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Q
Can cognitive-behavior therapy help construction workers with PTSD?

A

Cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) is often used as a treatment for severe anxiety. It has been shown to reduce fear, anger and guilt in PTSD sufferers, ease their physical pain, help them return to a regular sleep schedule and deal with underlying psychological problems after witnessing an accident at work.

CBT helps workers by making them aware of what is happening in their mind as a reaction to the accident, and to be able to recognize “triggers” before they can have a negative effect. While CBT is commonly used to treat construction workers suffering from PTSD, it is by no means the only help available.

Other Therapeutic Approaches That May Successfully Treat Construction Workers With PTSD 

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). This treatment is designed to minimize victims’ reactions to potentially harmful stimuli that can cause them to suffer a flashback.
  • Psychodynamic Therapy. This treatment—which can be used in conjunction with CBT—encourages victims to analyze conflicts in their lives, changing values, or behavioral changes that have taken place as a result of the incident.  
  • Exposure Therapy. Some doctors may recommend exposure therapy, which guides the victim through a re-telling of the accident in a safe environment. Although it may seem scary, this treatment aims to give a victim control over the story, allowing him to confront his fear slowly and eventually control his responses to the people, places and emotions involved in the event.

It is important to note that PTSD symptoms may take weeks to become fully noticeable. Without treatment, sufferers may become withdrawn, paranoid, and may even turn to drugs or alcohol to hide their pain.

If someone you know is showing signs of PTSD at work, be sure to send them a link to this article via email or a private message on Facebook. Your concern could be just the push they need to seek help.

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