statistics, Causes, Treatment, and More | Everyday Health.” Stroke Center - EverydayHealth.com, Ziff Davis, LLC, 20 Apr. 2018.
2“Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy.” Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers. Accessed Dec. 2018.
3“Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 29 Dec. 2017.
4 “6 Common Treatments for PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).” WebMD, WebMD, Dec. 2018.