Trauma can negatively impact a person’s everyday life as well as their mental health. In the United States, about 8 percent of the population will experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in their life. A person who develops this disorder can face emotional, mental, and physical difficulties every single day.
The good news is, there is effective PTSD treatment to help relieve the symptoms. At SoCal Empowered, we offer treatment for those battling a mental health disorder, such as trauma. Located in Orange County, CA, our facility provides sunshine and warmth, perfect for undergoing inpatient mental health treatment.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health issue that develops when a person experiences a traumatic event. People who have this disorder feel stressed and fearful, even when they are not in danger.
It is normal to feel scared and afraid after a traumatic event. Fear enables a person to avoid danger or to defend themselves against it.
Reactions from trauma vary for each person, and most can recover from the initial PTSD symptoms on their own. When a person continues to experience these symptoms for a period of time, they may be diagnosed with PTSD.
Complex trauma is a relatively new term that refers to an interpersonal, traumatic experience, usually committed by someone they know. The feelings of betrayal can make the event even more traumatic.
Rather than a single traumatic experience, complex trauma is compounded and cumulative. It often begins in childhood, happens repeatedly, and progresses over time. It can make re-victimization occur over a lifespan, and hard to form trusting relationships again.
The majority, but not all, traumatized people will experience short term symptoms. However, most people do not develop chronic or long-lasting PTSD symptoms. Symptoms typically show within three months of the traumatic event, but they can develop years later. These symptoms must be apparent for over a month and interfere with relationships and daily life to be considered PTSD.
The path of this mental health disorder can vary. Meaning, some people recover within six months, while others experience symptoms for way longer. For some, this health problem can become continuous and long-lasting.
A licensed mental health professional such as a psychiatrist or psychologist can diagnose PTSD. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, a person must have all of the following for at least one month to be diagnosed with this mental health disorder:
Re-experiencing symptoms can cause issues in a person’s everyday routine. This can be words, objects, or situations that are reminders and trigger these symptoms, including:
Avoidance symptoms can change a person’s routine. People stay away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic event. For instance, after experiencing a bad boat accident, a person may avoid getting on a boat again.
Arousal symptoms are typically constant, so the person does not need to be triggered to have these thoughts and feelings. A person becomes so stressed and angry that daily tasks such as sleeping or eating become hard. Arousal and reactivity symptoms include:
Cognition and mood symptoms usually begin or become worse after the traumatic situation, and are not because of substance use or injury. A person can start to feel alone or detached from their loved ones. Cognition and mood symptoms include:
Not everyone who has PTSD has been through a dangerous event or a natural disaster. For instance, sudden events like an unexpected death of a loved one can cause PTSD. Some develop this mental health disorder after their friend or family member experienced a harmful event.
PTSD can develop at any age, from children to war veterans. Memories of the traumatic experience may include physical or sexual assault, abuse, an accident or disaster, and other serious events. According to the National Center for PTSD, women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and genes play a role in who is more likely to develop this disorder.
It is important to be diagnosed and treated by a mental health professional who has experience working with this disorder. The main forms of PTSD treatment are a combination of psychotherapy (talk therapy) and medication. Treatment will vary depending on the specific needs of that person. One type of medication or therapy might work well for someone, but may not work for others.
Many types of psychotherapy, can help people with PTSD. Some therapies target symptoms directly, while others focus on social, family, or work-related problems. A mental health professional can combine different types of psychotherapies depending on the person’s situation.
Psychotherapies will emphasize on certain key components in order to be effective. This typically includes education about PTSD symptoms, teaching skills to identify triggers of these symptoms, and managing skills.
Talk therapy can take place in a personal or group setting. This treatment for PTSD lasts around 6 to 12 weeks, but can certainly last longer. Evidence-based research shows that support from family and friends is an important part of recovery.
A type of psychotherapy called cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps treat this mental illness. CBT can include exposure therapy and cognitive restructuring. The end goal of exposure therapy is to face and control their fear by being exposed to it safely. Moreover, cognitive restructuring helps people make sense of bad memories by talking about it in a realistic way.
More treatment options can be used to treat PTSD. All possibilities should be consulted with the mental health professional. PTSD treatment should empower the person to fully enjoy and participate in the activities they loved before developing the disorder.
If a person is suffering from ongoing trauma, such as an abusive relationship, both problems need to be addressed and resolved. Other ongoing trauma or problems include panic disorder, depression, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts.
Antidepressants are commonly prescribed to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. This type of medication helps ease symptoms such as sadness, worry, anger, and feeling numb inside. Other symptoms of trauma, such as sleeping issues and nightmares, can be treated with medications as well.
It is important for the person to work with their health professional to find the best medication(s), and dosage. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the latest information on patient medication guides, warnings, and newly approved medications.
At SoCal Empowered, our professional care team is here for you the entire way when receiving PTSD treamtent. Our inpatient mental health treatment center provides individualized treatment plans to uphold all of your needs. If you or someone you love is suffering from PTSD or complex trauma, give our mental health clinic a call today. Post-traumatic stress disorder does not have to interfere with your everyday life, and we want to help make that happen.