Have you or a loved one lived through a traumatic situation recently or in the past? If so, then it’s important to get some professional help to process that trauma in a healthy way. Living through trauma can be devastating. And without treatment, there’s a risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is a mental health problem that can have long-lasting effects. Here you can learn more about trauma and PTSD, and find out how to get help.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma is a psychological reaction people have in certain intensely stressful situations. Some examples of traumatic situations include:
- Physical or sexual assault
- Involvement in military combat
- Living in a war zone
- Living through a natural disaster
- Physical, psychological or emotional neglect or abuse
- Domestic violence
- Having a life-threatening illness or injury
What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
It starts with Acute Stress Disorder. When someone experiences trauma, they have an immediate reaction called acute stress disorder. It lasts between three days and three weeks after the event.
A person’s reaction to trauma is unique. Everyone deals differently with what happened. Some possible reactions to trauma include:
- Irritability and/or anger
- Depression and/or anxiety
- Suppression of emotions
- Dissociative episodes
- Sleep disturbances such as insomnia or nightmares
- Flashbacks and/or intrusive thoughts or memories of the trauma
If a person gets professional treatment after living through trauma, then they’re less likely to have persistent symptoms. But without treatment, the trauma can have long-term effects. One possible consequence is PTSD.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Not everyone who lives through trauma develops PTSD. However, it is common in people who don’t get professional help after experiencing trauma. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 7% to 8% of people develop PTSD in their lives.
Symptoms of PTSD
There are four different categories of symptoms of PTSD. To be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must have symptoms from each of the categories.
For example, the categories include:
- Re-experiencing symptoms: Nightmares, flashbacks or intrusive thoughts about the trauma
- Avoidance symptoms: Avoiding things triggers memories or thoughts about the trauma
- Cognitive and mood symptoms: For instance, depression, anxiety or memory loss
- Arousal and reactivity symptoms: Such as hypervigilance, tension, irritability, and insomnia
People can develop complex PTSD if they live through ongoing trauma. For instance, if someone is neglected or abused over time, then they might develop complex PTSD. Complex PTSD causes the above symptoms, plus some others. For example, these can include:
- Difficulty regulating emotions
- Dissociative episodes
- Feelings of helplessness and despair
- Distrust of others, often resulting in social isolation
- Fixation on the person who caused their trauma
How Can PTSD Treatment Help?
If you’re living with PTSD, then you may feel you’re drowning in intrusive thoughts and memories, and other symptoms you can’t control. PTSD treatment can help you deal with the trauma, so you can leave it in the past and start to look forward to your future.
Getting treatment is also important for your long-term physical and mental health. Your quality of life isn’t the only thing that’s at stake. People with PTSD have a higher risk of developing other mental health problems. For instance, some people may turn to alcohol or drugs as a way of trying to cope with the trauma. Others turn to self-harm or may develop an eating disorder.
PTSD treatment can help you start to deal with your trauma, and learn healthy coping skills. With treatment, you can reduce your long-term risk of other mental health issues. And as you learn how to manage your PTSD, you benefit from a better quality of life, too.
What PTSD Treatment Is Like
A PTSD treatment program typically includes therapy to explore and process trauma. For some people, treatment may also include medication. Many people benefit from antidepressant medication or mood stabilizers.
Treatment is sometimes a multi-step process. For people with a co-occurring substance addiction, it might start with a medical detox to help them withdraw safely. Then, they might go to a residential PTSD treatment center for intensive treatment. Residential treatment is useful because it offers a safe place to explore trauma.
Medical Detox: For some addicts, drug withdrawal carries a risk of harm. This is because when someone is physically dependent, their body adapts in certain ways. Sudden withdrawal leaves the brain and body without the substances it has come to rely on. This can lead to dangerous symptoms such as seizures. Medical supervision helps keep the person safe during detox.
Residential PTSD Treatment
In a residential PTSD treatment program, you live-in at a treatment center. You spend most of your time every day in group or solo therapy, or on activities that support your recovery. It’s a structured schedule that allows you to explore your trauma safely.
Outpatient PTSD Treatment
If residential PTSD treatment doesn’t work for you, then an outpatient option might. These involve spending a set number of hours at a treatment center each week. Some programs allow you to attend sessions at night. This means you can continue with work or college while you get treatment.
Partial hospitalization program (PHP)
In a PHP, you spend up to five days a week at a treatment center, for therapy and support activities. These programs are like residential programs, but without the live-in element.
Intensive outpatient treatment program: In this program you spend around 10 hours a week at a treatment center. You attend therapy sessions and other activities that help support your mental health.
Up to 80% of people with PTSD have a co-occurring disorder. Some common co-occurring disorders are alcohol or drug addiction, depression, anxiety disorder and eating disorders.
If you have PTSD and a co-occurring disorder, then treatment should address both. This is important because having a co-occurring disorder makes it harder for you to process your trauma and move forward in recovery.
PTSD Treatment at Lucida
At Lucida, we provide every client with a personal treatment plan to address their specific needs. Treatment includes a combination of therapy and support activities, with medication when appropriate.
Residential PTSD Treatment
Lucida offers residential PTSD treatment for addiction and mental health problems. Clients live-in at our treatment center in Lantana, Florida. In this beach-side environment, we strive to help everyone feel comfortable and cared-for as they go through the difficult recovery process.
We use a mixture of traditional and complementary therapies to treat emotional trauma and PTSD. Some modes of PTSD treatment we use include:
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT helps clients examine and challenge unhealthy beliefs and thoughts. This helps them reconceptualize the trauma, allowing them to think about it differently.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is a technique that helps clients process disturbing memories. Over time, it reduces the impact that trauma memories have.
Group therapy: It may be scary to think about sharing your trauma with others, but it can be empowering to speak your truth. Sharing with and learning from people who understand your pain can be a powerful aid to healing.
Medication: If you have a co-occurring disorder such as depression or anxiety, then medication may help improve and stabilize your mood. This in turn makes you better able to focus on and benefit from your treatment program.
We offer treatment for co-occurring disorders, as well as primary mental health and addiction issues. Your custom treatment plan will take any co-occurring disorders into account.
Aftercare planning is an important part of treatment at Lucida. Good aftercare is essential for clients to continue making progress once they return home. We help you transition back to everyday life with follow-up appointments and medication management. We can also help you find support groups and other resources.
Lucida is in-network with many insurance providers. We can also accept most out-of-network PPO plans. You can call Lucida to talk to an admissions specialist. They can check your insurance coverage, and work with your provider to maximize your benefits.
Your costs are based on your treatment needs and custom treatment program. You can call us for a free and private consultation, to get an estimate of your treatment costs.
Make the Decision to Get Treatment Today
Nobody can control how they react to trauma. And if you have PTSD, then you may feel as though some aspects of life are out of control. But you can make positive changes by seeking professional treatment for PTSD.
Lucida offers compassionate, caring treatment in Lantana, Florida. Our comfortable residential center and the restful environment may be able to help you heal. Call us at 844-874-8503.