Long Term Effects of Untreated PTSD

People suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may find themselves in situations they never expected prior to the inciting incident. Because of this, although treatment options exist, they may not have explored them due to fear or simple ignorance of options. However, once treatment is established, it can change a person’s life.

What Is PTSD?

When a person goes through or witnesses a traumatic event, they may have trouble dealing with the aftereffects. These issues can last months or even years. One of the hallmarks of PTSD is that people often experience “triggers.” A trigger is any experience that reminds the person of the initial experience and brings memories flooding back, putting them in an elevated state of anxiety and fear.

Some symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Persistent anxiety/depression
  • Avoidance
  • Flashbacks
  • Specific phobias
  • Inability to work
  • Insomnia
  • Care refusal
  • Substance abuse

In some cases, people will seek immediate assistance, but many people are unable or unwilling to discuss trauma that has had such a terrible impact on their lives.

Self-Medicating and the Prevalence of Substance Abuse

One of the more persistent issues that medical professionals often observe is a turn to substance abuse as a poor means of self-medicating and coping. This use of illicit substances does not affect just one type of person. In fact, people from all walks of life may find themselves in such dire need of help that they turn to means they would never have considered before.

The most prevalent issue is alcoholism. Alcohol is readily available, can be purchased legally, is not seen as problematic, and can be consumed at home if someone feels vulnerable using it excessively in public. People may even be forgiven for excessive use as they have “been through” something awful. Though they may be encouraged to moderate, they may not be told to stop.

What Options Exist to Treat PTSD?

People with PTSD and related issues may enter a recovery program to help treat the mental side of things or as part of a dual diagnosis to deal with the mental health and substance abuse aspects at once.

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a specific talk therapy treatment option that focuses on dealing with existing, problematic, and persistent thoughts. The goal of CBT is to reprogram the mind into a better state of mental health.

People who suffer from PTSD often engage in negative self-talk that can result in a cycle of negative thinking. CBT aims to deal with this type of inner monologue and change a person’s perspective to something more positive and helpful as they move through treatment and into more of a post-rehab recovery mentality.

Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprogramming

Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) may be a great option for people suffering from PTSD. People must be ready for this treatment as it can feel very confrontational. However, it is not a confrontation with the medical professional administering the treatment. In fact, it is a confrontation with one’s own trauma. The goal is to get oneself back to the event that caused the PTSD in the first place. This will happen for short periods of time during any given therapy session.

The goal of this treatment is to stop avoidance behavior and instead force themselves to relive and examine what happened. In this way, a person can focus not on the results, but on the origins of the trauma and therefore process it more effectively. The idea is that a person can deal with it in small doses, thus allowing for desensitization, which will allow them to reframe their thinking into a more beneficial and positive mindset.

How Twilight Recovery Center Approaches PTSD

At Twilight Recovery Center, our staff is well-versed in the needs of those suffering from PTSD. We understand that nobody has the same experiences as anyone else. This means that our program is based on an individualized model of treatment.

Anyone who comes to us will be given a full assessment, and a care plan will be developed to show them what their path through treatment will look like. This care plan will take into account any medication needs, recommended modes of treatment, beneficial non-traditional therapies, and other individual needs.

People who enter our program with PTSD can be sure that their care is our first priority. Our medical professionals understand the necessary steps and why it is important not to rush the healing process. We also realize that we are the first step on the road to recovery. It is our goal to put everyone on a path that they are ready to navigate. However, it is important to us that nobody is forced to go it alone. We give our residents the tools and confidence to go forward into a more positive and productive future.

There are many ways that PTSD affects those who let it go untreated. For a variety of reasons, this can be detrimental to one’s mental and physical health and well-being. Twilight Recovery Center is prepared to offer assistance in these matters. We understand the reasons people have put off addressing their PTSD. Our team of medical professionals can help you understand where your trauma originates, the ways you have chosen to deal with it, and how to find better ways to cope. We have no desire to see you continue the cycle of pain and are here to offer true solutions that can be utilized throughout recovery. Call us today at (888) 414-8183.