What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder? Types, Symptoms and Boise, ID Treatment Programs

The PU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states that around 8% of adults in the United States suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Treatment options are available in Boise, Idaho to help anyone with this condition, and PTSD can be extremely debilitating.

For someone who has symptoms of PTSD, but who does not have a diagnosis, their condition can be scary. They may not understand why they react the way they do to certain events, places or situations, and they can end up feeling extremely isolated.

It is important to understand what post-traumatic stress disorder is, what the symptoms are, and where to find treatment in Boise, Idaho. It is possible to feel better and get relief with the right type of help.

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What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

The National Institute of Mental Health defines post-traumatic stress disorder as, “a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary or dangerous event.”

When a person experiences a traumatic event, fear is a natural result. It is normal for people to feel afraid both during and after such an event has taken place. That fear triggers the “fight or flight” response, which is designed to protect a person from getting hurt. Most people recover from this naturally, without any long-lasting negative impact on them at all. But for others, they continue to experience issues, which may lead to a diagnosis of PTSD.

People who have PTSD feel stressed or afraid even when they are not in any danger at all. They may come across various triggers that cause them to have flashbacks of the event. This has a way of impacting every area of their lives negatively.

In most cases, the symptoms of PTSD start within 3 months of the traumatic event. But there are times when they begin much later. In order to get a diagnosis, they have to have lasted for more than a month. They must also be interfering with a person’s relationships or work.

In order to be diagnosed with post-traumatic disorder, the following have to be present for at least a month:

  • At least one avoidance symptom. This means that people tend to stay away from anything that reminds them of the traumatic event. They may also avoid any thoughts or feelings that are related to it as well.
  • At least one re-experiencing symptom. This can mean having flashbacks, terrifying dreams or scary thoughts. These symptoms cause problems for a person’s everyday life and triggers are usually involved.
  • At least two cognition and mood symptoms. This could refer to having negative thoughts about oneself or the world in general. It could also involve distorted feelings about the event, loss of interest in favorite pastimes or problems with memory surrounding the event.
  • At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms. Behaviors that fall into this category involve being easily startled, problems sleeping, angry outbursts, or constantly feeling on edge.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is generally caused whenever a person witnesses a traumatic event. It could be something that happened to them or it could have happened to someone else. The event could have been life-threatening, involved sexual violence or involved a serious injury.

Some examples of traumatic events that could possibly lead to a diagnosis of PTSD include:

  • A natural disaster, such as a fire or an earthquake.
  • Living in a war zone.
  • Being physically or sexually assaulted, or witnessing this happening to someone else.
  • Being involved in or seeing a serious accident.
  • Seeing others get hurt or killed.

What are the Five Types of PTSD?

When a person is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, their diagnosis is usually narrowed down into one of five types.

When a person suffers from acute stress disorder, they may have mental confusion, feel dissociated, be unable to sleep or have panic reactions. They may be suspicious and find it difficult to manage even the normal every tasks of taking care of themselves. Their work and relationships may suffer as well.

This type of PTSD refers to the reaction to a singular trauma, and it is generally very rare. It is mostly seen in those who have been exposed to death or some type of destruction.

The uncomplicated type of PTSD involves the reexperiencing of the traumatic event. The person will avoid anything having to do with their trauma and they may feel emotionally numb. Some people experience increased arousal as well.

The normal stress response type of PTSD is seen in healthy adults who have been exposed to a single traumatic event. The event can lead to bad memories, feeling emotionally numb, feeling displaced from reality, and experiencing body tension and stress. Recovery for this type is usually quite fast, and it may only take a few weeks.

The complex type is often referred to as the disorder of extreme stress. This is found among those who have been exposed to traumatic circumstances over a longer period of time. It is commonly seen in children who are victims of childhood sexual abuse. These individuals may exhibit acting out behaviors, such as drug or alcohol abuse, eating disorders or aggression. Treatment for this type usually takes longer.

The comorbid type of PTSD is among the most common. The term means that the condition is usually present along with some other type of psychiatric disorder. For example, the person may suffer from depression, anxiety or substance abuse.

What are the Best Treatments for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Once a person has been diagnosed with PTSD, the next step is to find the right treatment. There are several ways to treat this mental health condition, and they vary based on the type they have. Most experts agree that certain medications can be extremely helpful in lessening the severity of symptoms. But trauma-focused therapies tend to have the best results.

Prolonged exposure therapy, cognitive processing therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing are all used to treat PTSD.

About the Promise Program at Ashwood Recovery

Our Promise program is a day treatment or partial hospitalization program that focuses on mental health at Ashwood Recovery. We carefully assess each of our clients to determine the methods of treatment that are best for them.

Our clients are in daily contact with a psychiatrist and/or a member of our medical staff. We are able to help by managing their medications and only prescribing those that are not addictive. Clients participate in group therapy sessions and crisis intervention services are also available.

We understand how debilitating it can be to live with the symptoms of PTSD. Our program runs for 4-5 weeks, and our clients are immersed in a healthy environment that promotes their healing and recovery. With regular counseling sessions, family therapy sessions and peer support, they find they get exactly what they need.

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Help for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is Available in Boise, Idaho

At Ashwood Recovery, we completely understand how important mental health is. When someone suffers from PTSD, they often turn to drugs or alcohol to help with their symptoms. They may also suffer from other mental health issues that need to be treated as well. With our Promise program, they can finally get the necessary support and help to live normal lives once again.

Do you think you may have post-traumatic stress disorder? If so, we would love the opportunity to talk with you. We can provide you with a psychiatric evaluation and treatment that meets your individual needs.

Please contact us today if you would like to make an appointment.

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