Sometimes, when something deeply disturbing happens, the mind’s own safeguards and survival mechanisms can work against it, leading to a difficult condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
If you’re re-experiencing traumatic memories, or dealing with any other symptoms of PTSD, professional mental health treatment is available to help you cope and recover from this widespread but difficult mental health issue.
PTSD Treatment At Bedrock Recovery Center
Bedrock Recovery Center, located in Canton, Massachusetts, is a primary mental health treatment provider offering comprehensive clinical, medical, and inpatient psychiatric services.
Our multidisciplinary treatment options include medication, stabilization services, one-on-one psychotherapy, group therapy, and other evidence-based care that can effectively and compassionately address PTSD and as well as your overall health.
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What Is PTSD?
PTSD is a complex disorder that occurs when the mind is unable to process a disturbing, traumatic experience, producing symptoms that can greatly impair your quality of life and overall well being.
The condition may develop months or years after the traumatic event takes place and can last for years unless properly treated using modern, evidence-based approaches.
There are three main types of PTSD as defined in the DSM-5.
This disorder is linked to a single traumatic event and produces classic PTSD symptoms. It is generally the simplest to treat.
Complex PTSD stems from multiple or repeated traumatic episodes, as is common with domestic abuse, warfare, natural disasters, or community violence.
Those dealing with complex PTSD may have more emotional intensity and unpredictability, and often develop features of personality disorders or substance use disorders.
This condition should be addressed through a personalized, cohesive, and comprehensive treatment plan that considers all psychological conditions a person is facing.
Psychologists and other mental health professionals can diagnose PTSD using criteria laid out in the DSM-5. This process involves both a physical exam as well as an in-depth psychological evaluation.
PTSD, by definition, must stem from first-hand exposure to a serious traumatic event or a series of traumatic events. It can be diagnosed if this experience then produces problematic symptoms that continue for more than a month with a significantly negative impact on your day-to-day life.
Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms of PTSD can vary from person to person, but commonly include:
- trauma-focused intrusive memories (flashbacks)
- avoiding places, people, or activities related to the traumatic event
- persistent hopelessness, guilt, shame, and negative mood or outlook
- being easily startled, tense, or volatile when faced with stressors
- struggling with sleep, memory, or concentration
Note that PTSD symptoms may be expressed differently by children and teens.
The number one risk factor for PTSD is exposure to severe or repeated trauma. However, even in these cases most people do not develop symptoms that meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD.
Other risk factors for the condition include:
- factors specific to certain personality types
- experiencing childhood trauma
- co-occurring behavioral, substance abuse, or mental health problems
- lacking a healthy support system in the form of loved ones and family members
Between 3% and 5% of US adults have PTSD in any given year. Women are more likely to develop the condition (5-8%) vs men (2-4%), a discrepancy at least partially attributable to violent sexual assaults and domestic violence which disproportionately impact women.
Combat veterans and first-responders are also at an especially high risk for PTSD and other related issues, including suicide.
Treatment of PTSD is primarily accomplished using psychotherapy, though supportive medications may be prescribed if needed.
There are different forms of psychotherapy (also called talk therapy) that are used to treat PTSD in adults and adolescents.
- cognitive processing therapy (CPT), a special system of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that aims to help you recognize and change problematic negative thoughts and beliefs related to your traumatic experience
- exposure therapy to help you learn to gradually deal with traumatic situations and memories safely
- eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), a form of treatment that can help the brain process the traumatic event properly and resolve some PTSD symptoms
Clinicians may prescribe one of four antidepressants approved by the FDA to treat PTSD.
The most commonly prescribed medications include:
- the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications sertraline (Zoloft)
- fluoxetine (Prozac)
- paroxetine (Paxil)
- the selective serotonin/norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
Benzodiazepines may also sometimes be prescribed, though these short-term medications carry a higher risk for side effects like abuse and addiction.
How To Find PTSD Treatment In Massachusetts
The best way to access PTSD treatment is to speak to your primary care physician and request a referral to appropriate mental healthcare services.
Alternatively, you can contact the SAMHSA helpline or use the SAMHSA Find Treatment service to locate and connect with treatment centers and providers directly, including Bedrock Recovery Center.
Our inpatient facility provides discrete, evidence-based, and effective treatment for PTSD for adults from across the United States. Please contact us today to learn more.
- American Psychological Association (APA) https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/treatments/medications#:~:text=The%20neurotransmitter%20serotonin%20has%20a,by%20the%20FDA%20for%20PTSD.
- Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20355973
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) https://www.nami.org/About-Mental-Illness/Mental-Health-Conditions/Posttraumatic-Stress-Disorder
- National Center for PTSD https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/common/common_adults.asp#:~:text=About%206%20out%20of%20every,some%20point%20in%20their%20lives.