Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness that some people develop in response to trauma. It\u2019s defined by the length of time people experience their symptoms, and the symptoms themselves. For someone to be diagnosed with PTSD, they must have experienced symptoms for at least a month. PTSD People with PTSD have disturbing feelings and symptoms relating to the trauma they experienced. These symptoms linger long after the trauma is over. There are four different categories of PTSD symptoms: Intrusive \tthoughts: Memories, dreams or \tflashbacks of the traumatic event. For some people, the flashbacks \tfeel so real that they relive the event. \t Avoidant \tbehavior: Someone with PTSD \tmay avoid any place, person, object or activity that could remind \tthem of the trauma. They might also avoid talking about it, or their \tfeelings about it. \t Negative \tthoughts and feelings: These \tcan include thoughts and feelings about themselves or about the \ttrauma. They might feel ongoing fear, anger, or guilt, or feel that \tthey can\u2019t trust anyone. \t Arousal \tand reactive symptoms: These \tare symptoms such as hypervigilance, insomnia, anxiety and \taggressive behavior. Complex PTSD The symptoms of complex PTSD are very similar to those of PTSD. The main difference in terms of symptoms is that in complex PTSD, the symptoms last longer and may be more severe. Complex PTSD may be diagnosed in someone who has experienced ongoing trauma. This can include: Neglect \tor abuse during childhood \t Domestic \tabuse, including physical and\/or psychological abuse \t Being \ta prisoner of war, or living in an area that is affected by war This diagnosis is usually made due to the ongoing nature of the trauma and the fact that treatment and recovery may be more complicated. PTSD With Co-Occurring Disorders Trauma and PTSD often contribute to behavioral health issues like: Substance \tabuse \t Eating \tdisorders \t \t Self-harming \tbehaviors People turn to this kind of behavior as a means of coping with the trauma and their symptoms of PTSD. This combination of mental health issues or mental health and substance abuse issues makes it more difficult to address trauma because self-medicating buries the emotional pain. Research shows a dual diagnosis of PTSD and substance abuse is particularly challenging to treat. This combination is linked to: High \trates of suicide attempts \t Increased \trisk of violent tendencies \t Legal \tproblems \t Poor \tsocial functioning \t Chronic \tphysical health problems People with PTSD and co-occurring drug or alcohol abuse sometimes have trouble taking medication consistently. They also find it harder to stick with their treatment program. These challenges mean some people don\u2019t respond as well to treatment as people with either PTSD or alcoholism alone. This doesn\u2019t mean there\u2019s no hope for people with PTSD and substance abuse problems. There\u2019s no doubt that recovery is tough\u2014but being aware of potential problems prepares you to tackle them head-on if they arise. Acute Stress Disorder Acute stress disorder develops in response to a traumatic event. The symptoms of acute stress disorder are very similar to those of PTSD. The main difference is the time frame in which the symptoms occur. In acute stress disorder, symptoms develop between 3 days and 1 month after the triggering event. Between 13% and 21% of car-accident survivors develop acute stress disorder. Between 20% and 50% of people who survive assault, rape or mass shootings develop the disorder. Around half of people with acute stress disorder later develop PTSD. Treatment for PTSD PTSD treatment focuses on reducing the symptoms of the illness and helping you cope with and resolve the trauma you experienced. Treatment typically includes psychotherapy, medication or a combination of both. For instance, anti-depressant medications are often prescribed to control anxiety. Other medications may be prescribed to reduce nightmares or stabilize your mood. Types of therapy for PTSD treatment include: Cognitive \tbehavioral therapy (CBT) \u2013 This helps you recognize destructive or \tnegative thought patterns and change or replace them. \t Prolonged \texposure therapy \u2013 You relive the traumatic experience in a safe \tenvironment. This helps you confront your fears and deal with the \ttrauma. \t Eye \tmovement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) \u2013 This helps you \tidentify distressing memories and process them in a healthier, more \taccurate way. \t Group \ttherapy \u2013 You\u2019re given a safe place to talk with other people \twho have experienced trauma. Inpatient Treatment Chronic trauma is associated with a higher risk of problems like drug abuse and addiction, eating disorders and other kinds of self-destructive behavior. Inpatient treatment can be helpful for people with these kinds of problems. Residential treatment for PTSD provides a safe place to address the reasons behind chronic trauma. It\u2019s also an opportunity to try different types of therapy that are designed to address trauma. Inpatient plans usually include a mix of therapies to treat PTSD: Traditional \ttherapy types (CBT, EMDR, talk therapy and group therapy) and \t \t Alternative \ttherapies, such as mindfulness and meditation. \t Recovery from PTSD Is Possible PTSD is a hard illness to live with. It can affect every aspect of your life, and your relationships too. Recovery is often a gradual, long-term process, but it is possible. Over time, therapy and medication can help you manage your symptoms. They become less intense and intrusive, and you can live life free of your trauma. If you\u2019re interested in learning more about treatment options for PTSD, contact The Ranch at [phone]. We have treatment centers located in beautiful Tennessee and Pennsylvania.