Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious mental health disorder triggered by experiencing or witnessing a particularly distressing event. The symptoms associated with PTSD cause an individual to experience flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. PTSD affects people of any age. However, while any situation that causes people to feel helpless or that they are in immediate danger can lead to PTSD, not everyone who lives through a traumatic event will develop PTSD.. Some of the most common events that can trigger PTSD include: war, automobile accidents, sexual assault, and natural disasters.
At Pacific Grove Hospital, we know that living through a horrifying experience can leave you feeling lost. We understand that the distressing symptoms you have been experiencing have caused disruptions in your daily life and we are here to help. You do not have to go through this alone; the compassionate staff at Pacific Grove Hospital has years of experience helping individuals with PTSD recover.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
When someone you love has PTSD, the family dynamic changes. The person with PTSD may act differently – they may get angry more frequently or no longer want to participate in family activities. This can lead to frustration, anger, or fear about the changes in your loved one. While you may feel hopeless, there are things that you can do to help.
- Learn as much as you can about PTSD so that you understand what your loved one is going through
- Offer to go along on doctor appointments
- Tell your loved one that you are there to listen if they want to talk
- Plan family activities together
- Encourage them to interact with family and close friends
- Do some type of exercise together to help clear the mind
Sometimes your family member may not want your help, but it is important to keep in mind that social withdrawal may be a symptom of their PTSD. Social withdrawal means that they’re not going to feel like talking, taking part in family activities, or being around other people. Offer your loved one space, but assure them that you’re there when they’re ready.
Family support isn’t always enough and your loved one may need professional treatment to address their PTSD. You may recognize that treatment can greatly help, but bringing up the subject is never easy. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Wait for the right time to express concerns
- Be careful of your language; frame the idea of treatment in a positive light
- Emphasize the benefits
- Focus on specific problems your loved one may be having and how treatment can help
- Acknowledge the hassles and limitations of therapy
- Enlist the help of others that your loved one trusts
- Encourage them to join a support group
In addition to helping your loved one, it’s essential that you take care of yourself and seek support.
Why Consider Treatment at Pacific Grove
PTSD can have a tremendous impact on your life. You may find your symptoms affect your mood, work, school, and relationships with friends and family. While it’s natural to try and avoid painful memories, pushing them away will only worsen your PTSD. Attempting to avoid your emotions will further drive a wedge between you and your loved ones and greatly impact your quality of life. The sooner PTSD is treated, the easier it is to overcome.
With effective treatment, those with PTSD can start to relieve some symptoms by facing the trauma they’ve experienced. Instead of ignoring the traumatic event, therapy will encourage clients to recall the experience and process the emotions and sensations associated with the event. Additionally, treatment can help restore a sense of control and release the powerful hold that the memories of the traumatic experience has over them. Finally, an inpatient program can provide clients with needed medication and the opportunity to address problems that PTSD has caused in their lives and relationships.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Pacific Grove Hospital, we believe that we can empower our clients by explaining the whole treatment process and ensuring they understand each step of the process. By doing this, we allow our clients to be active members of their own recovery. The focus across all of our programs is to treat the whole person, not just the symptoms of their PTSD. We firmly believe that through this approach our clients will be better equipped to handle all aspects of their recovery and will find themselves in a better position to be successful in rebuilding their lives. Finally, we will explain the whole treatment process to the client’s family so that they can also be fully integrated into the recovery process.
Types of Treatment Offered at Pacific Grove
Pacific Grove is a full service hospital designed to make your treatment a transformative experience. Our fully qualified, dedicated staff provides you with the knowledge, skills, and resources necessary to create a healthier, more fulfilling life. When you first arrive at Pacific Grove Hospital, you will be assessed by one of our clinicians to determine the most appropriate level of care. All assessments will be conducted in a safe, non-judgmental environment and any questions or concerns you may have will be addressed. The results of you assessment will be used to help your treatment team develop a plan of care for your stay.
Through years of experience treating men and women with PTSD, we have learned that a combination of medication and therapeutic interventions is the best approach. Some of the therapeutic techniques we use may include:
Medication management: Medication is sometimes prescribed to people with PTSD to help relieve some of the symptoms of depression or anxiety. Antidepressants are the most common medication used to manage PTSD symptoms. Each client is seen by a psychiatrist and medication is adjusted as needed.
Individual therapy: Individual sessions can help you identify upsetting, distorted, and irrational thoughts about the traumatic event. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) may be used, which involves slowly exposing yourself to thoughts, feelings, and situations that remind you of the trauma.
Group therapy: Group sessions at Pacific Grove are held multiple times a day and cover a wide range of topics. Through group sessions, clients have the opportunity to connect with others facing similar struggles while practicing social skills.
Family therapy: Family therapy is held once a week and is vital for the treatment process for PTSD as this disorder affects the entire family unit. Family therapy is used to help loved ones understand what you are going through, teaches better communication skills, and works through any relationship problems that may have developed. In addition to family therapy, regular visitation time is scheduled.
As our treatment approach is centered on treating the whole person, we offer a number of experiential therapies. Some of these programs include:
- Recreational therapist
- Expressive therapy
Continuing Care and Levels of Treatment
Discharge planning at Pacific Grove begins as soon as you walk in the door so we can ensure that a continuing plan of care is ready for you after you’ve completed our inpatient program. When discharge time approaches, you’ll meet with a therapist who will connect you to helpful resources in the community to ensure a smooth transition to your next level of care. We’ll help find you a stable place to live and a place of employment, should you need it.
At Pacific Grove we offer two step-down options for clients leaving our inpatient program. Our partial hospitalization program (PHP) is held Monday through Friday from 8am until 3pm and includes individual, group, and family therapy as well as education. Additionally, we have an intensive outpatient program (IOP) which is similar to our PHP, but is only held three days a week. Finally, some people feel they’ve made enough progress in our inpatient program that they’re ready to return home with referrals for traditional outpatient therapy.