Trauma is a part of many people’s lives. A majority of people, no matter their gender, experience trauma at some point in their lives. A large percentage of those who experience trauma develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and women are more likely than men to develop PTSD.
What Is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health concern that is caused by past traumatic events. The following criteria must be present for a diagnosis of PTSD:
- The direct experience, observation, or knowledge of a one-time or repeated traumatizing event such as death, severe injury, or sexual violence
- The experience of intrusive symptoms after the event’s occurrence, such as intrusive memories, flashbacks, dreams, or physiological reactions to things that remind a person of the event
- Avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma; detachment and loss of trust
- Exaggeration of negative and pessimistic thinking
- Possible memory loss around the event
- Reactions to these memories or thoughts about the event, such as sudden irritability or anger, hyper-vigilance, an exaggerated startle response, or problems sleeping
In post-traumatic stress disorder, these symptoms are not a result of substance abuse or any other physical or mental medical condition. They are the direct results of exposure to an event or series of events they were unprepared to confront.
What Causes PTSD?
There are a number of different things that can be at the heart of PTSD. These include:
- War activity
- Physical assault
- Sexual violence
- Natural disasters
- Automobile accidents
- Witnessing an unnatural death
Traumatic events are sudden and catastrophic. For example, dealing with a life-threatening illness may lead to specific anxiety disorders but not PTSD, as the situation does not happen suddenly. However, a traumatic experience could be related to a medical condition. While uncommon, an example of such an event could be waking up in surgery or experiencing sudden life-threatening and horrifying symptoms of a disease.
PTSD Treatment Program
Psychotherapy is an effective treatment for PTSD. In this form of therapy, a professional will meet with you privately or in a group setting. These sessions usually last a few months, though treatment can go longer if necessary.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is also an effective therapy option for PTSD and can help you gently face and control your fear while reducing anxiety. Other treatments include EMDR therapy, or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy, which many people find to be a gentle and calming approach to recovery. Exercise, body movement, and supportive counseling can also help with symptoms. Sometimes people elect to try medical treatment through antidepressants or other medicines, although this is not always necessary.
The goal of PTSD therapy is to help you develop a balanced way of viewing the traumatic event that won’t leave you feeling guilty or having unrealistic negative beliefs about what happened. Enlisting a support team of family and friends in treatment is extremely valuable, so do not be afraid to include them. A consultation can help you understand your needs, and the professionals in our treatment program can establish a uniquely effective treatment plan.
Reach Out for PTSD Treatment from Skywood Recovery
If you or a loved one are experiencing the symptoms of PTSD, it is crucial to seek support. If there is an ongoing event in your life that is leading to trauma, such as abuse, reach out for help right away. Call us at 269.280.4673 24 hours a day and speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options. You are not alone.