It’s no secret that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can have adverse effects on a person’s health and well-being. Symptoms of PTSD make it difficult for those with the disorder to manage the stressors of everyday life.
Furthermore, many people with PTSD turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate their symptoms. That is why we offer PTSD treatment in Louisville, Kentucky. At Louisville Addiction Center, we use evidence-based treatment methods for post-traumatic stress disorder as well as co-occurring substance use disorders.
PTSD is a mental health disorder that develops after a person experiences some type of traumatic event. Some common traumatic events include physical or sexual abuse, assault, life-threatening accidents, military service, natural disasters, and bullying.
In some cases, the disorder can even develop after a person witnesses trauma among others. For instance, a child witnessing one parent abusing the other can cause PTSD in the child. Traumatic events trigger what is called the “flight or fight” response. This response causes a person to either flee from or stand their ground against a threat.
However, sometimes, a person cannot do either of these actions. Afterward, their body and mind remain somewhat “stuck” in a state of hypervigilance or helplessness. This can make it difficult for the person to feel safe and secure, especially when they feel triggered by reminders of their trauma.
Post-traumatic stress disorder doesn’t always occur following a traumatic event. Everyone reacts differently to events. In other words, one person can be traumatized by an event while another person can “shake it off” and be relatively unaffected.
Therefore, a person must display certain signs and symptoms for a diagnosis of PTSD. Our PTSD treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, can help clients with all of these signs and symptoms.
Common signs and symptoms of PTSD include the following four categories:
Flashbacks, distressing memories, and nightmares are common symptoms of PTSD. These are considered intrusive because the person cannot control these thoughts. Oftentimes, these intrusions occur when something reminds a person of the traumatic event. These thoughts can also occur when a person isn’t engaged in any activity, which is why many people with PTSD cannot seem to sit still or relax.
A person with PTSD can struggle to remain calm or feel at ease. Following the traumatic event, they are on “high alert” and looking for the next potential threat. As a result, they might be hyper-vigilant and overly reactive. For their loved ones, this might look like outbursts of anger, irritability, or agitation. They could also become paranoid, easily startled, and have a difficult time sleeping.
Over time, intrusive thoughts and hyper states of arousal can lead to mood swings and cognitive issues. The person’s mood can fluctuate from moment to moment, and they might be easily set off if they feel triggered. In addition, sleep disturbances, intrusive thinking, and an inability to rest can cause cognitive issues. Thus, they might struggle to focus and concentrate. They can also develop distorted or negative beliefs about themselves and the world around them.
One of the most common maladaptive coping strategies for those with PTSD is avoidance. Avoidance behaviors are a person’s way of keeping themselves protected from trauma triggers. They might avoid certain people, places, or situations that remind them of their trauma. Furthermore, they might attempt to avoid thinking about trauma, which could lead to substance abuse as a way of numbing themselves or avoiding intrusive thoughts. Lastly, they might avoid talking about their trauma altogether. Thus, they avoid therapy and any attempts at getting help as well.
PTSD treatment often includes many approaches and therapies. At Louisville Addiction Center, we believe in treating the whole person in recovery from PTSD. This means that we offer traditional therapies as well as holistic approaches to address a person’s physical and spiritual well-being. We also offer dual diagnosis treatment for those with PTSD and a substance use disorder.
However, treating PTSD requires some specialized therapies specific to this diagnosis. PTSD treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, includes the following:
CBT is among the most common types of talk therapy. In fact, many other therapies are variations of CBT. During CBT, a therapist helps their client identify and change distorted or negative thought patterns. By working through these unhelpful thoughts, a person’s behaviors and moods can shift as well.
DBT is a type of CBT that specializes in treating extreme behavioral patterns as well as emotional regulation and thought distortions. This type of therapy was developed for treating borderline personality disorder (BPD). However, BPD is often rooted in traumatic experiences or long-term exposure to adverse experiences. Thus, those with PTSD could have similar symptoms, and DBT can help with these symptoms.
During initial brainspotting sessions, a therapist will look for their client’s “brain spot.” The brain spot is a point where the client gazes which causes physical discomfort and unease. The central belief behind brainspotting is that by holding a client’s gaze in this area, they can talk through their trauma and discomfort with the therapist. The therapist helps the client learn ways to remain calm as they work through their PTSD. As a result, they learn to feel safe and secure again.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is an innovative, evidence-based practice for PTSD and other mental health disorders. During EMDR, a therapist will use bilateral stimulation to help the client remain in a calm state while working through their trauma. Most therapists use eye movements, where they ask their clients to follow an object from left to right with their eyes. However, other sensations can be used, such as auditory stimulation or touch.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can cause many problems in a person’s life. They might struggle to manage the ordinary stressors of everyday life. This can affect a person’s ability to have the kind of life they want to live. At Louisville Addiction Center, we know how PTSD affects a person’s quality of life.
We offer evidence-based treatment options for those who struggle with their symptoms. Moreover, we offer hands-on care for veterans with PTSD or addictions to feel safe and understood. In addition, we help our clients manage substance use disorders, which commonly co-occur with PTSD. There is hope for healing from PTSD.
Contact us today to begin PTSD treatment.
Addiction and co-occurring disorders don’t have to control your life. Louisville Addiction Center is waiting with open arms to give you the tools necessary for lasting change. Reach out to us today to learn more.