Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious psychiatric condition that can occur after experiencing traumas such as death, war, or sexual assault. While some forms of trauma are better known, any incident that causes significant and long-term emotional distress can be considered trauma and may cause PTSD.
PTSD symptoms are separated into four categories: intrusion symptoms, avoidance symptoms, mood and cognition symptoms, and arousal symptoms.
Intrusion symptoms are associated with reliving a trauma. These are some of the most well-known PTSD symptoms. Intrusion symptoms include:
- Flashbacks to the traumatic event or events
- Severe negative emotional responses when reminded of the trauma
- Distressing dreams about the source of the trauma
- Intrusive thoughts or memories about the trauma
To cope with trauma, people with PTSD may avoid situations relating to or reminding them of their trauma. Avoidance symptoms include behaviors such as these:
- Avoiding talking to people, going to places, or interacting with things that remind them of the trauma
- Avoiding thinking about or doing things that may remind them of the trauma
Mood and Cognition Symptoms
Mood and cognition symptoms are some of the most varied symptoms of PTSD. Some mood and cognition symptoms include:
- Feelings of hopelessness or despair
- Difficulty remembering details about the trauma
- Loss of interest in pleasurable activities
- Feelings of detachment or isolation from loved ones
Arousal symptoms are characterized by feelings of always being “on” or having difficulty relaxing. They include:
- New irritability or ease of anger
- Feeling guarded or nervous
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Difficulty concentrating or remembering information
- Becoming easily startled as a result of stimuli
The Prevalence of PTSD
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, PTSD occurs in 3.6% of U.S. adults in any given year and up to 6.8% of people at some point during their lifetimes. The symptoms are equally as likely to be mild, moderate, or severe for adults. Among adolescents, mild or moderate cases are more likely than severe cases, and girls are more likely than boys to have PTSD.
Not all experiences with trauma cause PTSD. The likelihood of developing PTSD is increased if you lack proper social support after experiencing trauma, if the traumatic event is closely followed by additional sources of stress, or if you have a history of mental illness or struggle with addiction.
Why Is It Important to Treat PTSD?
PTSD is serious and can be disabling for those with the disorder. Experts have shown that experiences of trauma can change your brain on a physical level, resulting in legitimate changes in how you deal with stress and cope. As a result, untreated PTSD can make it difficult to live daily life, including attending work or school, taking care of yourself or your loved ones, or doing things you enjoy. Many people with PTSD struggle to return to normal after their trauma.
Treatment for PTSD can help you to find a new, happier normal. PTSD treatments are effective at helping you create strategies to cope with your symptoms, find calm after flashbacks, and work toward your goals.
Getting Help at Alter Wellness Care
At Alter Wellness Care, located in Laguna Beach, California, we offer holistic, trauma-informed care for those with PTSD and other psychiatric disorders. We believe that every person with a mental health problem should have access to effective, meaningful care. We offer a variety of treatment programs designed to provide you with the skills and tools you need to live life to the fullest.
Our Intensive Outpatient Programs
Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) are a type of therapy program designed for you if you’re seeking structured care. IOPs provide you with a safe place to recover, learn effective tools, and focus on what you need to build a better future. We offer two IOPs: IOP5 and IOP3.
- IOP5 is our longer program, lasting 40 to 60 days. During your stay, you will reside in a comfortable local sober living house every day, providing a safe and convenient place to stay during treatment. During the weekdays, therapy is offered at multiple points in the day.
- IOP3 is one of our mid-length programs and lasts a total of 30 to 40 days. Treatment is offered every weekday, and you will have a choice between two morning sessions or two afternoon sessions. Throughout their entire stay, you will stay in a safe, comfortable sober living house nearby the center.
Our Partial Hospitalization Program
Our partial hospitalization program (PHP) is a therapy program that’s perfect for you if you prefer more flexibility in your care. During treatment in our PHP, you will learn vital skills to recover and care for yourself in a safe environment. This program lasts a total of 30 to 45 days, and you can access therapy multiple times a day, three to five days a week. Like in our IOP, you will stay in a local sober living house seven days a week.
Our PTSD Treatment Options
At Alter Wellness Care, we realize that trauma is complex and not always easy to heal. Knowing this, we offer a variety of premier therapy options, all proven to help people with PTSD manage or eradicate their symptoms. All of our treatment is trauma-informed, and our therapy options are handpicked to complement each other and provide you with the best possible recovery environment. Our treatment options include:
- Psycho-educational groups
- Skill development groups
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) groups
- Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
- Support groups
- Interpersonal process groups
- Acceptance therapy
We are proud to offer a mix of therapeutic options and a compassionate approach. Our goal is to help you restore your life to normal as quickly as possible and allow you to create a better life going forward.
At Alter Wellness Care, we don’t believe people should have to cope with PTSD symptoms alone. To learn more about how we can help you, call us at (866) 515-1580.