Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and the Benefits of Getting Needed Treatment Help
Anyone who’s lived through a natural disaster, the death of a loved one or a violent attack well knows the degree of emotional turmoil that comes from these types of events. While some people eventually get over difficult life events, others may become emotionally stuck inside the trauma-inciting incident. When this is the case, post-traumatic stress disorder can result.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, post-traumatic stress disorder works in much the same way as any other form of psychological dysfunction, impairing a person’s ability to function in daily life, while diminishing his or her overall quality of life in the process. Treatment options for post-traumatic stress disorder work to re-establish a person’s sense of safety and self while providing the needed coping skills for managing feelings of anxiety and fear in everyday life.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Aftereffects
Volatile emotions of any kind take shape as the brain releases neurotransmitter chemicals in response to the inciting event. In cases of post-traumatic stress disorder, this mechanism, also known as the “fight-or-flight” response, malfunctions. Once the event passes, the brain’s chemical state never really returns to normal, leaving a person prone to the symptoms that characterize PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD may take the form of:
- Recurring nightmares
- Flashback episodes
- Feeling numb emotionally
- Feeling on edge most of the time
- Problems sleeping
Post-traumatic stress disorder aftereffects also interfere with a person’s lifestyle in the following ways:
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Problems concentrating
- Depression symptoms
- Avoiding situational reminders of the traumatic event
- Isolative behaviors
In the absence of needed treatment help, these symptoms and behaviors only work to strengthen chemical imbalances in the brain. Over time, a never-ending cycle of fear and chemical imbalance take over a person’s life.
Rehab Treatment Options
Rehab treatment options for PTSD vary by intensity level, program duration and types of treatment interventions offered. If PTSD symptoms have greatly impaired your ability to manage the affairs of daily life, a more intensive level of treatment may be needed to address the underlying issues you’re experiencing. Likewise, people who experience moderate or minimal disruption in their daily lives will likely require a less intensive treatment program approach.
Residential treatment programs take place within highly structured settings and offer the most intensive level of treatment. These programs operate as live-in facilities so a person would live on grounds for the duration of treatment.
Treatment interventions may vary depending on your individual treatment needs, though most programs offer the following services as a starting point:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Group therapy
- Exposure therapy
- Support groups
In effect, these interventions help a person confront the traumatic event in terms of identifying the thinking patterns that trigger feelings of fear and anxiety in his or her daily life and diffusing the emotional energy associated with the traumatic event, according to the Mayo Clinic. Therapy-based interventions also help you develop healthy ways of managing stress and conflict on a daily basis.
For the most part, outpatient treatment options for post-traumatic stress disorder follow along the same lines as residential treatment. These programs offer a less intensive level of treatment so a person can schedule treatment sessions around his or her daily routine.
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While taking time away from work and family may cause certain inconveniences, getting the level of care that best meets your treatment needs is essential to a successful recovery.
If you or a loved one struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and would like more information on PTSD treatment options, please feel free to call our toll-free helpline at 800-481-6320 to speak with one of our phone counselors.