Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can happen to anyone. Many people reserve it only for those who have fought in foreign wars or been in an extremely violent situation. However, PTSD has been recorded more frequently over the last few decades among people of all ages, and all experiences.
What many people may not be aware of, is that PTSD doesn’t only occur from a singular traumatic experience, but can develop as a result of prolonged exposure to stress, which is what many people in addiction face. JourneyPure offers trauma-informed care for individuals who require healing from any area or type of traumatic past, whether it be physical, sexual, emotional, experiential, or even social.
Extensive research has gone into different forms of psychotherapy for people who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The prevalence among addicts and alcoholics has been found to be extremely high, which can often make the process of getting sober even more difficult.
So for someone who is struggling with PTSD, what are some ways to help mitigate the symptoms? Is it really possible to heal from events and experiences that can change a life? Research and practical application has proven yes, and here are the best methods to get there.
Different forms of psychotherapy help an individual to uncover the impact that these events have had on their life, with the help of a trained and licensed professional. The goal is to get to the root cause of the event and to help the individual discover the most effective ways to work through and cope with their trauma.
Groundbreaking work in different forms of psychotherapy has proven to be extremely successful in helping people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder come to a place of healing and growth after their traumatic experience.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: found to be the most effective, CBT focuses on identifying, understanding, and changing thinking and behavior patterns that have developed from the trauma. Through methods such as exposure therapy, cognitive restructuring, and stress inoculation training, therapists help the individual reprogram the thought patterns of their brain.
- Family Therapy: Can be vital for the loved ones and the individual. It can be challenging and frustrating for both parties involved when the symptoms of PTSD begin to inhibit their ability to engage in everyday life. Family therapy allows both parties to heal together, and to gain more clarity and understanding in identifying, accepting, and finding compassion to promote healing.
As a relatively new form of treatment in the psychological field, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing focuses around creating NEW neural pathways to replace the old ones. In other words, it retrains your brain to see the traumatic events in a healthier and less distressing way.
EMDR works with the guidance of a trained professional, who will., after a series of introductory phases, have the individual focus on either a sound or an object moving back and forth in a timed rhythm. As this occurs, the individual is asked questions about or asked to retell portions of their traumatic event or memory. Over time, the exposure to the trauma, and the installation phase, helps to reprogram the brain to activate healthier functioning around the trauma.
JourneyPure offers individuals the opportunity to work through their past traumas with an EMDR certified clinician, in a safe and supportive environment.
The treatment works by incorporation a 3 pronged approach that starts with a history and treatment planning for the individual, to a preparation stage, to the assessment, to desensitization process, to the installation process where new thought patterns are set, and finally, through a body scan, to closure.
Individuals who have taken part in the entire EMDR therapeutic process have expressed amazing results, feeling that they have a new lease on life, better confidence, less fear and resentment, and a deeper love for themselves and their life.
It is extremely common for sufferers with PTSD to feel isolated, helpless, and alone. They often feel “stuck” in their situation, with no one who can understand or help them, as they are aware the pain and challenge is in their mind. However, having a supportive and understanding network of people to lean on in hard times is helpful in finding the ability to be vulnerable, to feel the camaraderie, and to not feel alone.
There are support groups everywhere for people with every sort of traumatic experience imaginable. Most commonly, there are support groups for veterans, for cancer survivors, for survivors of abusive relationships, for parents who have lost children, for rape survivors, and of course, there are always 12 step fellowships for people who also struggle with drugs and alcohol.
Finding a network of people that not only understands what you have been through but who has also found a way out of the darkness is absolutely crucial in feeling worthwhile and motivated to continue pushing through the pain.
Get A Service Animal
For people who find that their PTSD seriously hinders their ability to be in public environments, service animals are a great companion to have to alleviate the anxiety associated with daily routines. Check out websites such as paals.org, canines4hope.com, and servicedogsforamerica.org.
Besides promoting physical health, exercise increases endorphins, improves mood and sleep patterns, and helps to sync the mind and body. Through mindful movement, whether it be swimming, jogging, or even just dancing, it helps to shake up stale energy in the body and reduce stress.
By practicing “mindful movement” in which you really focus on how your body feels, the sensation of your breathing, and the noticing of different muscle groups, it allows an individual to get out of their head and into their body. Activities that require whole body involvement, such as rock climbing, kickboxing, and swimming are especially effective.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder doesn’t have the be the end of happiness. Through a little work, a lot of patience, and some outside help, it is possible to overcome and to live fully again.
It can be overwhelming even thinking about going to rehab, never mind actually doing it. However, if you are suffering from even just one of these signs, reaching out for help is the best chance you have to put an end to your substance use disorder for good.
Do not ignore yourself and your needs. You are worth getting the appropriate mental health treatment so that you no longer have to live in this dangerous cycle of abuse. Reach out to us right now. We can help.
Chris Clancy is the in-house Content Manager for JourneyPure’s Digital Marketing team, where he gets to explore a wide variety of substance abuse- and mental health-related topics. He has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist and researcher, with strong working knowledge of hospital systems, health insurance, content strategy, and public relations. He lives in Nashville with his wife and two kids.