While particular types of incidents might come to mind when you think of a traumatic experience, the reality is that trauma has more to do with your experience than with the event itself. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) has a category for Trauma and Stressor-Related Disorders that discusses how exposure to different levels of stress or trauma can result in various symptoms.
Anxiety, fear responses, socialization issues, relationship problems, and more can arise from experiencing or witnessing violence, abuse, or disaster; the loss of a loved one; extreme stress or burnout; and physical illness or injury, among others.
Every member of our team—from Origins’ executives to clinical and medical support staff—is educated about trauma and the importance of creating a trauma-informed treatment environment.
Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The most well-known manifestation of trauma is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is frequently associated with military veterans who have experienced war violence, but PTSD can also affect men, women, and children who have been through other types of traumatic events. If you have suffered domestic or sexual abuse, childhood neglect, severe accidents, injuries, natural disasters, or other tragedies, you may have PTSD.
Your PTSD symptoms can be severe and interfere with your normal daily activities. Symptoms can include the following:
- Withdrawal from others
- Unwarranted anger or emotional outbursts
- Depression or anxiety
- Dissociative mental experiences or flashbacks
- Inability to function in everyday life
- Panic or overreaction to events
- Inability to concentrate
- Involuntary thoughts about a traumatic event
Your PTSD symptoms may emerge as soon as a month after your traumatic experience, but they may take many years to develop. Frequently (particularly in children), the event will be compartmentalized deep in their psyche to avoid dealing with the upsetting reality of what occurred. As the memory of the event resurfaces, you may experience flashbacks or panic responses but be unable to recall the details fully. It can take months or even years of therapy work to help you regain control of your memories and responses to related stimuli.
Since the symptoms of PTSD can emerge slowly, you may not have received the treatment you need right away. Living with symptoms of PTSD can be debilitating, unpleasant, frustrating, and even dangerous for you and your loved ones, as undiagnosed PTSD makes daily life difficult. Substances like drugs or alcohol can become coping mechanisms or a means of self-medicating. The temporary relief from your symptoms can lead to continued drug or alcohol use, which can later result in addiction.
What Are the Most Effective Treatments for PTSD?
Trauma treatment, like PTSD and other stress-related disorders, requires specialized therapies to address your trauma. These therapies help you reprocess the memories and reactions associated with your experience and develop healthier coping mechanisms. Our goal is to treat the underlying trauma while giving you the skills you need to live a happy and healthy life.
In Florida, our Center for Brain Recovery (CBR) specialists collaborate with your multidisciplinary treatment team to review your progress and identify any further psychological issues that may emerge during treatment — including PTSD or other related concerns. Our master’s level clinicians and licensed therapists also offer customized treatment plans for PTSD that include trauma-related topics and exercises.
Depending on your unique case and your goals for PTSD treatment, your treatment plan may include several evidence-based types of trauma therapy, including:
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Meditation and mindfulness training
- Group process or individual therapy
When developing a treatment plan for trauma, we utilize proven therapies for symptoms of PTSD, including anticipating triggers, de-escalating fear and anxiety responses, managing anger or mood swings, and processing traumatic memories. We also have specialized experience in trauma-informed treatment for various other mental health concerns such as anxiety, depression, and personality disorders.
What Are the Goals for PTSD Treatment?
Treatment goals for trauma and PTSD treatment include:
- Learning how to cope with negative emotions in a safe and effective way
- Learning how to build positive communication skills
- Learning how to express anger and fear in a healthy way
- Learning how to manage PTSD symptoms without the use of substances
Trauma and Addiction
In many cases, substance misuse is not the only concern affecting your health. Misusing drugs or alcohol is frequently an overlying symptom of a mental health disorder, and self-medication becomes an addiction. When you seek treatment for your substance use but do not receive holistic care that also addresses your mental health, problems may arise. When your underlying mental health disorder goes untreated, relapse may occur, and addiction can persist, despite repeated attempts at rehabilitation.
We know the best way to give you a chance at lifelong sobriety is to help you overcome substance use and any barriers that may exacerbate addiction. Through many years of experience treating our patients, we have found that, among other co-occurring mental health disorders, deeply rooted traumatic experiences or events are common among men and women struggling to recover. To address these concerns, our highly trained staff provides specialized treatment for PTSD for patients who have experienced trauma.
Gender-Separate and Gender-Specific Addiction Treatment
Origins has long been a champion of gender-specific treatment for addiction and co-occurring disorders, and we have remained on the leading edge of research and modalities. Your background always informs our therapy for PTSD, trauma, and other similar disorders — including your gender and experiences as a man or a woman.
For example, women dealing with substance misuse have a 70% or higher incidence of experiencing PTSD, typically as a result of sexual or domestic abuse. Women are much more likely to have been the victims of trauma, abuse, or neglect than their male counterparts, and unfortunately, they often struggle with these concerns because of the actions of a man in their life. Women with these experiences seek refuge as well as recovery, which is precisely why we provide gender-specific treatment, including women’s residential treatment for addiction, with a caring and compassionate staff.
Alternatively, PTSD in men is frequently associated with military experience or violence. While servicewomen experience combat-related PTSD, some studies suggest that male veterans may be more likely to turn to substance use to cope. It is essential to understand that men both process and express trauma differently than women; men are often expected to be “strong” and resilient and may be less willing to admit to their trauma-related difficulties. At Origins, we provide men’s programming that includes approachable and engaging therapies and treatment modalities for PTSD to help our patients discover trust and emotional openness in a judgment-free environment.
Comprehensive Care You Can Trust
Origins programs have provided evidence-based treatment for PTSD and behavioral health concerns for over 30 years. We are proud to offer multiple levels of care, including residential and outpatient programs and access to top-quality healthcare professionals. If you, someone close to you, or your patient is ready to seek healing from trauma or PTSD, reach out to Origins today at 561-841-1296.