Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Not all people respond to traumatic events in the same way. Physical wounds may have healed, yet unseen scars left on the heart and mind are often painful and difficult to recover from, especially when they’ve developed into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). But, with the right PTSD treatment, even the most severe psychological damage from traumatic events is treatable.
Natural disasters, transportation accidents, or brushes with death are unexpected, sudden, and can be emotionally overwhelming. Traumas that come in the form of physical, emotional, and verbal abuse may outwardly leave no visible signs of injury, but can deal devastating blows to your inner self.
No matter what type of trauma you have survived, understanding your personal responses to difficult events can help you effectively manage your feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. At Clearview Treatment Programs, a premier PTSD treatment center in Los Angeles, we can assist you along the path of healing to reach a full recovery.
What Do Trauma Symptoms Look Like?
Traumatic events often leave people feeling stunned, helpless, suffering from a sense of disorientation, or burdened by an inability to assimilate the stressors and regain an emotional balance.
It is not unusual for trauma victims of trauma to experience any of the following symptoms at some point after going through a traumatic event:
- Intense or unpredictable feelings
- Feeling anxious, nervous, overwhelmed, or grief-stricken
- Uncontrollable irritability or moodiness
- Negative changes in thought and behavior patterns
- Repeated and vivid memories or nightmares of the traumatic events
- Rapid heartbeat or sweating
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Disrupted sleep and eating patterns
- Heightened anxiety or fears the traumatic event will be repeated
- Withdrawing, isolating, or disengaged from your usual social activities
- Experiencing stress-related physical symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, and chest pain
What Does PTSD Look Like?
When symptoms of trauma intensify and persist, they can lead to a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD symptoms call into three categories:
- Hyper-arousal: Hyper-arousal occurs from an inability to reset after a traumatizing experience, leaving your bodily processes and mental state set in overdrive. If you are suffering from hyper-arousal, you may experience difficulty sleeping and concentrating, being easily startled, and enduring increased irritability. You may also express heightened levels of anger, agitation, panic, and hypervigilance, or be hyper-alert to supposed dangers, real or imagined.
- Re-experiencing: Invasive memories, nightmares, flashbacks, and exaggerated reactions to reminders of the traumatic event are symptoms of re-experiencing, which may cause you to endure the manifestation of original physical or bodily harm during focused remembering of those traumas.
- Avoidance: Traumatic experiences may leave some victims feeling robotic, or as if they are on automatic pilot. This numbing, or sense of severe disconnectedness from their mental state and from life, can extend to the perception of living in a so called deadness. Symptoms of numbing include a lack or total loss of interest in life and people, hopelessness, loneliness, direct aversion of thoughts and feelings related to the traumatic events, accompanied by feelings of detachment or estrangement from others, depression, and emotional suppression. Avoiding discussing the trauma or denying the expressing of feelings and thoughts connected to the trauma may also become a central focus of the survivor’s life.
Treating PTSD and Trauma
Many people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder fail to seek treatment because of misidentifying or failing to recognize their symptoms as trauma-related. They may also not realize that their PTSD is treatable.
It can be difficult for those who were victims of trauma to come forward and seek help. If you have gone through a traumatic event, you may feel shame, guilt, fear, or mistrust. You may also want to avoid thinking about the experience, which can sometimes lead to co-occurring drug or alcohol addiction.
At Clearview’s PTSD treatment clinic, we can help you heal from the emotional and mental traumas that might remain present and be preventing you from moving forward. It is possible to resume functioning as you once did prior to the disaster as move past issues surrounding previous life events.
Our specialized trauma services will help you recognize and recover from your PTSD through comprehensive care, an active patient-clinician connection, and encouraging support. We will addresses your individualized needs in a nurturing environment at our PTSD residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient treatment programs.
Clearview’s treatment team comprises professionals who know how to help you work through your past traumas and get you on the path to recovery.
With Clearview’s guidance, there is a way through the hurt, fear, and burden of traumatic life events. Remember that seeking help is a significant sign of strength. By reaching out to Clearview, you are taking that first step toward regaining control of your emotions, memories, and experiences, and preserving your emotional wellbeing.
PTSD and Trauma FAQs
How common are trauma and PTSD?
The American Psychological Association (APA) estimates approximately six out of 10 men and five out of 10 women will experience at least one trauma event in their lifetime. Women are more likely to experience sexual assault or child sexual abuse. Men are more likely to experience accidents, physical assault, combat, disaster, or witness death or serious injury. Although the majority of individuals will be able to absorb the trauma over time, nearly 8 percent of traumatic event survivors will experience long-lasting mental health problems, with women being twice as likely as men to develop PTSD symptoms.
How long does it take for PTSD to develop?
There is no set time at which Post Traumatic Stress Disorder develops. Symptoms of PTSD can develop relatively soon after a traumatic event or can take years to develop. Delayed PTSD often occurs in people who have experienced childhood sexual or physical abuse. Hidden by emotional constraint or complete emotional severance for years, it is common for symptoms of PTSD to manifest suddenly following a major traumatic life event, heightened stress, or an accumulation of stressors over a short period of time that challenge the victim’s emotional defenses.