Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Although it’s most often associated with veterans, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can manifest in anyone who’s ever witnessed – or been subject to – trauma. It’s a severe stress reaction which can manifest itself even years after a traumatic event. PTSD features biological and psychological symptoms and often leads to the development of other disorders, including depression and substance abuse. The severe effect this problem can have on the life of an individual makes treatment for PTSD vital to getting one’s life back on track.

The Effect Of PTSD

Although not everyone who survives trauma develops PTSD, it can wreak havoc in a person’s life. Typically, PTSD affects patients’ lives in four different ways:

  1. Long-lasting feelings of guardedness, nervousness and irritability – many PTSD patients startle easily.
  2. Avoidance to the point that a person with PTSD will stay away from places, things and people which remind them of their trauma.
  3. A person with PTSD will experience flashbacks in which they vividly relive the traumatic event when they encounter reminders or situations which resemble the traumatic event. Even unwanted thoughts of the event can trigger a flashback.
  4. Emotional numbness which causes great difficulty in the individual becoming emotionally open towards others or even themselves. Like depression, emotional numbness can make them unwilling to engage in activities they used to enjoy, forget critical parts of the traumatic incident or have grave anxiety about their future.

Other mental problems are unfortunately common in people with PTSD. Studies have shown more than half of men with PTSD have problems with depression, conduct disorder and substance abuse. Meanwhile, just under half of women with PTSD also have depression. Additional studies have shown PTSD can contribute to developing medical disorders as well – indeed, depression has been shown to be a factor in heart disease and other conditions.

Symptoms of PTSD

Usually, PTSD is diagnosed after a patient continues to experience its symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, symptoms may appear months or years later. Symptoms include:

  • Reliving the event via nightmares, unpleasant memories and flashbacks
  • Having memory problems about the traumatic event
  • Being emotionally numb
  • Avoiding people, places and other things which remind the patient of the trauma
  • Arousal symptoms including insomnia, problems with concentration and emotional difficulties

However, the VA reports children experience PTSD somewhat differently than teens and adults do. Reports cited by the VA claim although children do not seem to experience the flashbacks and memory difficulties seen in older patients with PTSD. They do, however, experience symptoms of their own which include:

  • Time skew in which a child will have out-of-sequence memories of the traumatic event
  • Omen formation in which a child will believe there were signs before the event which predicted it.
  • Also children will often reenact the event via play, art or verbalizations.

PTSD manifests in adolescents similar to how it does in adults but there are also some crucial differences. Adolescents are more likely to engage in traumatic reenactment, where they may include elements of the trauma in their day-to-day life. Additionally, adolescents with PTSD are much more likely to engage in aggressive and/or impulsive behaviors.

Red Flags of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Depression
  • Substance abuse
  • Feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness
  • Suicidal thoughts and attempts

Risk Factors for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) National Center for PTSD, any event which threatens life or physical harm can cause PTSD in children. These events include:

  • Sexual abuse or violence
  • Exposure to disasters such as earthquakes, fires or hurricanes
  • Violent crimes such as school shootings and kidnapping
  • Physical abuse, either via authority figures or peers
  • Being in vehicle accidents
  • Witnessing acts of violence

Additional risk factors for PTSD in children include being female, preexisting mental disorders and having low social support.

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Getting Treatment For PTSD

Experiencing trauma is bad enough, but going without treatment for PTSD creates serious problems with school, work and family. Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego provides treatment of PTSD at our PTSD treatment centers for teens which offers patients a safe, secure and comfortable facility in which to work on their problems without distractions.

Sovereign makes use of effective, proven techniques to give patients with PTSD the tools to move past trauma and into a happier life. Our Rancho San Diego location provides PTSD residential treatment for teens. This inpatient PTSD treatment center offers a quiet, summer camp-like surrounding where adolescents discover new things about themselves and their world to enhance their recovery.

Why Choose Sovereign Health PTSD Treatment Centers?

Sovereign Health is the ideal choice for a PTSD residential treatment provider:

  • Our Rancho San Diego facility is safe, comfortable and secure, with 24/7 crisis intervention.
  • Patients at the facility can hike, swim in a pool and participate in alternative therapies like yoga and equine therapy
  • We’re fully accredited by the Joint Commission

An expert care provider, Sovereign Health provides treatment for PTSD to adolescents aged 12 to 17 at Rancho San Diego, our PTSD residential treatment center located in rural San Diego County. At Rancho San Diego, troubled teens can address and work past their challenges in a friendly, safe environment. A healthier life can start now. Call our 24/7 helpline for more information.

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