Post-traumatic stress disorder, often abbreviated as PTSD, is a serious mental health condition that affects the daily lives of millions of Americans every day. It is estimated that 6% of our adult population currently deals with this condition, equal to over 15 million people. While it is twice as common in women as in men, all people with PTSD share factors that influenced their development of this condition. At Emerge Healing Center’s PTSD treatment in Atlanta, countless clients have found the help and support they need to overcome their symptoms to lead a more normal life.
What is Trauma?
When people think of trauma, they typically associate it with huge life-altering events such as a death, accident, or physical experience. While those things can certainly be traumatic, there are several types of trauma, including physical and psychological. Essentially, trauma is a person’s emotional response to a distressing experience. This can include events that may seem unimportant to others – the death of a pet, moving, a job loss, or even ongoing situations instead of a one-time occurrence. The common factor in these events is typically a lost sense of security, making the individual feel helpless. How a person handles their trauma is essential in how they move forward. Ignoring their symptoms can often lead to PTSD and other mental disorders.
Symptoms of Trauma
Trauma can cause several physical and psychological effects, especially if untreated or ignored. Seeking treatment before it turns into another serious condition is highly recommended. Symptoms can include:
- Anxiety and fear
- Withdrawing from others
- Anger or mood swings
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feeling hopeless
- Feelings of shame and guilt
- Being scared easily
- Experiencing numbness or disconnected
- Racing heartbeat
What is PTSD?
While many people associate PTSD with veterans who have been in combat, the fact is that even everyday citizens can end up with this condition. What ties all PTSD patients together is that they have been through a traumatic event. This event could have been physical, mental, or emotional. PTSD causes people to have several symptoms that often interfere with their daily lives, making it difficult to hold jobs, go to school, and maintain normal friendships and relationships. Seeking help with PTSD treatment in Atlanta is the best way to learn how this condition affects your daily life, and help you to work through your trauma to reduce or eliminate your symptoms.
Symptoms of PTSD
What often makes recognizing PTSD difficult is the range of symptoms it can cause. These symptoms can vary from situation to situation and even day to day. Many people with this condition suffer from these symptoms for years before being diagnosed. PTSD symptoms are typically sorted into four distinct categories:
- Having Intrusive or Unwanted Thoughts This most commonly involves having flashbacks that make you relieve a traumatic event but can also include nightmares, night terrors, or negative thoughts that won’t go away. These symptoms can make it difficult for people with PTSD to maintain a normal sleep schedule, or concentrate on even basic daily tasks.
- Avoiding Reminders Of Your Trauma People with PTSD often go to great lengths to avoid anything that reminds them of their trauma. This can mean not going to certain planes, avoiding situations, or even cutting off contact with certain people. Those with PTSD often prefer to either refuse to talk about their trauma, or even try to pretend that it never happened.
- Major Changes in Your Moods or Thoughts Another common category of PTSD symptoms are major changes or shifts in your mood or thoughts. These changes often come on suddenly and are difficult or impossible to control. These shifts often lead people to feel as though they aren’t worthy of love, a sense that other people cannot be trusted, and often a feeling of shame or guilt about their trauma.
- Inappropriate Outbursts The last category of PTSD symptoms is having trouble controlling your behavior, especially when these shifts come in the form of inappropriate anger or outbursts. Additional issues can accompany this anger, including participating in self-destructive behaviors like substance abuse, heavy drinking, or other risky activities.
Who Can Experience Trauma and PTSD?
The short answer is that anyone can experience trauma and PTSD. About 6 of every 10 men and 5 of every 10 women experience at least one traumatic event during their lives. In comparison, an estimated 3.6% of adults in the United States experienced PTSD in the past year. These numbers indicate that trauma isn’t a rare event, but it’s dangerous when left untreated. So, while anyone can experience trauma or PTSD, those who are exposed to more violence or painful experiences, such as domestic abuse, auto accidents, neglect, or war, are more likely to be affected.
When to Seek Help
Experiencing trauma throughout your life is not a rare occurrence. What’s important is to recognize when something has been traumatic for you or a loved one and know how to heal. Healing can come from movement (helping to move your body out of the frozen state of fear), connecting with others, learning how to regulate your nervous system, and taking care of your health. Of course, there are many cases when the above self-treatment isn’t helping enough. Below are symptoms to look out for when professional treatment may be needed.
- Experiencing severe anxiety or depression
- Not being able to function at home or work
- Constantly feeling emotionally numb
- Using alcohol or drugs to try and feel better
- Having fearful flashbacks, nightmares, or memories surrounding the trauma
How is Trauma and PTSD Treated?
Scientists and doctors have spent years trying to better understand PTSD, which means that, today, we have many effective treatment options available to help you cope with your symptoms. There are a few different types of medications that are effective in managing PTSD symptoms, including anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants. By reducing the most serious of your symptoms with these medications, you can better function in your normal daily life and focus on the second part of treatment: behavioral therapy. While many people with PTSD have spent months or years avoiding talking about their trauma, the fact is that finding a way to move past it is key to long-term recovery. Sessions with a therapist give you a safe and secure place to talk about your symptoms and experiences and identify the things that trigger your PTSD. Your therapist will also help you learn healthy ways to cope with triggers, and can even utilize certain therapies that help replace negative memory associations with positive ones. While it can take time, PTSD treatment in Atlanta can help you to overcome your condition so that it no longer controls your daily life.
What to Expect in Trauma and PTSD Treatment
At Emerge Healing Center’s Trauma and PTSD treatment in Atlanta, you can expect more than just a one-size-fits-all treatment program. Our highly trained and compassionate staff will work with you to design the right treatment program to address your symptoms, as well as identify any co-occurring disorders you may have, such as depression, anxiety, or a substance abuse disorder. Once the best course of action is decided, you’ll be able to take treatment one day at a time, celebrate milestones as you hit them, and get continued support for long-term recovery success.
For individuals with untreated trauma, especially PTSD, it is common for them to first seek treatment for a Substance Use Disorder. Due to the use of alcohol and drugs to numb their feelings from trauma, individuals often develop alcoholism or a drug use disorder. When seeking treatment, it’s important to find help that addresses all diagnoses and can understand the root of the SUD.
Treatment in Atlanta
While it takes many people years to seek treatment for their PTSD symptoms, this doesn’t mean that there is no hope of recovery. No matter how long ago your trauma was, Emerge Healing Center can help you by providing a range of treatment options to best meet your needs. You don’t have to continue letting your PTSD impact your health and happiness. Contact us today to learn more about our PTSD Treatment in Atlanta, and regain a sense of peace and normalcy on your path to mental wellness.