Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
People all react to trauma differently and in some cases, extremely traumatic experiences can lead to the development of a mental illness known as post-traumatic stress disorder. Those suffering from PTSD must cope with a variety of symptoms including flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety all of which are connected to the original traumatic event. Any terrifying event can trigger the development of PTSD such as sexual assault, a car accident or the experiences of a soldier in war. Because post-traumatic stress disorder can interfere with a person’s life and ability to function, it is important to get professional treatment to handle and reduce the more severe symptoms.
Facing Difficult Memories with PTSD
Everyone who goes through a traumatic event will have a difficult time adjusting for a while but when issues persist and worsen over months or years it means that they have developed PTSD. They may not be aware of it but people with this disorder are always re-living their traumatic experience through painful emotions, dreams and memories that interrupt their daily life. In treatment, a patient with PTSD needs time to heal and the chance to work through their trauma. They may begin with simple actions to balance themselves like breathing exercises and a healthy routine with plenty of rest and nutritious food. While it may feel natural for a traumatized person to avoid talking or thinking about the event, they can only recover by remembering and working through the details of their emotions. Trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the foundations of treating PTSD because it allows patients to gradually expose themselves to feelings, memories or thoughts that are associated with the traumatic event. It can be extremely painful and upsetting for patients to revisit their experiences but it can also be cathartic and healing for them to talk about what they’ve been through. Many patients may have repressed or blocked out their memories but breathing exercises and other techniques can help them recover details of the event and release it from their subconscious.
While in treatment, patients suffering from PTSD can benefit from family involvement so that people closest to them understand their disorder and know how to handle it. Repairing relationships with those closest to them can help people with this disorder to heal and recover. Through individual or family therapy, a patient can learn to face their memories and the feelings associated with them which can work effectively to ease some of their anxiety. Instead of being frightened by their memories of the event they can learn to accept what has happened to them and feel more at peace after treatment. While attending therapy at our treatment centers, patients can transform their experiences into a more positive outcome for themselves.
Healing and Recovery
Unfortunately, it can be common for people with post-traumatic stress disorder to develop issues with drugs or alcohol as they try to escape their symptoms. Veterans are especially vulnerable to substance abuse issues in connection with their disorder and may struggle with a co-occurring disorder. Those with a dual disorder of both PTSD and some form of addiction can receive the special attention they need to recover at Dr. Paul’s By The Sea. We are available to help anyone suffering from symptoms of PTSD or a co-occurring disorder in the path toward recovery. Our trained staff can customize your treatment and ensure that you move on from past trauma to reach emotional stability.