Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness which manifests when one experiences or witnesses a traumatic event. The traumatic event might cause nightmares, flashbacks, extreme anxiety, and irrepressible thoughts about the event. Millions of people across the globe experience traumatic events and find it difficult to adjust to their surroundings or cope for a few days. However, when the disturbing symptoms persist for months or even years, one might be suffering from PTSD. With treatment from a reputable mental health rehab, it is possible to alleviate PTSD symptoms and improve function.

Nearly 8 million American citizens are affected by PTSD. Approximately 37 percent of the diagnosed people have serious symptoms while women have higher rates of the disorder than men. PTSD symptoms usually coexist with other disorders like substance abuse and depression. A thorough screening is indispensable to complete recovery.

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD Symptoms

The symptoms of PTSD are grouped into four categories. These are:

Re-experiencing symptoms

These are instinctive, invasive and periodic thoughts which might result in flashbacks and bad dreams.

Avoidance

This entails staying away from the places, objects or people who generate an overwhelming reminder of the traumatic event.

Cognitive and mood symptoms

A person might have trouble recalling the traumatic event and might feel guilty, depressed or extremely stressed out when trying to remember the past. One may also feel that the world around them is not real.

Arousal symptoms

One might get hyper vigilant when one experiences something similar to the traumatic event. One might also startle easily.

PTSD symptoms can manifest soon after the trauma or sometimes months thereafter. To classify as PTSD, the symptoms must persist for at least a month and interfere with one’s working and relationships. The intensity of the symptoms varies from time to time and from individual to individual. For some people, the symptoms might go away in six months while for others it might take much longer. PTSD can also become chronic.

In younger children, the symptoms might show up as bed wetting, reenacting the event while playing, becoming extremely clingy, and so on. In adolescents and young adults, the symptoms might be the same as those exhibited by an adult.

PTSD Causes

Some factors may increase the susceptibility of a person to develop PTSD. These include:

  • Getting hurt
  • Childhood trauma
  • Seeing a dead body
  • Seeing another person get hurt
  • Feeling very fearful and helpless
  • Dealing with extreme stress after a trauma
  • History of mental illness or substance abuse
  • Absence of social support after facing a trauma
  • Navigating through dangerous events or trauma

Risk Factors

Some factors may increase the susceptibility of a person to develop PTSD. These include:

  • Getting hurt
  • Childhood trauma
  • Seeing a dead body
  • Seeing another person get hurt
  • Feeling very fearful and helpless
  • Dealing with extreme stress after a trauma
  • History of mental illness or substance abuse
  • Absence of social support after facing a trauma
  • Navigating through dangerous events or trauma

PTSD Diagnosis

A diagnosis of PTSD requires a medical professional to look into the complete details of medical and other factors and assess them accordingly. A trained professional associated with a mental health treatment center will follow certain steps which are:

  • A complete physical assessment of the medical conditions that could contribute to PTSD.
  • A psychological evaluation discussing the traumatic event, signs, and symptoms of trauma.
  • Evaluation of the symptoms on the criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5).

Components included in the DSM-5 criteria are:

  • Witnessing a traumatic event
  • Direct exposure to the trauma
  • Anger outbursts and irritability
  • Feeling detached and estranged
  • Recollection of the traumatic event
  • Upsetting dreams related to the traumatic event
  • Inability to recall important characteristics of trauma
  • Avoiding external reminders or distressing memories related to the trauma

Treatment for PTSD

To prevent PTSD symptoms from worsening, it is imperative to seek timely treatment from a mental health inpatient treatment center. Treatment intervention for PTSD might include medications and psychotherapy or a combination of both.

Medications might comprise antidepressants which would help deal with depression, stress, nightmares, and fear; while benzodiazepines might help one relax and cure sleep disorders. Antipsychotics might be prescribed to deal with extreme cases. A person taking such medicines must be in regular touch with the doctor and keep them informed about the appearance of any side effects.

Psychotherapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) might be useful in helping a patient. This might include exposure therapy, where the patient is exposed to the traumatic event once again but in a safe and controlled environment. It might also include cognitive restructuring which might help the individual make sense of the PTSD memories; or stress inoculation training which would help a person cope with their anxiety and other symptoms.

Other than psychotherapy, some forms of alternative therapy may also be helpful. These could be yoga, art therapy, and meditation. Group therapy can offer a platform to interact with people with similar experiences. The hallmark of a good PTSD treatment program at a credible mental health treatment center is that it should include multiple intervention options, while providing treatment for co-existing conditions.

Invictus Health Group and PTSD Treatment

Invictus Health Group’s mental health treatment centers provide an advance treatment program for PTSD and dual diagnosis. Our treatment program comprises a combination of expressive and experiential treatments. The mental health treatment program is customized for each patient so that their expectations are met. To alleviate any stress our patients might encounter, we have streamlined our admissions and insurance processes. We accept most insurance plans and have skilled admission counselors to guide a patient through every step.

To find out more about our mental health treatment programs, the admissions process, and insurance options available, call our helpline 866-548-0190 where our team is available 24/7 to answer any questions you have. You can also chat online with a representative for further assistance.

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