Recovering in a PTSD Inpatient Treatment Program
Someone who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event may wind up with the painful memories associated with it imprinted on their psyche. Unlike the usual after-effects one might experience after living through a shocking or tragic event, which gradually dissipate and recede, these trauma victims are deeply scarred emotionally. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has developed when the victim’s residual emotions related to the event not only do not diminish, but instead intensify.
Living with PTSD entirely changes your perspective, causing serious disruptions in daily functioning. If not treated the detrimental effects of PTSD can have a negative impact on job performance, academic performance, and significant relationships. When the disorder has worsened to this point, seeking PTSD inpatient treatment is a viable option.
What is PTSD?
Severe trauma can happen in any manner of ways. Witnessing death and destruction on the combat field, the sudden death of a loved one, sexual assault, witnessing a serious car accident, or living through a natural disaster can all potentially result in extreme anxiety for the victim. While most people can cycle through the pain and loss of these types of events, others may have certain predispositions that make them vulnerable for PTSD.
The symptoms of PTSD fall into four general categories, although each individual’s symptoms may have slight variations. They include:
- Avoiding people, places, or situations that trigger memories of the event
- Re-experiencing the event through reviewing thoughts about it, flashbacks, or nightmares
- Having more negative thoughts and feelings of guilt and shame about the event
- Experiencing hyper-arousal, or intense anticipation of danger, leading to irritability and sleep disturbances that can result in irritability and substance abuse
Why Consider PTSD Inpatient Treatment?
When the effects of PTSD leave an individual virtually incapacitated and unable to function, an inpatient program may be the best option. Inpatient programs offer the best chance to stabilize someone in an acute psychiatric state, providing a safe, serene environment that is free of stressors.
An inpatient setting will ensure the highest level of care for the individual suffering from PTSD. Round the clock monitoring by treatment professionals allow the person to process many of the symptoms of the trauma in a safe place where new coping techniques can be learned. Co-occurring disorders, such as substance abuse or depression, can also be managed and treated during inpatient stay.
Treatments for PTSD
Treating severe PTSD requires a comprehensive approach. Because no two people process traumatic events the same, some experimentation with treatments and medications may be necessary until the best approach is identified. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) are the drugs recommended for treatment of PTSD.
A trauma-focused psychotherapy used for treating PTSD is cognitive processing therapy (CPT). CPT is similar to cognitive behavioral therapy and helps the individual to identify how the trauma has led to disordered thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and to replace those with a new perspective about the trauma, and new ways of thinking about it.
There are several experiential treatments that have specifically helped patients with PTSD. They include:
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an information processing technique that involves dual processing—engaging both sides of the brain—involving the eye tracking the practitioner’s finger back and forth, or by use of an auditory tone.
- Prolonged exposure (PE) involves repeating the details of the trauma over and over, or visiting the scene of the incident repeatedly, until the memories cease to be disturbing.
- Brainspotting is a slower form of EMDR that allow for identifying specific fixed eye positions that are related to certain traumatic memories, called “brainspots.”
- Hypnotherapy guides the individual into a deeper level of consciousness where they are trained to confront and release the traumatic memories.
- Equine therapy involves caring for the needs of a horse, including grooming, feeding, and exercising the horse, which can the individual process their emotions and examine their behaviors related to the trauma while bonding with the animal.
- Psychodrama is an experiential psychotherapy that helps those with PTSD work through the traumatic memories within a safe environment, providing a powerful tool for expression and catharsis of related emotions.
The Treatment Specialist Locates PTSD Inpatient Treatment
The Treatment Specialist offers information and treatment resources for post traumatic stress disorder also known as PTSD. Call to connect with a treatment center for a free assessment today at (866) 644-7911.