The 3 Things to Know About Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
One of the most debilitating mental health conditions to live with is a condition called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD is a disorder that develops after a shocking, scary, or dangerous event in one’s life. Psychological symptoms develop that can carry over into every area of an individual’s life, leading to more conditions like addiction, depression, and suicide. Keep reading to learn more about the three things to know about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder including its signs and symptoms, what happens when it is left untreated, and how you can recover from PTSD.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Signs and Symptoms
It is normal to feel scared after a particularly dangerous event, such as a car accident or the sudden death of a loved one. However, it is essential to know when PTSD symptoms are beginning to form so that it doesn’t lead to depression or suicide.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms are broken down into four different categories: Re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms, arousal and reactivity symptoms, and cognition and mood symptoms.
As such, to be diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must have all of the following for at least 1 month:
- At least one re-experiencing symptom
- At least one avoidance symptom
- At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms
- At least two cognition and mood symptoms
- Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including the physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
- Bad dreams
- Frightening thoughts
- Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic experience
- Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event
- Isolation from family, friends, loved ones, social activities, important events, and more in order to avoid any anxiety
Arousal and Reactivity Symptoms
- Being easily startled
- Feeling tense or “on edge”
- Having difficulty sleeping
- Having angry outbursts
Cognition and Mood Symptoms
- Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
- Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
- Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
- Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
When Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is Left Untreated
The symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can quickly become too difficult to live with in daily life, and individuals may self-medicate to alleviate symptoms or feel as if there is no way out. That is why it is extremely important to treat PTSD so that it doesn’t lead to much larger mental health conditions.
- Addiction. As a way to self-medicate and alleviate the symptoms of PTSD, people may begin abusing substances. While this may provide very temporary relief from symptoms, a side effect of drug and alcohol abuse is anxiety. This means that at the end of the day, it does nothing but make the PTSD worse and this can quickly lead to a vicious cycle that ends in overdose and death.
- Suicide. When mental health conditions are left untreated, the individual is unable to manage their feelings and triggers, feeling as if there is no way out. This can quickly lead to depression and suicide.
Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Treatment for mental health conditions like PTSD is available so that sufferers can live a more normal, happy, and relatively symptom-free life. Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is two-pronged, including medication and psychotherapy.
- Medication. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication can help alleviate many of the symptoms of PTSD, including worry, fear, anger, sadness, and more. However, this method of treatment runs the risk of prescription pill medication addiction and should be done under the careful supervision of medical professionals.
- Psychotherapy. Through psychotherapy, especially at an inpatient mental health facility, can help individuals learn how to manage their triggers and symptoms. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy teaches the individual how to identify the triggering of their symptoms and how to manage them, putting them in control of their condition rather than the condition controlling their day-to-day life.
- One-on-one therapy. By talking through triggers and issues related to PTSD, individuals will see relief from their symptoms. Other things that can be learned through sessions with a therapist include learning about trauma and its effects, using relaxation and anger-control skills, tips for better sleep, diet, and exercise habits, help identify and deal with guilt, shame, and other feelings about the event, and a focus on changing how to react to their PTSD symptoms.
About Seasons in Malibu
If you or a loved one are ready to overcome PTSD, we are here for you. We offer the highest quality treatment at our inpatient mental health treatment center. In the serene setting of Malibu, just moments away from the beach, Seasons provides compassionate, integrated care for clients who need to begin or continue their journeys toward living more fulfilling lives.
Clients at our treatment facility will receive:
- Comprehensive initial assessment that includes, but is not limited to meticulous examination of mental health pre-cursors, family history, trauma, developmental impacts, and symptomatology
- Intervention and integration of the Family System with assessment and treatment recommendations
- Individually assigned Primary Psychologists with expertise in client symptoms
- Couples and Family Therapy through education, process work, and Experiential Family Therapy
- Medical assessment and strong medical management of any and all medical issues
- Psychiatric assessment, metabolic testing, and treatment of any additional co-occurring disorders
- Assessment for and treatment of trauma with specific trauma-related interventions
- Individual access to Dialectical Behavior Treatment, EMDR, Brainspotting and other evidence-based successful treatment modalities that our assessments indicate are appropriate
- Recreational therapies and modalities are incorporated to elevate client interaction with nature and the environment.
- Access to peer communities and outside support groups
For more information, visit seasonsmalibu.com