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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of the widely-known mental health disorders. It has been in public discourse since World War I and has often preoccupied artists. Unfortunately, its notoriety is also due to its typical severity and prevalence. In many cases, PTSD treatment is necessary to allow the individual to recover and maintain a healthy everyday life.
Whether you’re looking for information on PTSD or the best treatment providers for PTSD, we at Archstone Behavioral Health are here to help.
What is PTSD?
At its core, as the name suggests, PTSD is a stress disorder that occurs in response to traumatic experiences. It is similar to Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) in this regard, despite their other differences that distinguish the two diagnoses.
As trauma is central to PTSD, trauma-informed care is often necessary. While causes, symptoms, and severity can differ, PTSD typically inhibits the individual’s everyday life or impairs their function.
How common is PTSD?
To remove some social stigma and contextualize it, let us first clarify that PTSD is relatively common. The US Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) finds that about 6% of the population will have PTSD at some point in their lives. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) also estimates that 3.6% of US adults had PTSD in the past year.
Raw numbers show a sizeable demographic of about 12 million people. Therefore, if you or your loved ones are struggling with PTSD, you should not feel alone. Seeking PTSD treatment is not rare or a sign of weakness; it’s a perfectly normal and responsible thing to do.
Causes of PTSD
True to its name, PTSD is most often caused by trauma. Traumatic events that may cause PTSD can include:
- Serious or life-threatening accidents
- The loss of a loved one
- Physical or sexual assault
- Domestic abuse
- Childbirth experiences such as losing a child
Specific demographics are more prone to PTSD and similar disorders. The most famous example is veterans, who may experience intense combat situations.
Symptoms of PTSD
Much like the exact causes, symptoms of PTSD can differ significantly as well and can include:
- Intrusive memories, nightmares, and severe distress in response to relevant triggers
- Impaired social life, including detachment from family and friends
- Hopelessness, depression, or persisting anxiety
- Trouble sleeping, concentrating, or performing as well as before
- Irritability, aggression, and self-destructive behavior
The severity, frequency, and co-occurrence of such symptoms can vary significantly across different cases. Therefore, it’s always best to not self-diagnose but rather always consult a licensed mental health professional. With their guidance, you can get an accurate diagnosis and proceed to seek appropriate PTSD treatment.
PTSD and addiction
Finally, PTSD is unfortunately highly relevant in the context of drug addiction treatment as well. Our keen focus on this element at Archstone Recovery sets us apart from other PTSD treatment provider peers.
Like many other mental health disorders, PTSD often co-occurs with Substance Use Disorders (SUDs). This phenomenon is dubbed dual diagnosis, and requires tailored care to thoroughly and properly address.
Dual diagnosis too is fairly common in the US and across the world. In the US, 37.9% of adults with SUDs also have mental health disorders, and 18.2% of those with mental health disorders also have SUDs.
PTSD treatment and psychotherapy
While PTSD is not entirely curable, like many mental health disorders, it is highly treatable. Psychotherapy programs, especially in combination with proper pharmacotherapy where needed, are demonstrably effective treatment tools.
The main types of behavioral therapy and psychotherapy that can treat PTSD symptoms are the following.
Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT)
A type of psychotherapy that has been used since the 1950s, REBT is a potent treatment tool for insomnia, aggression, depression, anxiety, and more. This broad effectiveness has allowed therapists to employ it to treat standalone mental health disorders, standalone SUDs, as well as dual diagnoses.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) confirms its effectiveness for PTSD treatment as well. It finds that “[REBT] demonstrated reductions in PTSD symptoms that were comparable to a PTSD treatment as usual[, and] reductions in depression and anxiety were also present.”
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
The golden standard of behavioral therapy, CBT also sees widespread use in both standalone PTSD and dual diagnosis cases. Treatment providers for PTSD employ CBT as an Outpatient program therapy, often augmenting pharmacotherapy.
NCBI confirms this method’s potency, finding that “conditions for which efficacious medications exist can be treated with combinations of behavioral and pharmacological treatments that have even greater potency than either type of treatment alone.”
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
A type of CBT, but a standalone treatment in its own right, DBT also sees similar uses and similarly positive results. Focused on uprooting negative thoughts, it is a potent PTSD treatment tool and a valuable asset toward rehabilitation.
Studies also confirm the potency of DBT, particularly in treating PTSD in women survivors of childhood abuse. One study, for instance, found that “even severe childhood abuse-associated PTSD with emotion dysregulation can be treated efficaciously” with DBT.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Finally, EMDR is a type of psychotherapy specifically developed to treat PTSD. Developed in 1987, this method sees very notable results within a few sessions, and is among the best ways to diminish the impact of traumatic recollections.
The American Psychological Association (APA) notes this, citing ample case examples of successful treatment. These notably include diverse cases, from war veterans and women to individuals who experienced workplace trauma, best outlining EMDR’s efficacy.
Treatments for SUDs and PTSD
As outlined above, PTSD can offer co-occur with substance addictions. At Archstone Recovery we are keenly aware of this phenomenon and have thus incorporated PTSD treatment into the entirety of our addiction treatment continuum:
- During our residential treatment program, you can expect to focus on individual therapy and pharmacotherapy as needed to set the foundations for recovery
- Should you need a Partial Hospitalization Program upon completion of a Residential program, you can begin to focus on group therapy and family counseling as needed to build your recovery capital
- Throughout our aftercare program you will maintain open communication channels with your therapists and treatment providers, and continue to receive therapy whenever it is appropriate for you
This continuum of care will serve to best uproot addiction, manage PTSD symptoms, and help you effectively reclaim the life you deserve.
Archstone Recovery is here for you
PTSD may not at all times be curable, but it is still highly treatable. With the right combination of therapy and medication, depending on each case’s needs, you can manage its symptoms, regulate its emotional impact, and avoid harmful triggers as you lead a fulfilling life.
If you or your loved ones are struggling with PTSD, know that you’re not alone. Whether you’re experiencing PTSD by itself or in tandem with addiction, both are common occurrences you shouldn’t be ashamed of. Seeking PTSD treatment is not weakness, but strength; strength to do what’s right for you and those you care for.
If you’re ready for the best journey to recovery from PTSD Lantana FL has to offer, we at Archstone Recovery are here for you. Please feel free to contact us today, and let our representatives guide you forward.
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