What is PTSD?
PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD can be a serious mental health condition, and it occurs in individuals who have experienced traumatic events. When people with PTSD experience situations or events that remind them of past traumatic events, they become extremely distressed. They experience a fight-or-flight response as if they were reliving the traumatic situation.
The main risk factor for PTSD is experiencing a traumatic event or a series of traumatic events. Many people only associate PTSD with trauma from military combat. However, PTSD can also result from experiencing natural disasters, sexual assault, physical abuse, and emotional abuse. Also, people can develop PTSD without experiencing trauma first-hand. In some situations, seeing traumatic events on TV or learning about the events via other people can also result in PTSD.
PTSD affects around 7% to 8% of the U.S. population at some point in their lives. PTSD typically occurs within three months of a traumatic experience and resolves within six months. However, some people may experience symptoms of PTSD for years. The condition can affect people at almost any age, including during childhood.
What are the signs and symptoms of PTSD?
While each person is different, there are several common symptoms of PTSD. Clinicians categorize PTSD symptoms into three different categories:
- Re-experiencing symptoms: These symptoms include experiencing recurring memories of the traumatic event. These memories can come in the form of flashbacks and nightmares, and they can be extremely frightening. Triggers, such as visiting the place of the event or the anniversary of the event, may cause the person to recall memories of the traumatic event.
- Avoidance symptoms: These symptoms include efforts to actively avoid the people and places associated with past trauma. These symptoms can lead to significant disruption in a person's life. For example, if a person experienced a mugging at night, they may change their schedule and work hours so that they only travel during daylight.
- Arousal and reactivity symptoms: These symptoms include being continuously on edge and stressed. These symptoms occur because the individual does not feel safe from the threat of new traumatic events.
- Cognition and mood symptoms: These symptoms include adverse effects on a person's thinking and mood. People who have PTSD may have low self-esteem or have a negative outlook. Additionally, people may experience difficulty maintaining relationships and developing trust.
The above symptoms are common responses to traumatic events, and exhibiting one or more of the above symptoms does not necessarily mean a person has PTSD. To receive a PTSD diagnosis, a person must have one symptom from both the re-experiencing and avoidance symptom categories. Additionally, a person must exhibit two symptoms from both the arousal-and-reactivity and cognition-and-mood symptom categories.
How Aurora Behavioral Health in Tempe and Glendale can help manage PTSD
PTSD symptoms can be overwhelming and seriously impact many aspects of a person's life. However, people who have PTSD can manage symptoms and challenges from the condition with help from behavioral health professionals.
At Aurora Behavioral Health, our team members have decades of combined experiences treating PTSD and a range of other mental health conditions. We understand the difficulties that PTSD can cause, and we know that each person's experience with PTSD is different. Accordingly, we customize each treatment program to the patient's unique needs and circumstances. Customizing treatment programs for PTSD helps our team produce optimal treatment outcomes for each patient.
Our PTSD treatment programs in Glendale and Tempe include inpatient and outpatient services. Inpatient services allow patients to receive 24/7 monitoring and medication management services. These inpatient programs are most appropriate for situations where the patient may be at risk of harming themselves or others. Our outpatient treatment programs include talk therapy sessions in group settings. Patients diagnosed with PTSD often benefit from starting with dialectical behavioral therapy to better learn skills for how to manage symptoms in the moment, before continuing on in additional outpatient group therapy. Learn more about Aurora Behavioral Health’s DBT Skills Intensive Outpatient Program.
During treatment, behavioral health professionals help patients process traumatic events that contribute to their PTSD and understand their emotional reactions to that trauma. Treatment methods may include safely exposing the patient to memories of the traumatic event through writing and talking about the event. The patient can then develop a better understanding and coping process when thinking about the event. Other methods include helping patients reframe how they think about the event, such as removing unwarranted feelings of shame regarding the event.
Get treatment for PTSD at Aurora Behavioral Health
Treatment for PTSD is available in Glendale and Tempe at Aurora Behavioral Health. Our teams understand the unique challenges of PTSD, and we strive to help each patient improve their mental wellbeing.
Getting started with PTSD treatment at Aurora Behavioral Health is easy. The first step is to call our team directly at 877.870.7012. We are available 24/7, and we look forward to speaking with you. Alternatively, you can contact us online, and we will reach out as soon as possible.
Our team can help answer any questions you may have about our PTSD treatment programs and our behavioral health hospitals in Glendale and Tempe, AZ. A team member can also help schedule you or a loved one for a free mental health assessment, which assists our clinical team to get a better understanding of each patient's specific treatment needs.