Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can occur after a person experiences or witnesses a scary or threatening event, such as physical assault, sexual violence, or war.
A person can also develop symptoms of PTSD after learning that a loved one has experienced trauma or after repeated exposure to traumatic details through a high-stress or front-line job that regularly deals with traumatic events.
When you experience a traumatic event, you might feel shaken, afraid, or disoriented and need time and support to get back on your feet. However, if your symptoms are prolonged and cause significant challenges in your daily life, you might be suffering from PTSD and need expert care to heal and regain good health.
Our treatment place at East Tennessee Behavioral Health in Knoxville, Tennessee, supports adolescents, adults, and seniors who are struggling with a variety of behavioral health concerns, including PTSD. Our goal is to help patients learn skills that can support a healthy, fulfilling life, and we aim to do this through a comprehensive, personalized treatment approach.
Signs & Symptoms of PTSD
Trauma can affect people in unique ways. Similarly, PTSD symptoms can look different for different people, with some people experiencing strong fear-based symptoms and others having distressing negative thoughts or emotional sensitivity.
Common PTSD symptoms may fall into four basic categories:
- Reliving or reexperiencing the traumatic event
- Avoiding reminders of the traumatic event
- Negative thought patterns and moods related to the traumatic event
- Changes in behavior and emotions as a result of the traumatic event
The specific signs and symptoms of PTSD can include:
- Recurring memories, flashbacks, and nightmares relating to the trauma
- Inability to remember aspects of the traumatic experience
- Negative beliefs about the world or oneself
- Self-blame for the trauma
- Feelings of shame, guilt, or anger
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Lack of positive emotion
- Bad temper or aggression
- Dangerous or self-destructive behavior
- Being easily startled
- Sleep difficulties
PTSD symptoms often begin soon after the trauma, usually within three months. However, sometimes symptoms can arrive months or years later.
PTSD Statistics & Risk Factors
The American Psychiatric Association reports the following statistics on the prevalence of PTSD in the United States:
- Around 3.5% of adults have PTSD each year.
- Around 1 in 11 people will have PTSD in their lifetime.
- Women are twice as likely to have PTSD compared with men.
- PTSD affects people who are Latino, African American, and Native American at higher rates than people who are non-Latino white.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) highlights risk factors that can contribute to PTSD as well as “resilience factors” that may support healing after trauma, explaining:
- Lack of social support after the traumatic event can increase the risk for PTSD.
- A history of mental illness or addiction may also increase a person’s risk for PTSD.
- The support of family and friends may help promote healing from PTSD.
Potential Effects of PTSD
If you are experiencing PTSD symptoms, you may be struggling with intrusive memories of the trauma, sensitivity to ordinary events, self-defeating thoughts and behaviors, and more. These challenging symptoms, if left untreated, can lead to other emotional and social difficulties and may even affect your physical health.
Possible effects of PTSD might include:
- Trouble regulating emotions
- Difficulty maintaining relationships
- Prolonged PTSD symptoms
- Sleep difficulties
- Higher risk for heart disease
- Impairment at work or school
- Harmful coping strategies
- Headaches, nausea, and joint pain
- Suicidal thoughts
Getting early care for PTSD can improve your treatment outcomes. At East Tennessee Behavioral Health, we value each patient as an individual, support their personal growth, and strive to offer comprehensive services that benefit them and their family. Our inpatient PTSD treatment center supports adults and adolescents who need acute care to heal from the challenging effects of PTSD.
Benefits of PTSD Treatment
Receiving PTSD treatment can help you reduce your symptoms and suffering, learn new and healthier coping strategies, and improve your overall quality of life. Building on these positive changes, you can also regain control of your goals and daily activities, possibly leading to better outcomes at work or school and in your relationships.
Another key benefit of PTSD treatment is the chance to receive support and validation and rebuild self-esteem, which may have suffered as a result of the trauma. At our inpatient PTSD treatment center, we offer individual, family, and group therapy options depending on a patient’s unique needs.
If you have been struggling with PTSD, you may regularly feel overwhelmed and anxious. However, with treatment, it is possible to manage your symptoms and feel better, stronger, and more like yourself.
Therapies Used in PTSD Treatment
One of the most beneficial forms of treatment for PTSD is therapy, but medication may also be helpful for some people. Specific types of treatment might include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which can help patients address difficult thoughts and behaviors in a safe, compassionate setting, and group therapy, which can provide patients with opportunities to receive empathy and understanding from peers.
Because each person who receives treatment is unique, it’s important for mental health professionals to tailor care to a patient’s individual needs, as well as gauge the success of their approach throughout treatment.
If you receive care at our inpatient PTSD treatment center, your individualized treatment plan may include a range of therapeutic and educational activities designed to support your strengths, goals, and treatment needs. We also offer basic medical care and medication management services.
Choosing the Right PTSD Treatment Center
At East Tennessee Behavioral Health, located in Knoxville, Tennessee, we strive to provide the highest-quality care to every patient. If you seek care at our facility, we will work with you to help determine the right treatment approach for you.
Our treatment center is committed to following ethical, evidence-based guidelines and offering well-rounded care in a comfortable, safe, and respectful environment.
If you are ready to consider PTSD treatment, our compassionate, multidisciplinary treatment team can help you take those critical, positive steps toward a happier, healthier future.
This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at East Tennessee Behavioral Health.