Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month is observed in June across the U.S. every year. This month, national organizations and individuals work collectively not only to spread awareness about trauma but also to educate others on the types of treatments available and proven to be effective.
Targeting trauma, while focusing on how it affects the members of our communities, is essential because PTSD is a real public health problem — it affects 8 million in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. This estimated 8 million adults struggling with PTSD each year, however, represent merely a small portion of the individuals who have gone through a trauma.
While some people still may have the impression that PSTD is mainly an issue among Veterans, anyone can suffer from PTSD. Major traumatic events like assault, violence, accidents, disasters, or injuries, may lead to PTSD, but not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD.
The distressing symptoms of PTSD may lead individuals to use alcohol or drugs to cope. Thus, oftentimes individuals who are struggling with PTSD develop a substance use disorder. Other problems that may be caused by untreated PTSD include sleeping and eating disorders, cardiovascular problems, anxiety, depression, self-harm, and even suicide.
PTSD affects many of us directly and indirectly in our friends and loved ones. It is estimated that about 4 of every 100 men and 10 of every 100 women develop PTSD at some point throughout their lives. Therefore, seeking professional treatment as soon as possible is not only essential but may also be lifesaving.
In addition to spreading awareness, June serves as a reminder that we can help spread the word about the many effective types of treatment available for people struggling with PTSD.
The types of treatment supported by most research is often referred to as trauma-focused psychotherapies, which means the treatment will focus on the actual traumatic experience.
The trauma-focused psychotherapies that have shown one of the most successful therapies to use with PTSD patients is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
EMDR was formulated to relieve distress associated with traumatic experiences and to focus on bringing the trauma to mind in order to reshape it. Research shows that EMDR treatment may be ideal for individuals struggling with psychological conditions that were developed during the aftermath of traumatic experiences.
In addition to EMDR, other Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) therapies that focuses on changing perspectives about difficult experiences and traumas are proven to also be effective. In this type of therapy, patients talk to the professionals about the thoughts they have and how those be linked to the trauma. The idea is to then help change the thought patterns around the trauma and the fears behind it.
The goal of PTSD therapies is to improve symptoms, teach skills to process the trauma fully and restore self-awareness and self-confidence that may have been affected due to the trauma.
Casa Recovery offers a variety of trauma-focused therapies including EMDR and other CBT therapies that include exposure practices, somatic exercises, psychodynamic therapy. These therapies are utilizing in individual as well as group and family therapy during the program.
We are here to help. To learn more about PTSD and trauma treatment at Casa Recovery, please contact us at 888-928-2272.