There is encouraging news for people who have been affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as more resources are being dedicated to help find innovative therapies for this condition.
Emulating Paul McCartney or Bob Dylan may be one way. A study conducted by Massachusetts General Hospital and presented at the Anxiety and Depression Conference 2019 found that collaborative songwriting may be effective in reducing PTSD and depressive symptoms among service members who have undergone intensive clinical mental health care.
The program studied was created by SongwritingWith:Soldiers (SW:S), an organization that operates from a simple principle, according to its website, which is to pair veterans and active-duty service members with professional songwriters to craft songs about their military experiences. The songs written during the workshops and retreats are then professionally recorded and made available for download on the website.
Other treatments are progressing through clinical trials with promising results. One study, published in Psychopharmacology, evaluated six phase 2 trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. The study concluded that “MDMA-assisted psychotherapy was efficacious and well tolerated in a large sample of adults with PTSD.” The next step is to study this therapy in phase 3 clinical trials.
These are just a few examples of progress in this area. With more than eight million people living with PTSD each year in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, positive developments and greater awareness are providing hope for those affected. The VA encourages everyone who might need help with PTSD right away to call 1-800-273-8255 and press “1” if a veteran. It also suggests calling 911 or visiting a local emergency room.