Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Treatment Program

We are all exposed to traumas daily, either it is a road accident or a fatal disease, or a loved one’s tragic death. But some traumas are so overwhelming that they affect us severely. A mental illness, post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, is a disease that develops after exposure to such events. But not all of us develop PTSD. Research suggests that only 7 to 8 percent of people suffer from PTSD. PTSD does not always last forever. Even without treatment, the effects will go away after few months. But sometimes it lasts for years or longer. If you or your loved one has witnessed trauma or is suffering from PTSD, it is important to understand how it develops and how it affects an individual. Read on to learn more about PTSD, its symptoms, and how this condition is treated, and what treatment options are available.

What is PTSD?

PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that can develop after experiencing a traumatic event such as natural disaster, war, serious accident, someone’s tragic death, physical abuse, sexual violence, rape, or near-death experience. It is not necessary that you just have to experience the trauma firsthand to develop PTSD. You can also develop PTSD by hearing from someone or witnessing a tragedy that happens to someone else. As per National Center for PTSD, almost 60% of men and 50% of women suffer from trauma at least once in a lifetime. And only 7 to 8% of these people develop post-traumatic stress disorder.

How PTSD Affects Daily Life Activities?

Individuals with PTSD have trouble functioning in their jobs and social network. PTSD is a complex condition that severely affects the quality of life. Many people with PTSD experience flashbacks, anxiety, nightmares, and frightening thoughts when they come in contact with events of objects similar to their trauma. You may struggle at work or school, can’t fulfill your tasks, and it will be more difficult to function normally. PTSD greatly affects our personality and emotions. With PTSD, there is a risk of developing personality changes resulting in serious individual or social consequences. Children can become traumatized, isolate themselves from other kids and develop certain phobias and fear. If diagnosed early, the condition can be managed, and treatment becomes more effective. PTSD treatment programs in Arizona generally used in the very best substance abuse healing consist of: Mental Health IOP Anxiety Treatment Program Dual Diagnosis Treatment Program Depression Treatment Program PTSD Treatment Program

What are the Symptoms of PTSD?

Symptoms of PTSD are classified into four phases. This include:
  1. Intrusion:
Intrusive, repetitive thoughts of the painful event include flashbacks of the event, nightmares, or involuntary memories. Individuals may feel that they are reliving the trauma.
  1. Denial or Avoidance:
People with PTSD avoid anything that reminds them of the tragic event that includes people, places, activities, objects, or situations. They resist talking about what happened or how they feel.
  1. Changes in mood and thinking:
This includes distorted thoughts, distorted thoughts about oneself, continuous feeling of worthlessness, guilt, shame, and fear, acting in a self-destructive manner, troubled remembering the past event, and losing interest in activities you once loved.
  1. Changes in physical or emotional reactivity:
This includes irritability, anger outbursts, trouble concentrating and sleeping, behaving recklessly, easily startled, and overly suspecting others.

Is PTSD Attack Similar To Panic Disorder?

An individual with PTSD can also experience a panic attack’s physical symptoms, including rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, and hot flashes. But a slight difference exists.
  • Panic attacks occur unwarned. But in PTSD, a panic attack occur on re-experiencing trauma or triggers.
  • In panic disorder, sudden and spontaneous attack occurs. However, a person with PTSD is having repetitive, intrusive thoughts of the trauma.
Many mental health problems co-exist. Individuals with PTSD may also suffer from depression, anxiety, panic disorder, or other mental issues.

Who Would be Suffering From PTSD?

Any trauma or tragedy may cause PTSD, but there are some among us who are more affected by these events. These individuals may have
  • Experience abuse, assault, or sexual violence
  • Troubled childhood
  • Experience a serious accident or injury
  • Depression or other mental health problems
  • Family history of illness
  • Substance use or addiction
  • Lack of support
  • A job that increases your exposure to such tragic events such as health profession, army, or police job

Are females more affected by PTSD than men?

According to National Center for PTSD, women are more likely to develop PTSD than Men. Almost 10% of women suffer from PTSD, double the percentile for men; only 4%. The most common traumas for women are sexual violence or Child abuse. But why more women develop PTSD than men? Well, the following reasons may account for this distribution:
  • Women are more likely to experience sexual assault or rape
  • Women are more likely to blame themselves for the trauma that happens to them
  • Women are likely to feel depressed or anxious, while men are more inclined towards anger.

How is PTSD Diagnosed?

Are you diagnosed with PTSD? Well, your symptom must last for more than a month. After a tragic event, many individuals develop symptoms of PTSD in the first three months. But in some individuals, symptoms may appear late and persist for months or even years. The symptoms include:
  • At least one intrusion symptom
  • At least one avoidance or denial symptom
  • At two mood and cognitive symptom
  • At least two reactivity symptoms
The symptoms must be serious to cause distress or problem in the individual life. PTSD is often with other conditions such as depression, substance use, and other physical or mental issues.

Is PTSD Curable?

Like other mental health illnesses, post-traumatic stress disorder is not strictly treatable. But if left untreated, major complications may arise. The symptoms can be managed effectively by treatment. The best method to treat PTSD is through the combination of medication and psychotherapy. A healthcare professional and patient to identify the triggering factors and develop new ways to cope with past trauma stress. Hence, get professional help if required. Any negligence will cost you dearly!

Where to begin?

The first step is always difficult. It is especially difficult for PTSD patients to talk about what happened and how they feel. PTSD patients avoid any trigger that reminds them of the trauma. Also, they are overly watchful of their surroundings in a suspecting way. So, if your loved ones have this condition, encourage them to accept their condition and discuss it with a healthcare provider and get help. Make an appointment for yourself or your loved ones to see a health care provider. It’s crucial to understand PTSD and when to get support.

Goals of PTSD program

The focus of any PTSD program is to improve patient’s health and quality of life. PTSD program had three main goals:
  • Improve your symptoms
  • Learn important skills to deal with triggers or stressors
  • Restore your self-esteem and correct your view of yourself
How is PTSD treated? Although PTSD is not entirely treatable with time, you’ll learn to cope with the disease. Treatment is very important. Without treatment, many complications may arise, which will severely affect your life. So, if you or your loved ones have PTSD, don’t shy away and take treatment. Every treatment approach should be tailored to each individual’s needs. Treatment can include:
  • Pharmacological therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Residential or outpatient treatment
Every individual responds to treatment differently. So your doctor may combine different therapies depending on what you need. Recovery from PTSD is a long-term goal; you cannot get rid of PTSD overnight.
  1. Pharmacological therapy
Pharmacological therapy is provided to manage symptoms such as anxiety, depression. Your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant to improve your condition. But these medications have side effects. Do not stop medicines on your own. This may worsen your condition. But talk with your doctor.
  1. Psychotherapy:
Psychotherapy includes talk therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapies, exposure therapy, eye movement desensitization, and reprocessing therapy (EMDR). Some therapies directly target PTSD symptoms. Other therapies centered on social, family, or work-related issues. The most effective psychotherapy for PTSD is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which corrects one’s distorted view about their self. Family or group therapy is more useful than individual sessions. Some evidence-based trauma-focused therapies are:

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

CBT works in the principle of cognitive psychology and behavioral therapy to improve thinking patterns and individual-specific problems. CBT corrects one’s distorted views about themselves or their environment. CBT consists of
  • Exposure therapy: With the help of writing, imagining it, or visiting the place of trauma, the person is gradually exposed to the trauma. It helps you to control your negative feeling, face people and control your fear.
  • Cognitive restructuring: Usually, PTSD patients feel guilt or shame and blame themselves for the event. Cognitive restructuring helps you to make sense of the trauma. The therapist will help them to look at what happened logically and realistically.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy (EMDR)

EMDR focus on calling trauma to the mind while in the background, a piece of music or sound is played, such as finger weaving from side to side or a tone.

Hypnotherapy 

Hypnotherapy uses the power of the mind to overcome any resulting behavioral issues. The technique used is hypnosis to help the patient to regress to the state before the trauma happened. It is used in combination with other therapies.
  1. Residential inpatient treatment programs
PTSD is a challenging condition. Residential inpatient programs are a solid option. You can get professional help there. There are specialists available to assess your condition thoroughly and develop the best treatment plan to achieve recovery. Residential inpatient treatment centers provide a stress-free, home-like environment for patients. You will learn different skills needed to face the triggers of trauma and maintain recovery. A typical residential inpatient treatment program is 30 to 90 days long.
  1. Outpatient PTSD rehab and treatment programs:
For people who don’t want to live in a center for a long time or have other commitments, outpatient PTSD rehab centers are the best option. The therapist there will help you to cope with stress and enjoy life at home and work.
  1. Executive PTSD programs:
Executive PTSD programs offer high-class treatment in a luxurious and peaceful environment. It is specially designed for executives who want to recover but don’t have time to enter a full-time residential treatment program. You can get treatment in a luxury place and access technology to carry out their business deals.

PTSD Treatment Program – How Does it Work?

During the PTSD treatment program, you are required to attend therapy sessions. These sessions are helpful for the psychological problems you are dealing with. You will attend both individual and group sessions. Group therapy serves as a new source of socialization with people having the same problems. You can develop healthy relationships and empathy with group members. Individual therapy includes cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. A rehab program for PTSD will help those with a dual diagnosis (substance use and mental health issues). You will be living under medical supervision, which can provide proper care and treatment to ensure recovery.

Examples of some PTSD programs available:

Do not let PTSD take over your life. Now that you know how PTSD is treated and how the treatment works, you can seek the treatment program you need. These programs include:
  • Partial hospitalization program
  • Intensive outpatient program
  • Outpatient program services
  • Women’s treatment program
  • Men’s treatment program
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
Depending on your condition, you can get help from one or more of the programs.

Coping with PTSD

Psychotherapy and support from friends and family help you to cope with the disease. With psychotherapy, you will be able to identify your triggers, how to manage your symptoms, and how to face your fear. Support groups help you build confidence to talk about your experience. By spending time with someone in the same situation provides moral support and develops empathy among them. We are living in the era of fast technology. A lot of online or community support groups for PTSD are available online. Enroll in one of them and get the emotions and psychological support required to go through your condition. Some examples are:
  • Community Page n PTSD
  • PTSD Meetup Groups
  • S. Department Of Veteran Affairs
  • National Alliance On Mental Illness
  • PTSD Anonymous

Living with someone with PTSD:

Post-traumatic stress disorder can affect people around you. Getting treatment will not only help you but your entire family. The anger, fear, or mistrust of an individual with PTSD can fade even the strongest relationship. PTSD is a challenging condition, and it is more challenging to live with someone who has PTSD. Complete knowledge about PTSD helps you understand how your loved ones feel and what they are struggling with. Many family support groups are available where patients and their families engage in a session and discuss the challenges, problems, and issues they are facing. Family therapy creates an opportunity to tell each other how they feel and restore their relationship. With proper knowledge and education, you can make sure your loved one gets the treatment they required. Although living with someone with PTSD isn’t easy. But they need support and care to fight their emotions. So, try to give them maximum support and love. Therapy is available to overcome your challenges like frustration and worry.

Beyond treatment – Tips that’ll help you with recovery

It is very difficult to fight PTSD on your own. Support from friends and family can increase your chances of recovery. Because treatment is long-term and the person needs to overcome their trauma, which is very difficult. If you do not know where to begin, ask your family doctor. He may recommend you to a professional who can help you with PTSD. Although a combination of therapy and medicines help you to manage your symptoms, some tips will help you with your recovery:
  • Set realistic goals for yourself
  • Write down your thoughts, address each concern and try to find its solution.
  • Give yourself some time – your treatment will improve your condition gradually
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise and meditate. Regular exercise has positive effects on your mental health. Meditation helps you to remain in the present.
  • Make a healthy relationship with your friends, family, and health care provider. Confide in a friend or family member. Tell them about your condition and what may trigger it.
  • Talk with your doctor about treatment options.
  • Identify what comforts you – a place, situation, or person.
Most people will experience trauma at some point in their life, and as a result, some will experience severe symptoms that can disturb our daily life activities. But the effect of trauma does not have to last a lifetime. With the help of psychological interventions, you can manage your symptoms and prevent any long-term effects. A long-term therapy plan is required to treat someone with post-traumatic stress disorder. There are many programs available that will help you to go through this condition.