Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health condition that can cause significant emotional and psychological distress. It often follows a traumatic event and can affect anyone, irrespective of age, gender, or socioeconomic status. The good news is that PTSD is not a life sentence; various treatments exist that can significantly reduce symptoms, improve functioning, and bring about recovery. Understanding more about the nature of trauma, how it causes PTSD, and the available treatment options, can provide hope for anyone grappling with this condition.
All too often, people seek relief from their trauma with substance use. At Apex Recovery Nashville, we offer a PTSD treatment program as well as co-occurring disorders treatment. Fear and trauma do not have to control your life, as help is always available at our PTSD treatment center. We offer a variety of treatment programs for both substance use disorders and mental health concerns such as PTSD. Call us today at 615.703.4639 to learn more about what we can do to help.
What Is Trauma and How Does It Cause PTSD?
To understand the essence of PTSD, it’s essential first to understand what we mean by trauma. In a psychological context, trauma refers to an emotional response to an overwhelmingly negative event or series of events. Such occurrences are usually life-threatening or pose a serious threat to a person’s physical or psychological well-being. They may include natural disasters, violent personal attacks, war, serious accidents, or sexual assault.
When a traumatic event occurs, the brain instinctively activates its fight, flight, or freeze response to help the individual survive. This involves a variety of physiological reactions intended to help the person respond to immediate danger. However, not all brains recover from this heightened state of alarm after the danger has passed. In some cases, the individual continues to relive the event, remains on high alert, and experiences significant distress. This lingering state of hyperarousal and re-experiencing is the core of PTSD.
PTSD can manifest in several ways. Symptoms include:
- Intrusive memories of the event
- Avoidance of anything related to the event
- A heightened state of awareness
- Changes in thoughts and mood
- Increased heart rate
The onset of PTSD symptoms can be immediate or delayed, sometimes surfacing years after the traumatic event.
How a PTSD Therapy Program Can Help
While it’s essential to understand the severity of PTSD, it’s equally crucial to realize that there is hope for those living with the disorder. PTSD is treatable, and recovery is not only a possibility but a probable outcome with appropriate treatment. At Apex Recovery Nashville, PTSD treatment programs are structured yet flexible, designed to meet the individual needs of the client receiving treatment. Treatment typically involves several modalities, including psychotherapy, medication, and supportive therapies.
The first step in any PTSD treatment program is a comprehensive assessment. This is a critical process where therapists or counselors gather information about the individual’s symptoms, trauma history, and general health and wellness. After the assessment, a personalized treatment plan is created. The plan outlines the therapeutic approaches that will be used, the goals of therapy, and the frequency of sessions.
Psychotherapy, or talk therapy, is the cornerstone of most PTSD treatment programs. There are several types of psychotherapy that can be effective:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) – CBT helps individuals understand and change thought patterns leading to harmful behaviors or distressing feelings.
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) – EMDR uses a person’s rhythmic eye movements to reduce the emotional charge of traumatic memories.
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) – DBT is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that teaches skills for dealing with overwhelming emotions. Although not specifically designed for PTSD, it can be helpful for individuals who are struggling with extreme emotions due to their trauma.
A well-rounded PTSD treatment program will focus not only on reducing symptoms but also on improving overall quality of life and fostering growth and resilience. The ultimate goal is to help individuals move past their trauma and lead fulfilling, satisfying lives.