Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders
Morningside Recovery has been successfully treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for years, whether it co-occurs with substance abuse or not. Using a variety of treatment methods, Morningside helps clients suffering from PTSD face their pain and trauma. Treatment of PTSD is similar to that of an anxiety disorder, often involving a combination therapies and treatments.
Whether the client is a victim of a physical or sexual assault, a combat veteran or in an auto accident, education about PTSD is an important first-step in treatment. If the trauma is recent, it is important to allow the client time to heal. Clients get nutritional guidance, sleep hygiene and get into a routine. Surviving a trauma impacts both the mind and body. A person who has survived a trauma cannot be expected to function as they would normally. Therefore, treatment would typically start simply with breathing retraining as a method for helping the client manage anxiety in early treatment.
Once stabilized a client begins a schedule of CBT and EMDR therapies. CBT focuses on examining and challenging a client’s thinking processes and exploring the client’s environment to determine what might aggravate the PTSD symptoms and what would reduce the sensitivity to a particular stimuli. EMDR, on the other hand, provides a platform for the client to work through the traumatic event at the root of his or her PTSD.
Treatment involves feeling genuine emotion, often for the first time in years. Emotions are often those of grief that bring tears; there may also be feelings of anger or fear. In cases of physical or sexual assault, revenge fantasies are common, as are avoidance symptoms. And since these symptoms can lead to clients avoiding close emotional ties with family and friends, Morningside staff monitors familiar relationships by constantly encouraging family involvement in treatment and providing multiple levels of family programming each month.
Working closely with the clinical staff, daily improvement is experienced by clients at Morningside Recovery. Both the client and family gain insight and education into PSTD. For example, PSTD is also characterized by “re-experiences” that can come as a sudden, painful onslaught of emotions that seemingly have no cause, but are actually linked to the traumatic event. Clients suffering from PSTD can become irritable, even when not provoked, and may have trouble concentrating or remembering current information. That is why treatment at Morningside focuses on having clients gain insight into the destructive attitudes and behaviors associated with PTSD.
Regardless of theoretical orientation, therapy seeks to heal the emotionally numbed, or conversely allow the client to process the flood of emotions caused by the repeated re-experiencing of the event. Eventually clients learn to face the situations and sensations that they have been avoiding out of fear and they learn to gain control over the anxious feelings rather than letting feelings control them. Over time, individuals change their opinions of themselves and others, and can build a new view of the world and redefine a positive sense of self.