Understanding and Treating PTSD

PTSD or post traumatic stress disorder happens after a person experienced a scary or traumatic event, such as an accident. Those who are suffering from PTSD might not be involved in the accident directly but it was so shocking that it left a huge impact in his or her life, preventing him to function normally after that.

Those who have been suffering from it or those who have loved ones with PTSD know how challenging life can be. Insomnia, low self-esteem, and flashbacks are some of the symptoms that often manifest in people with this disorder. There are cases where a person completely loses his/her memory because the brain cannot handle the trauma. Thus, it is always advised that those with PTSD seek treatment in any California rehab centers in the area.

When it comes to the best California treatment centers, Resurgence California is considered as one of the most reputable in the area, even in the whole state. The specialists and psychologists at the center understand that each person is unique; thus, each also needs a unique treatment approach. That’s why they don’t have a single cure-all solution for PTSD patients but a number of approaches.

Below are some of the common treatments for PTSD:

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)

Unlike other forms of treatments, EMDR gives PTSD patients the option to share their traumatic experience or not. During the treatment session, the patient focuses on the trauma while he or she follows a signal the therapist is making. The whole point of the treatment is to help the patient think of something positive while he remembers the trauma.

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)

This is a 12-week treatment with sessions that last between 60 and 90 minutes. During the treatment, the patient is encouraged to talk about his/her trauma and how it affects their life. After that, they will also need to write about it in detail so they can evaluate their thoughts, find a way how to cope with it, and eventually, live with it.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PET)

This is a 15-week therapy with sessions those last 90 minutes each. Unlike EMDR and CPT, Prolonged Exposure Therapy is more aggressive because the patient is encouraged to confront the trauma he/she is trying to avoid. During this time, the therapist will ask the patient about the things he or she has been avoiding and help them face them gradually. There will also be a time where the patient will have to recount the trauma while the therapist is recording it. Then, the patient will bring that recording and listen to it at home. The patient will also learn breathing techniques that will help ease their anxiety.

Stress Inoculation Training (SIT)

SIT is a cognitive behavioral therapy which can be done alone or with other patients. Compared to other kinds of PTSD treatment, the patient doesn’t have to recall the trauma he or she suffered in detail. Instead, they will be guided how to deal with the stress caused by that particular event. In order to succeed in doing that, patients are taught different kinds of breathing and massage techniques to help them ease their stress.

Using Medications

California rehab centers like Resurgence understand that the brains of PTSD patients process threats – whether real or perceived – differently. Because of the trauma they’ve experienced, they tend to be very jumpy and on the edge. As a defense mechanism, most of the time, they become cold and distant as they try to shut down these reactions. In most instances, therapy might not be enough and medications are needed.

Some of the medications that California treatment centers recommend are Sertraline, Fluoxetine, Venlafaxine, and Paroxetine. These medications target the serotonin or norepinephrine, helping people regain a sense of ‘normalcy’ in their lives.

There are times when the doctor prescribes off-label medications, such as beta blockers and antidepressants. Then, there are also medications to specifically deal with a certain symptom, like prazosin for nightmares and insomnia.

Whatever type of treatment or medication the physician will give to PTSD patients depends as each case is unique requiring a different approach.