Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can feel like a huge road block to mental wellness but the PTSD experts at LA Therapy Network can help get you the treatment you need to reach your goals.Contact US
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can emerge after directly or indirectly experiencing a traumatic event. This condition entails a combination of intrusive thoughts, exacerbated emotions, and avoidant behavior.
Unfortunately, if left untreated, symptoms can persist and progressively worsen. Many people with PTSD suffer from low self-esteem and experience problems in their relationships and daily tasks. You may also struggle with extreme feelings of anger, sadness, or shame, and those feelings can be distracting and overwhelming.
It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. PTSD affects approximately 6% of the population at a given time. However, getting the right treatment can make a profound difference in your recovery. Let’s get into what you need to know.
Professional treatment can help you identify PTSD triggers and cope with your trauma-related symptoms. Treatment is often multifaceted and may include a combination of psychiatry, trauma therapy, and lifestyle changes.
Finding the proper treatment can feel daunting. While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all method, you want to ensure you receive the professional support you deserve.
In general, it’s best to work with licensed providers who have ample experience treating PTSD. You have every right to ask about their qualifications and expectations for your treatment.
That said, establishing trust may take time. PTSD can compromise how safe you feel with people, even when they want to help you. Competent providers understand this hurdle, and they will never pressure you to say or do something before you feel ready.
The American Psychological Association recognizes several treatment methods for PTSD. These treatments have been widely studied and examined among qualified mental health professionals.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT focuses on the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. By learning how to change your negative thoughts, you should start to feel better. Furthermore, integrating positive behavioral responses typically reinforces more positive thoughts. CBT may also include prolonged exposure to traumatic stimuli. Over time, this exposure can help you feel desensitized to the material.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR therapists engage clients in bilateral stimulations while recalling traumatic memories. Your therapist will support you if you become overwhelmed while sharing your past experiences. This process is repeated several times, eventually creating a desensitization effect.
Psychiatric medication: Antidepressants can help reduce the intensity of PTSD symptoms. Many people with PTSD also struggle with depression or anxiety, and taking medication can help relieve these conditions simultaneously.
PTSD can emerge after a single-episode trauma. However, some people may experience complex PTSD after chronic and repeated traumatic exposure.
People with complex PTSD may have histories of:
Complex PTSD can be more severe and complicated to treat. Many people with this condition struggle profoundly with emotional regulation, which affects their relationships, work, and other areas of functioning. They are also likely to engage in self-destructive behaviors, like substance abuse or suicide attempts.
Therefore, complex PTSD treatment requires comprehensive support. It also must include appropriate interventions and aftercare geared towards achieving a sustainable recovery.
PTSD treatment may vary based on your particular life circumstances. For example, some professionals specialize in treating specific traumas, like sexual assault or domestic violence. Others specialize in populations that may be more affected by trauma, such as veterans or first responders.
70% of Americans experience at least one traumatic episode during their lifetimes. Trauma can include neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, natural disasters, grief and loss, and intergenerational trauma experiences.
Trauma remains a significant risk factor for nearly all mental health conditions and substance use disorders. Yet, while our society has improved recognizing trauma (and its related impacts), many people are still struggling in silence.
PTSD is extremely prevalent among veterans. For example, between 11-20% of veterans who served in the Operations Iraqi Freedom have PTSD, as do about 30% of veterans who served in the Vietnam War. In addition, 40-55% of veterans report experiencing sexual harassment while in the military.
Some people receive PTSD treatment services through the VA. But, unfortunately, because mental health problems are so largely stigmatized, many veterans never obtain the help they need.
First responders hold enormous responsibilities in their daily work, and they typically witness trauma on a regular basis. The statistics on PTSD rates are harrowing- research shows that this condition impacts approximately 18-24% of dispatchers and 35% of police offers.
Unfortunately, many first responders do not receive adequate support. As a result, they may suppress their emotions or turn to self-medicating trauma with drugs or alcohol.
When you first begin treatment, your therapist will conduct a thorough assessment of your medical and psychiatric history. They will review the frequency, intensity, and severity of PTSD symptoms and screen for other relevant conditions.
This information helps them establish a treatment plan. You and your therapist will work together to collaborate on the best goals for your recovery. These goals will be measurable, meaning that you can identify whether or not you have achieved them.
Keep in mind that you may work with several providers at this time. This is known as a treatment team. Depending on your specific needs, your team may consist of a therapist, psychiatrist, case manager, and primary care physician. This team will work together to ensure you are receiving appropriate support and resources.
PTSD treatment tends to be individualized based on your specific condition, past experiences in treatment, and other psychiatric needs.
With that in mind, you can expect to focus on:
The length of treatment varies. However, many people notice significant improvements after just a few weeks or months after receiving care.
For some people PTSD can last from a few weeks to months for others it can last up to years. The severity of PTSD and symptoms varies between clients. But finding help from a licensed treatment center can help you reach you mental wellness goals and find solace from PTSD.
Start by learning about PTSD, so you can create reasonable expectations and can relate to what your loved one is feeling/dealing with.
Encourage your significant other to get treatment. Support their recovery by inviting them to join you in relaxing activities, help them reintegrate into the world and connect with family. Listen to and acknowledge their feelings. And above all, be patient.
Los Angeles Therapy Network offers those seeking mental health & behavioral treatment resources and experts to find the perfect therapist to help promote mental wellness.