Effectively Managing and Treating Trauma Disorders, Including PTSD

Available with English captions and subtitles in Spanish.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex and frequently misunderstood condition: while often associated with the horrors of war, anyone who has witnessed or experienced traumatic, life-threatening, or life-changing events can find themselves struggling with the psychological impacts of these events.

PTSD is also just one of many trauma-related disorders—each with its own often varying symptoms. And while all of these conditions are treatable, they first have to be recognized and addressed.

So how can individuals, their loved ones, and clinicians learn to spot the symptoms of PTSD and similar disorders? What sets these conditions apart from one another? And what are the most effective treatment modalities to address them?

Audience Questions

Heidi Browne, MD, provides an overview of PTSD and other trauma-related disorders, offers practical tips for recognizing their key signs, and shares evidence-based treatment options for those impacted by them.

  • What is a trauma-related disorder?
  • Who tends to be most at risk for developing a trauma-related disorder?
  • What are the main trauma-related disorders?
  • Broadly speaking, what is meant by the term “trauma”?
  • What is a potentially traumatic event (PTE)?
  • Why do some people develop trauma-related disorders after a PTE and some do not?
  • Why might women be more likely to develop a trauma-related disorder than men?
  • What is PTSD?
  • What should we know about the timing of the onset of PTSD?
  • Can PTSD be misdiagnosed as ADHD or an anxiety disorder? Can PTSD co-occur with these diagnoses?
  • How can PTSD present differently in different individuals?
  • What are the different options for PTSD treatment?
  • What is trauma-focused treatment and what does it involve?
  • What does post-treatment life look like for someone with PTSD?
  • What is complex PTSD and how does it differ from PTSD? Is the treatment process different between the two?
  • What is dissociative identity disorder (DID)? How does it fit into the topic of trauma-related disorders?
  • Can a minor event or minor accident cause PTSD?
  • Can children be diagnosed with trauma-related disorders?
  • How can one support a loved one with PTSD?
  • What should clinicians know about treating PTSD? When should a clinician refer out to a specialist?
  • How does PTSD present differently in those experiencing repeated traumatic events such as first responders?
  • Are there resources specifically for first responders?
  • What is a hypothetical possible course of symptoms and treatment for someone dealing with PTSD coming back from combat?
  • How do different evidence-based treatments fit into PTSD treatment?
  • What is generational trauma? Is there a genetic factor?
  • What is EMDR treatment and what should we know about it relative to trauma treatments?
  • Is growing awareness of trauma-related disorders helping address some of the misconceptions about them?
  • What is happening on the research front regarding trauma-related disorders?

The information discussed is intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for guidance provided by your health care provider. Please consult with your treatment team before making any changes to your care plan.


About Heidi Browne, MD

Heidi Browne, MD, is a board-certified general adult psychiatrist who provides both medication management and psychotherapy. She has expertise in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and trauma-spectrum disorders.

Dr. Browne is the associate medical director of McLean’s Trauma Continuum of Care at the Hill Center, a clinical program specializing in the treatment of trauma-related disorders. She is also a staff psychiatrist at McLean’s OCD Institute.

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