Post-traumatic stress disorder is a debilitating disorder that develops when an individual has experienced a shocking, frightening, or dangerous event. Whether you are a soldier, grew up in a chaotic household, survived a near-death experience, lost a loved one, or a combination of all these, Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD can develop and cause other co-occurring disorders along the way. Keep reading for more information on PTSD facts, treatment, and trauma treatment.
Post-traumatic stress disorder was first recognized after the first World War when soldiers came home experiencing intrusive thoughts, anxiety, depression, and flashbacks. Originally written off as shell shock or having trouble adjusting to life back at home, it was eventually recognized as a progressive, life-threatening condition. As research surrounding PTSD has progressed through the years, medical professionals began to notice that the same symptoms can be seen in individuals who have experienced other forms of trauma.
Trauma that can trigger PTSD include:
- Violence, including war
- Witnessing a traumatic event
- Negative childhood experiences
- Car accident
- Natural disaster
- Losing a loved one
- Physical or sexual assault
- Serious health issues
- Childbirth experiences
- Emotional trauma
Symptoms of PTSD
The timing for symptoms of PTSD varies. They usually begin within 3 months of the traumatic incident, however, they can also begin many years afterward. To be diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must have all of the following for at least 1 month:
- At least one re-experiencing symptom: This includes flashbacks, nightmares, frightening thoughts, and can be triggered at any time.
- At least one avoidance symptom: Avoidance symptoms include purposely isolating to avoid exposure to a certain place, person, or objects as well as avoiding thinking about the traumatic experience at all.
- At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms: These symptoms include insomnia, feeling tense, frequent angry outbursts, or being easily startled.
- At least two cognition and mood symptoms: Cognition and mood symptoms include trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event, negative thoughts about oneself or the world, distorted feelings like guilt or blame, and loss of interest in enjoyable activities.
In children, the symptoms of PTSD also include:
- Wetting the bed after having learned to use the toilet
- Forgetting how to or being unable to talk
- Acting out the scary event during playtime
- Being unusually clingy with a parent or other adult
Statistics About PTSD
Statistics regarding PTSD include:
- About 7 or 8 out of every 100 people will have PTSD at some point in their lives
- About 8 million adults have PTSD during a given year
- About 10 of every 100 women (or 10%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about 4 of every 100 men (or 4%)
- PTSD develops in about 1 in 3 people who experience severe trauma
What Happens When PTSD is Left Untreated
Experiencing nightmares, anxiety, isolation, and all of the other symptoms surrounding PTSD can become debilitating. It can also cause a host of other issues. When PTSD is left untreated with trauma therapy, it can cause:
- Substance abuse. As a coping mechanism to escape negative thoughts and feelings, people who suffer from PTSD self-medicate with substances which can quickly snowball into substance abuse and addiction.
- Hurting others. Angry outbursts are common among people who suffer from PTSD, which can cause abuse and violence to other people; including spouses, children, and other loved ones.
- Suicidal thoughts. Depression and anxiety are symptoms of PTSD and, if left untreated, can lead to suicidal thoughts and actions.
- Issues in social settings. PTSD can make people feel very alone, which causes problems with friends and relationships.
- Difficulty at work or school. PTSD can interfere with daily life, including concentrating at work or school. This can cause a severe impact on an individual’s financial situation or future opportunities.
PTSD is a progressive, life-threatening condition. It can lead to suicide, overdose, and a lifetime of crippling anxiety and depression. Luckily, it is treatable and people can live healthy, happy, fulfilling lives after experiencing trauma.
To help you deal with your traumatic experiences, The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center utilizes both:
- Trauma-Informed Care: The awareness of and inclusion of trauma in every aspect of treatment
- Trauma Specific Treatment: Inclusion of treatment elements in your customized treatment plan to specifically address your history of trauma
We also offer Gender-Specific Treatment Teams, Seeking Safety Protocols Group, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), holistic therapies such as art therapy, and private bedrooms and bathrooms can also help to reduce the stress and fear that trauma survivors such as you may experience in a new environment.
About The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center
PTSD is one of the leading underlying causes of addiction. In fact, 27.9% of women and 51.9% of men with lifetime PTSD also suffer from addiction. Before your PTSD turns deadly, it is essential you receive help.
The Pointe Malibu Recovery Centers offers highly trained and experienced physicians, nursing staff, and clinicians. Our Clinical Director oversees the development of your treatment plan and continuing care, supported by an expertly skilled, comprehensive Trauma Team. Every component of care is accounted for, so that you can focus completely on your recovery.
You deserve to have a happy, fulfilling life, free from the traumatic stress that has played a role in your self-limiting actions. Whatever those traumas may be, and the serious repercussions they might cause, The Pointe Malibu can help you find peace and purpose going forward. We are dedicated to working individually and privately with you, to help open your eyes to the exciting possibilities ahead.
If you’re ready to start your family’s journey to long-lasting recovery, we are here for you.