Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a mental illness that develops in some individuals after they experience a dangerous, scary, or a shocking event. After a traumatic event, it is usually normal to feel fearful and distressed. Many people experience these symptoms and most of them recover, however, people who continue to experience these symptoms even when they are out of danger are usually diagnosed with PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD
The symptoms of PTSD usually manifest within 3 months of the traumatic event, however, they may also take up to a year after the incident to manifest. While some people may recover within 6 months, in others, the condition might become chronic. For an accurate diagnosis of PTSD, one must have all of the following symptoms at least for a month:
At least one re-experiencing symptom which might comprise flashbacks, frightening thoughts, and bad dreams.
At least one avoidance symptom which may include keeping away from events, objects, or places which remind one of the trauma.
At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms like feeling tensed, getting startled, trouble sleeping, and having angry outbursts.
At least two cognition and mood symptoms like negative thinking about the self and the world, distorted feelings of blame or guilt, trouble remembering key aspects of the trauma, and loss of interest in activities that one used to enjoy previously.
Causes of PTSD
Previously known as “shell shock” or “combat fatigue”, PTSD does not happen to only war veterans. Though women are more prone to PTSD, there are some factors that may increase the susceptibility of a person to develop the same. These factors include:
A diagnosis of PTSD requires a medical professional to look into the complete details of medical and other factors and assess them accordingly. A trained professional associated with a mental health treatment center would follow certain steps carefully to diagnose PTSD. These include:
A complete physical assessment of the medical conditions that could contribute to PTSD.
A psychological evaluation discussing the traumatic event, signs, and symptoms of trauma.
Evaluation of the symptoms on the criteria outlined in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5).
Components included in the DSM-5 criteria are:
Witnessing a traumatic event
Direct exposure to the trauma
Anger outbursts and irritability
Feeling detached and estranged
Constant recollection of the traumatic event
Upsetting dreams related to the traumatic event
Inability to recall the important characteristics of trauma
Avoiding external reminders or distressing memories related to the trauma
Treatment for PTSD
To prevent PTSD symptoms from worsening, it is imperative to seek timely treatment from a mental health inpatient treatment center. Treatment intervention for PTSD might include medications and psychotherapy or a combination of both.
Medications might comprise antidepressants which would help deal with depression, stress, nightmares, and fear; while benzodiazepines might help one relax and cure sleep disorders. Antipsychotics might be prescribed to deal with extreme cases. A person taking such medicines must be in regular touch with the doctor and keep them informed about the appearance of any side effects.
Psychotherapies like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) might be useful in helping a patient. This might include exposure therapy, where the patient is exposed to the traumatic event once again but in a safe and controlled environment. It might also include cognitive restructuring which might help the individual make sense of the PTSD memories; or stress inoculation training which would help a person cope with their anxiety and other symptoms.
Other than psychotherapy, some forms of alternative therapy may also be helpful. These could be yoga, art, exercise, and meditation. Group therapy can offer a platform to interact with people with similar experiences. The hallmark of a good PTSD treatment program at a credible mental health treatment center is that it should include multiple intervention options, while providing treatment for co-existing conditions.
Medical Concierge and PTSD Treatment
Medical Concierge mental health treatment centers provide an advance treatment program for PTSD and dual diagnosis. Our treatment program comprises a combination of expressive and experiential treatments. The mental health treatment program is customized for each patient so that their treatment goals are achieved. To alleviate any stress our patients might encounter, we have streamlined our admissions and insurance processes. We accept most insurance plans and have skilled admission counselors to guide a patient through every step.
To learn more about our mental health treatment programs, the admissions process, and insurance options available, call our 24/7 mental health treatment helpline (877) 636-0042 where our team is available round the clock to answer any questions you have. You can also chat online with a representative for further assistance.
Medical Concierge offers quality, innovative and compassionate care for mental illnesses and co-occurring disorders. We also offer alumni services and continuing care to ensure sustained recovery.