Online Post-traumatic stress disorder Treatment: Find PTSD Recovery Today
Post-traumatic stress disorder occurs when the brain thinks a traumatic event from the past is happening in the present.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is triggered by experiencing a traumatic event. Because trauma generally leads to emotions and thoughts that are difficult to deal with, you might be wondering whether your trauma has actually left you with PTSD.
The symptoms of this disorder can vary widely.
As a PTSD sufferer, you may be hypervigilant and very responsive to stimuli, or you may be very shut down. You may feel numb, disconnected, and avoid people, places, or situations that remind you of the triggering event(s).
You may have memories or flashbacks of the triggering event(s) play through your mind in an intrusive way that is distracting during the day and/or terrifying at night, resulting in nightmares and disrupted sleep.
You may be depressed but found you are not very responsive to traditional depression medication.
If you are a PTSD sufferer, your nervous system has hung onto the trauma of an event as a self-protective measure—a way to stay on guard, prepared for the next negative event.
Some events leading to PTSD are commonly associated with feelings of shame. If that is true for you, you may feel reluctant to talk about your experience, either in your social life or in therapy.
What is PTSD?
Most people who experience traumatic events have a difficult time adjusting and coping in the short-term. With good self-care, family support, and time, patients of PTSD usually get better. However, if a patient’s negative symptoms continue or get worse for months and even years, they may be experiencing PTSD.
Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that is triggered by an event that shocks the brain, causing it not to process the trauma in the right way. A patient who experiences PTSD doesn’t file the memory correctly, causing their brain to think the event in the past is happening in the present moment.
A patient suffering from PTSD attaches details to a past event, such as sights, smells, or noises. When these events resurface, a patient may feel stressed and frightened even when they know they’re safe.
Diagnosing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, to be diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must have all of the following for at least one month:
- At least one re-experiencing symptom
- At least one avoidance symptom
- At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms
- At least two cognition and mood symptoms
Common Symptoms of PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms vary from person to person. Sometimes symptoms start as soon as one month after the traumatic event, sometimes it can be years after an event. A person with PTSD may experience symptoms grouped in these four categories: Intrusive thoughts, avoiding reminders, negative thoughts and feelings, and changes in physical or emotional reactions.
- Flashbacks - You may relive the trauma over and over again
- Bad dreams - You may be haunted by an event
- Terrifying thoughts - You may have thoughts that terrify them
- Avoiding Places - You may actively avoid certain types of places, events or objects that remind them of their past
- Avoiding Thoughts or Feelings - You may avoid certain thoughts or feelings that bring back painful memories of their past
Negative Thoughts and Feelings
- Negative thoughts - You may have negative thoughts about themselves, or other people in the world
- Hopelessness - You may experience a feeling of hopelessness or dread about their immediate and distant future
- Loss of memory - You may have a loss of memory related to various aspects of their traumatic event
- Lack of close relationships - You may have a difficult time connecting on deep levels with those around them
- Lack of positive emotions - You may be experiencing a lack of positive emotions
- Feeling numb - You may feel numb inside due to their traumatic event
Changes in Physical or Emotional Reactions
- Easily frightened - You may get easily frightened or shaken
- High guard - You may have their guard up at all times protecting themselves from perceived danger
- Destructive behavior - You may have a self-destructive behavior, such as doing drugs or drinking excessive amounts of alcohol
- Lack of sleep - You with PTSD may be sleeping poorly
- Aggressive Behavior - You with PTSD may display aggressive behavior towards others
- Guilt - You may experience an abnormal amount of guilt or shame
PTSD Levels of Care
Outside of the primary care setting, there are a few levels of care available to individuals with eating disorders. Let’s review binge eating disorder treatment options:
- Often where the treatment process begins
- Patient lives at home and attends hourly sessions at their providers’ offices
- Appropriate for patients who are medically stable, motivated, self-sufficient, and have adequate support and structure at home
- Typically occurs in a specialized setting (e.g., a clinic or hospital)
- Patients live at home and attend sessions three to five times a week that last approximately three hours each
- Program may include numerous types of therapy, including, but not limited to, individual, group, and counseling
- Appropriate for patients who are medically stable, self-sufficient, and have adequate support and structure at home, but may need some degree of external structure beyond self-control
Partial Hospitalization (Full-Day Outpatient Care)
- Occurs in a specialized setting and can be connected to a hospital program or a free-standing facility
- Patient requires a high level of supervision and monitoring
- Patient must be able to demonstrate some ability to retain the gains made in treatment without 24-hour monitoring
- Patient must not be a suicide risk or medically compromised to the point of requiring hospitalization
- Patient must have sufficient resources and motivation to attend program
- Patient’s home or living environment must be one that can be supportive of the recovery process
- Wide variety in quality of programming and hours of available treatment across programs, making it critical that patient’s needs and circumstances are appropriate for this level of care
- Care is typically 5– 12 hours per day, 4– 7 days per week.
Residential Treatment Center
- Highly specialized programs that can be operated independent of hospital setting, but sometimes connected to a hospital setting
- Indicated when patient is not able to retain gains without 24-hour monitoring
- May be indicated when severity of symptoms necessitates constant monitoring in order to initiate and sustain symptom-free behavior and normalized eating
- May be indicated for patients whose activities of daily living are compromised by the disorder May be indicated for the development of a normalized, healthy lifestyle conducive to long-term health and well being
- May include specialized approaches that help the patient develop routines and activities of daily living that create patterns of behavior that are conducive to recovery
- Useful in situations with a high degree of psychiatric comorbidity that require intensified focus during treatment
- Sometimes indicated on the basis of a lack of supportive and safe environment where the patient can be expected be able to make meaningful, retainable progress
- May be appropriate when patient is overwhelmed with symptoms and unable to refrain from reverting to symptoms or other behaviors that compromise their well being when alone
- Appropriate for patients with either lower or higher levels of motivation, but generally patients must enter treatment voluntarily
- Generally used for a period of short-term stabilization proceeding initiation of treatment at lower levels of care
- Indicated in situation where patient is a suicide risk or gravely disabled by symptoms and unable to participate in residential or lower levels of care due to presenting symptoms, which may include depression, poor motivation, poor insight, and/ or other factors that limit ability to meaningfully participate in lower levels of care
- Appropriate in situations where hospital-based medical care is indicated (i.e., IV lines or other more invasive medical treatments are needed)
PTSD Treatment Options
When you have PTSD, it may feel as if they will never have a normal life again. But PTSD can be treated. Every patient is different, and PTSD can affect each patient differently. A treatment option that works for one patient may not work for another.
Let’s explore a few different post-traumatic stress disorder treatment options:
Psychotherapy is an effective tool your provider may use if you have PTSD. Many types of psychotherapy can help your PTSD symptoms directly, while other types of psychotherapy focus on problems have have socially, in their families, or on the job.
Effective psychotherapies tend to emphasize education about your symptoms, identifying trigger events that you experience, and skills that you can manage their symptoms.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, can include these two types of therapy:
Exposure therapy can help you face their fears and control them. Like the name suggests, exposure therapy helps you gradually get exposed to the painful trauma they experienced in the past in a safe and effective way.
Cognitive restructuring is a therapy that can help you understand their bad memories.
A person with PTSD processes threats differently than someone without PTSD. This is in part due to chemicals in their brain called neurotransmitters not being properly in line. Medications can help you have a more positive outlook on life. SSRIs and SNRIs used for PTSD can include:
- Paroxetine, or Paxil
- Sertaline, or Zoloft
These two types are officially approved by the FDA for treating PTSD.
In addition, “off label” drugs can be prescribed. However, these off label medications were not reviewed by the FDA for PTSD. These can include:
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
Finding PTSD Recovery
If you think you or a loved one needs PTSD treatment, you’ve come to the right place. The first step to PTSD recovery is acknowledging you need help and then seeking help.
We know that living with this disorder is not easy because feeling safe with other people and safe in the world is a basic human need.
That’s why the first step toward healing from PTSD is finding a safe place to begin discussing your trauma with another human being—connecting authentically and sharing the trauma rather than remaining alone with it.
We are here to be that safe place where you will receive compassionate support and highly effective treatment. Our comprehensive approach to PTSD often includes innovative methods, such as EMDR and somatic experiencing, as part of an overall treatment program that may be founded on more traditional psychotherapy and possibly medication.
Our dynamic way of addressing all aspects of PTSD leads to dramatic healing and a greatly improved quality of life.
Get Online PTSD Treatment
My name is Wendy Oliver-Pyatt, I am a consultant psychiatrist in Miami, Florida. I believe that compassion, when directed towards self and others, can lead to profound health and healing. If you need online PTSD treatment, I can help! I have created a unique treatment model in which you will have the opportunity to work with providers who I specifically refer to based on your current experience, diagnosis and needs. I build this team around you and will coordinate your care with the goal to find meaning in your experience, and free you of your symptoms so that you can feel more at peace, and have greater capacity to adapt to life circumstances, to challenge yourself, to be creative, to develop intimacy and to have a fulfilling lifestyle With more than 20 years of clinical experience and a vast network of clinical partners, I’ve developed a unique treatment approach that delves into the underlying issues that place a person at risk for mental health conditions. Together we will create a protocol and treatment plan that is well coordinated, and that can guide you on your healing process, toward health and inner peace. Contact me today!