Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a complex mental health disorder that can develop after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events. Types of trauma that can precede the onset of PTSD include but are by no means limited to military combat, physical attacks, sexual assaults, acts of terrorism, serious automobile accidents, and natural disasters.
It is neither uncommon nor unhealthy for a person to experience a temporary period of profound sadness, shock, grief, and similar emotions in the aftermath of a traumatic event. However, when symptoms occur with such severity and persist to the point that the individual’s ability to function is hampered, then the individual may have developed PTSD. Common symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder include recurrent distressing memories of the traumatic event, vivid and distressing dreams, dissociative reactions, hypervigilance, and a host of additional distressing reactions.
When a person develops PTSD but does not get effective treatment, these symptoms can exert a significant negative impact on virtually all aspects of his or her life. However, with proper care, a person can experience relief from the distress of PTSD, can learn to manage remaining symptoms in a healthy manner, and can resume his or her pursuit of a more promising future.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If a person in your life has been exposed to trauma and has been struggling with one or more of the symptoms described in the previous section, he or she may be experiencing PTSD. Knowing that a loved one is dealing with PTSD can be an excruciating experience, but you should feel neither hopeless nor helpless. PTSD can be treated, and you can play a central role in getting your loved one the help that he or she needs. Please consider the following:
- First, take whatever steps you need to take in order to ensure that your loved one is safe. PTSD can increase a person’s risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. If you believe your loved one is in imminent danger, summon an emergency responder, call 911, or contact the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
- Once you have confirmed that your loved one is not in immediate danger educate yourself about trauma and PTSD, including the signs and symptoms. Visit websites of reputable organizations, contact mental health support groups in your area, and talk to your loved one. Improving your ability to understand PTSD from a clinical standpoint as well as from the personal perspective of what your loved one is experiencing will put you in the best position to provide meaningful assistance.
- Research treatment options that have helped others who struggled with PTSD, and identify programs that appear to be prepared to offer the type and level of care that is best suited to meeting your loved one’s needs. Your goal should be to find the program that is the best fit for your loved one.
- Continue to talk to your loved one. In addition to gaining insights into what he or she is dealing with, these conversations will allow you to express your unwavering love and support. PTSD can have an isolating impact on a person, and your efforts keep the lines of communication open can be invaluable to your loved one.
- Get help for yourself. Protecting your loved one’s safety, researching his or her disorder, and dealing with the impact that this is having on your own body and mind can be an overwhelming experience. If at all possible, do not attempt to do it all by yourself. Recruit a small group of close friends and trusted loved ones to help. And if you need to schedule a session or two with a counselor or therapist, do so. You cannot be of maximum support for your loved one if you are neglecting your own needs.
Plan to play an active positive role in your loved one’s life before, during, and after he or she is in treatment. Recovering from PTSD can be a long process, and may involve both progress and setbacks. Your loved one will benefit from your ongoing support every step of the way.
Why Consider Treatment at Riverview Behavioral Health
As evidenced by the symptoms that are enumerated earlier on this page, a person who struggles with PTSD may find it extremely difficult to function in a healthy and productive manner.
People who are dealing with untreated PTSD will have trouble forming, maintaining, or contributing to healthy interpersonal relationships, which can lead to a sense of isolation and deprive the individual of essential sources of support. Untreated PTSD can undermine a person’s efforts to make academic progress or perform to expectation at work, which can lead to employment problems and financial distress. Many people who struggle with PTSD begin to abuse alcohol or other drugs in an attempt to numb themselves to their ongoing psychological pain, but this maladaptive behavior can only serve to exacerbate their suffering.
The cumulative impact of symptoms associated with ongoing untreated PTSD can lead to withdrawal from society, descent into addiction, the development or worsening of additional mental health disorders, and a host of physical problems related to reckless behaviors and a lack of attention to one’s medical needs.
However, when a person gets effective, comprehensive treatment for PTSD and any co-occurring disorders, he or she can experience a significantly improved quality of life. In an effective treatment program, an individual can heal from past harm, avoid further damage, and develop the skills and strategies that will support successful long-term recovery.
Types of Treatment Offered at Riverview Behavioral Health
Located in Texarkana, Texas, Riverview Behavioral Health is a renowned provider of top notch mental health services for individuals of all ages. With a license to operate 62 beds and a staff of highly qualified professionals, Riverview is where people can receive the care needed to overcome the pangs of numerous mental health concerns, including posttraumatic stress disorder.
Adult men and women who are aged 18 or older and in need of acute services can come to this center and participate in exemplary inpatient treatment. This level of care offers the interventions needed to stabilize distressing emotional and behavioral disturbances, as well as prepare men and women for healthier futures. For the duration of a person’s time in this invaluable program, each treatment need will be addressed and cared for, and ample support will be provided by our staff of caring professionals.
To be admitted to Riverview’s adult inpatient program, one must complete an intake assessment with our staff. During this assessment, it can be determined if a person’s needs can be met by inpatient care, and, if deemed appropriate, services can begin and the treatment planning process starts. Each individual’s plan of care is customized and may include the following interventions based on the treatment needs present:
Medication management services: The symptoms of PTSD can sometimes be so distressing that utilizing coping skills is simply not enough to bring relief to those grappling with this illness. When indicated via our assessment process, Riverview Behavioral Health patients may require medication management services in order to stabilize their symptoms. Our onsite psychiatrist can determine the type of medication that is needed and can write a prescription for it after meeting with the individual. Furthermore, our staff of compassionate and expertly trained nurses works tirelessly to make sure that patients respond well to the medication they are taking.
Medical care: As a means of preserving the health and wellbeing of the patients receiving care for posttraumatic stress disorder at Riverview Behavioral Health, we supply basic medical care on a daily basis. Our medical doctor, nurse practitioner, and team of nurses work closely with the individuals we treat so that they can remain physically healthy while improving their emotional and mental health.
Individual therapy: Men and women who are being treated for PTSD can partake in individual therapy sessions one time each week so that they are able to get the one-on-one attention they need to heal. A licensed mental health professional meets with patients by themselves and encourages each patient to examine experiences of the past, process feelings and emotions of the present, and establish new goals that will support a healthy future.
Group therapy: Having men and women congregate in a setting that is safe and conducive to healing and recovery can allow for positive treatment outcomes for all involved. For this reason, we, at Riverview Behavioral Health, incorporate group therapy in each patient’s treatment experience. During these sessions, which are held multiple times each day, patients who are battling posttraumatic stress disorder and other illnesses have the opportunity to practice skills that they have learned, support one another, and learn from the experiences that others discuss in the group. Process groups are one type of group therapy opportunity that we provide, while other sessions are dedicated to the following patient-driven topics:
- Stress management
- Psychoeducation on mental health disorders
- Medication education
- Crisis intervention
- Coping skills
- Co-occurring disorders
- Anxiety management
- Anger management
Family therapy: As a leading provider of PTSD treatment, we understand how important it is for our patients to have healthy relationships with those in their primary support networks. Because of this, we purposefully include weekly family therapy sessions in our patients’ treatment plans. During these sessions, a licensed member of our clinical staff works with the men and women in our care and their loved ones so as to heal familial wounds and forge positive bonds that will support true healing long after a person leaves Riverview Behavioral Health.
Family program: Patients who are treated for posttraumatic stress disorder at Riverview Behavioral Health come to learn a great deal about themselves, their illness, and methods for preventing the need for inpatient treatment in the future. Close friends and family members of those partaking in our services can also receive an education on PTSD and get their own support by engaging in our family program. This program meets on Fridays and features a process group, educational lectures, and a chance to give and receive support to and from other individuals who have a loved one battling mental health concerns.
As previously stated, those who elect to receive inpatient treatment at Riverview Behavioral Health will experience a blend of the aforementioned interventions. We ensure that each patient’s needs are fully met by the care we offer, and it is our hope that men and women will leave our center with a positive outlook for the future. If at any time it becomes apparent that a particular method of care is or is no longer appropriate for a person’s needs, his or her plan of care can be revised so that he or she can receive treatment in a manner that is most effective for him or her.
Additionally, we strive to make sure that each man and woman who partakes in our programming has the necessary supports in place once it is time to leave our center. In keeping with this initiative, we plan for the discharge of all patients from the moment they are admitted to Riverview Behavioral Health. Similar to our treatment planning process, discharge planning is personalized to each person’s needs, and can be adjusted if certain other needs become apparent. We will link patients will follow-up services and can provide resources that will prevent the need for more intensive treatment in the future.
If you or your loved one is grappling with posttraumatic stress disorder and would like to learn a better way to manage the symptoms present, look no further than Riverview Behavioral Health. Here, we can give you the support, encouragement, and care needed to begin living the healthy life that is deserving of all people. Call us today.