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 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 case of PTSD 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 San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital’s medical staff can help deal with 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 San Antonio Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, 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.
We offer PTSD programs for civilians and a specialized PTSD program for active duty military personnel and veterans, the Victory Trauma program. Importantly, our PTSD program for active duty military personnel and veterans is exclusively for people with military experience, and the program focuses on topics related to combat trauma. These issues may include acute stress disorder and sexual trauma from assaults during military service. Our PTSD program for former and current members of the military helps individuals return to productive and healthy lives both as civilian or active duty military personnel.
Our PTSD treatment programs in San Antonio include inpatient and outpatient services. Inpatient services allow patients to receive 24/7 monitoring and medication management services. These inpatient programs are appropriate for serious PTSD cases where the patient is at risk of harming themselves or others. Our outpatient treatment programs include talk therapy sessions in both individual and group sessions.
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.