PTSD can be extremely debilitating. Sufferers may become addicted to drugs or alcohol, or engage in self-harm or other self-destructive behaviors to try to cope with their negative feelings.
It’s thought that over 24 million Americans are currently suffering from PTSD and 20% of adults who have experienced some kind of traumatic event will go on to develop PTSD.
While PTSD is often a long-term mental health condition, treatment can be very effective in helping sufferers to deal with the effects. We are here for our patients, offering the best care possible, so they can go on to live a normal life, free from fear and anxiety.
What Is PTSD?
PTSD is common in military personnel and those working as first responders, law enforcement, fire fighters, ER nurses and doctors, but can also occur in anyone who has witnessed or experienced a traumatic event including:
- Sexual trauma or rape
- Physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
- Illness or death of a loved one
- Natural disasters.
It’s normal for people to find it difficult to adjust back into everyday life after experiencing trauma, but constantly reliving the event or having panic attacks and severe anxiety months later is a sign of PTSD. Sometimes the symptoms are delayed and don’t start until years after the event.
What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
PTSD presents as feelings of extreme stress and anxiety that can make everyday life anywhere from extremely challenging to impossible.
PTSD symptoms include:
- Flashbacks and hallucinations of the traumatic event
- Panic attacks
- Difficulties sleeping
- Emotional and angry outbursts
- Avoiding people or places that remind them of the trauma
While these are classic symptoms of PTSD, not all sufferers will experience dramatic and obvious symptoms. PTSD can also cause long-term “hidden” mental health problems such as a feeling of loneliness, withdrawal from family and friends, and emotional numbness. PTSD sufferers often struggle with negative feelings and low self-esteem and may have difficulty maintaining close relationships.
PTSD symptoms are likely to be worse when under stress from everyday life and work. They can be triggered by hearing loud noises or seeing something that reminds you of the traumatic experience.
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How Is PTSD Treated?
Many sufferers of PTSD keep their condition hidden from others and end up dealing with the condition alone. This can result in them engaging in self-destructive activities and attempting to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol, which can lead to addiction.
If you think that you or someone you know might be suffering from PTSD, it’s important to seek help. PTSD symptoms can interfere with normal life and lead to a negative spiral into addiction, fear, and depression. However, with the support of others, including professionals, relief from PTSD is within reach. No one should have to live life with the anxiety and oppressive emotions that come with PTSD.
PTSD treatment may involve several different types of therapy and medication, depending on the individual:
- Relaxation therapies such as massage and yoga
- Individual or group counseling
- Cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) – talking through the trauma with a trained therapists and actively changing thought patterns and behavior
- Exposure therapy – facing frightening situations and memories to learn effective coping mechanisms
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – exposure therapy combined with guided eye movements
- Medication such as SSRIs and SNRIs (commonly used to treat anxiety and depression)
Residential In-Patient Treatment for PTSD
Residential treatment can be helpful for helping PTSD sufferers to deal with their condition, especially if it’s combined with alcoholism, drug abuse, or other mental disorders. At A Step In The Right Direction, for those where is PTSD is co-occurring with addiction, we provide a safe, compassionate environment to treat PTSD, along with any other issues, knowing that each and every one of our patients’ has a unique set of past experiences and individual needs for healing and recovery.
Stress can trigger PTSD symptoms or make them worse, so taking some time out from the stresses of everyday life to focus on your recovery in a fully supportive and safe trigger-free environment can be very effective.
If you’re considering residential in-patient treatment, look for a JCAHO certified rehab center like ours to ensure the highest standards of care and the best chance of long-term recovery. Facilities with Joint Commission accreditation are inspected and evaluated regularly to ensure they are meeting the highest standards for rehabilitation.
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