Life-changing online care for post traumatic stress disorder

Our providers understand the challenges of PTSD, and have real-world experience helping people just like you.

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Our Care

Expert care, tailored to you

Different people experience PTSD in different ways. That’s why our providers work 1:1 with you to personalize treatment to your unique needs.

Personalized Psychiatry

When medication is necessary, our psychiatric providers analyze 100+ data points to determine the most tolerable and effective prescription for you.

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Clinically-Proven Therapy

Our program combines cognitive and behavioral therapy with independent skill practice—all of which have been clinically proven to work for a wide range of symptoms.

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Mental Health condition

Understanding post traumatic stress disorder

Symptoms of PTSD can begin anywhere from three months to years after the traumatic experience. Symptoms can include flashbacks, bad dreams, avoidance of places or things that remind them of the traumatic event, being easily startled or “on edge,” difficulty sleeping, feelings of guilt or blame, and mood changes.

What is PTSD?

Post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that develops after a person has experienced a traumatic or frightening event. While most people feel afraid during and after a traumatic experience, those who have PTSD continue to feel fear long after the event is over and they are no longer in danger.

It’s important to remember that not everyone who experiences PTSD has been in danger. Some people develop symptoms of PTSD after the sudden death of a loved one, or other unexpected trauma.

Symptoms of PTSD:

The symptoms of PTSD are broken out into four categories:

Re-experiencing symptoms include:
  • Frightening or scary thoughts
  • Nightmares or bad dreams
  • Flashbacks of the trauma, including physical symptoms such as sweating and racing heart
Avoidance symptoms include:
  • Avoiding thoughts and feelings related to the trauma
  • Avoiding places, things, or events that are reminders of the traumatic experience
Arousal and reactivity symptoms include:
  • Feeling tense or “on edge”
  • Being easily startled
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Having outbursts of anger
Cognition and mood symptoms include:
  • Loss of interest in activities that once brought enjoyment
  • Feelings of blame or guilt surrounding the event
  • Difficulty remembering important features of the event
  • Negative thoughts about oneself or the world

The course of the illness varies, with some people recovering in six months, while others developing chronic, lifelong symptoms.


Virtual, dedicated support every step of the way

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1:1 Video Sessions

Let your provider know how you’re feeling, get to know you, and provide 1:1 support.

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Anytime Messaging

Get questions or concerns off your chest between video visits by messaging your provider at any time.

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Interactive Lessons

Learn how to integrate new thought and behavior patterns into your daily life.

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Proactive Progress Tracking

Complete weekly check-ins so your provider can track your progress and, if necessary, adjust your treatment and/or medication.

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Our plan options

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Because quality mental health care shouldn’t be out of reach for anyone.



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+ Therapy

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We accept insurance.iInsurance coverage varies by state. Get started to check your eligibility.

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What’s on your mind?

If your question isn’t answered below, view our full list of FAQs here.

Brightside is available to people 18 years and older in the states where Brightside operates who believe they may be experiencing depression and may benefit from treatment.

Remote care is not a good fit for people with certain conditions or situations. These include (but are not limited to):

  • Previous suicide attempt or active suicide planning
  • Ongoing, high risk self-harm behavior
  • Recent involuntary hospitalization for psychiatric reasons
  • Schizophrenia or any symptoms of psychosis
  • Certain severities of Bipolar Disorder and symptoms of mania
  • Substance abuse problems
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Eating disorder with high-risk symptoms
  • Kidney or liver disease, seizures, or long QT (for Psychiatry plan only)

Our providers do not treat, and do not prescribe for adhd.

If any of these describe you, it’s best for you to be seen by a provider in person so you can get the care that’s right for you.

Brightside makes it easy to get top quality depression care from the privacy of home.

Here’s how Psychiatry works:

  1. Take the assessment: Answer questions about yourself to provide the information your provider will need to thoroughly evaluate your situation.
  2. Connect with a psychiatric provider: Get matched with an expert psychiatric provider for a comprehensive video consultation. Share how you’re feeling, then decide on the best next steps — together. These conversations normally last about 15 minutes to review your situation, discuss your care plan, and answer any questions you may have. 
  3. Follow your care plan: If the provider chooses to prescribe, your medication will be sent to your local pharmacy. Your plan also includes digital therapy, and self-care tools you can use at your own pace.
  4. Make progress: We’ll ask you to tell us about your symptoms and side effects weekly, allowing the provider to monitor your progress and make any necessary changes to your care plan, so you can get the best results.

Here’s how Therapy works:

  1. Take the assessment: Tell us what you’re experiencing, and we’ll help you understand what it means.
  2. Connect with a Therapist: Connect with an expert, licensed therapist by messaging and with access to one 45-minute video appointment included with your subscription each week. You will continue to have Unlimited messaging support and guidance to help you build skills and feel better.
  3. Complete sessions: Complete personalized, self-paced audio lessons and practice exercises, building the evidence-based skills and habits you need to overcome your depression and anxiety.
  4. Make Progress: Report back on what’s working well for you and where you want to go deeper with the option to purchase additional video sessions if you choose. Your therapist will help guide you through your personalized program so you see the best results.

When scheduling your first appointment, you can browse all of our available providers in your state. Take a look at their profiles and check open times to find the best fit for you. Every Brightside provider undergoes a rigorous hiring and vetting process to ensure the highest quality care.

Brightside currently accepts select insurance plans in various states for payment of your provider’s or therapist’s services. Please see below for a current listing of plans. Brightside may not be included in all plans that each health insurance company offers. Please contact your health insurance plan to verify that your care at Brightside will be covered.

We currently accept the following insurance plans:

  • Cigna (all states, except MN)
  • Aetna (nationwide)
  • Allegience (nationwide)
  • Anthem (CA only)
  • United Health (select states)

If you are a new member signing up for services you can enter your insurance information during the sign-up process. We’ll let you know your eligibility, as well as you estimated co-pays and out-of-pocket costs (if any) before signing-up or scheduling.

We also accept HSA/FSA payment if you have one of those accounts. If you have questions about using your medical or prescription insurance benefits, please contact us by emailing [email protected].

To diagnose PTSD, a healthcare provider must do an evaluation of your symptoms. PTSD is diagnosed if someone experiences all of the following symptoms for a minimum of one month:

  • At least one re-experiencing symptom
  • At least one avoidance symptom
  • At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms
  • At least two cognition and mood symptoms

The symptoms must also be severe enough that they interfere with your daily life and are causing significant distress.

It’s important to remember that not everyone who lives through a traumatic event will develop PTSD. However, there are certain risk factors that can make someone more likely to develop the condition.

These risk factors include:

  • Have a history of mental illness and/or substance abuse
  • Getting injured during the event
  • Living through dangerous or traumatic events
  • Watching another person get hurt 
  • Seeing a dead body
  • Childhood trauma
  • Feeling helpless, horrified, or extremely afraid during the event
  • Little to no social support after the traumatic event
  • Extra stress related to job or home loss, death of a loved one, or pain and injury
  • Related Conditions

It is normal to feel afraid or uneasy following a traumatic event. However, if your symptoms have lasted over a month and are severe enough to interfere with your day-to-day life, you may be suffering from PTSD.

Make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss treatment options that may be right for you.

From medication to therapy, there are a variety of treatment options to help with the symptoms of PTSD.

Several types of medications can help with the symptoms of PTSD. These include antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. Sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil) are the two selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications FDA-approved to treat the symptoms of PTSD. 

You and your healthcare provider can work together to find the right medication for you. Keep in mind that it takes a few weeks to feel the full effects of these medications.

Effective therapies for treating PTSD include different types of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), such as exposure therapy and cognitive restructuring. Talk therapy is another effective treatment for people struggling with PTSD.

Exposure Therapy
This type of therapy helps someone control their fear in the face of something they’re afraid of. Exposure therapy gradually increases exposure to the trauma experienced in a safe way by using imagination, writing, or visiting the location of the traumatic event. The therapist can then use these tools to help someone develop coping strategies.

Cognitive Restructuring
Cognitive restructuring helps reframe triggering or bad memories into a more realistic memory. Sometimes, people struggling with PTSD won’t correctly remember what happened during the trauma and may feel guilt or shame about their role in the event. This type of therapy helps to restructure memories in a more neutral, less triggering way.

Talk Therapy
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, can be another effective treatment for PTSD. Talk therapy for PTSD can either occur one on one or in a group setting, and helps people talk through their symptoms.

Talk therapy can teach helpful ways to react to frightening or triggering events by:

  • Providing education about the effects of trauma
  • Helping identify and deal with feelings of shame, guilt, or blame surrounding the event
  • Using relaxation and anger management techniques
  • Offering tips for healthy sleep, nutrition, and physical activity

Self-Care, Coping, and Support
Many treatment plans for PTSD involve aspects of self-care. This can include:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Exercising on a regular basis
  • Managing stress & practicing mindfulness
  • Engaging in enjoyable/creative activities
  • Taking prescribed medications correctly and discussing any potential side effects with your healthcare providers
  • Watching for early signs that your symptoms may be worsening, and having a plan in place for how to respond if they do
  • Surrounding yourself with positive and supportive influences
  • Talking to trusted family members and friends about how you are feeling

If you’re in emotional distress, text HOME to connect with a counselor immediately.


Call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for 24/7 emotional support.


If you’re having a medical or mental health emergency, call 911 or go to your local ER.