If you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the traumatic event may never be far from your mind. You may have flashbacks in which you feel right back in the midst of your attack or event. Nights may be filled with nightmares and night terrors in which you dream about the event or conversely, you may find that you’re unable to properly sleep. It may feel that there’s no escaping the triggers for your trauma and you may have begun to avoid anything that reminds you of the trauma: people, places, and events may bring that trauma right back into your mind. As a result, you may find that you’re avoiding any reminder of the trauma, which can make your world smaller and smaller. You may not know that there’s another way – it’s time to seek treatment for your PTSD once and for all.
Vantage Point understands that traumatic events can cause some people to develop PTSD, which can make a person feel as though they’re trapped in a nightmare without an escape. We’ve helped countless children, teens, adults, and older adults who have post-traumatic stress disorder learn ways to cope with the symptoms and begin to rebuild their lives. At Vantage Point, you know you’ve come home.
How to Help a Loved One or Family Member Seek Treatment
If your loved one has post-traumatic stress disorder, it’s likely you feel helpless in the face of his or her flashbacks and nightmares. You may feel as though he or she has stopped living in the present; living through the trauma day in and day out. This can make day-to-day life hard as you may have to take on increasing amounts of responsibilities as he or she struggles to get through the day, hour, or minute. You may know that your loved one needs help and you may not know what to say for fear that you’ll make matters worse. Here are some tips for helping your loved one with PTSD seek treatment:
Remind the person they’re not weak: As many people who have PTSD believe that they are weak or flawed for developing post-traumatic stress disorder following an ordeal in which others walked away seemingly unscathed. A gentle reminder that he or she is not weak or flawed can make all the difference in the world.
Understand mental illness: PTSD is a normal response to an entirely abnormal situation and it can be difficult for those on the outside to understand the disorder. Take the time to learn about PTSD, the symptoms, and the treatments so that you can best advocate for your loved one.
Run point: Many people with PTSD do not feel they know where to begin to seek treatment or care. This is the time in which you can truly help your loved one by finding treatment centers that specialize in PTSD treatment and make appointments. Remind your loved one that you will offer your love and support through the whole ordeal. Go to appointments with your loved one to ease any anxiety.
Why Seek Inpatient Treatment at Vantage Point
Living with PTSD may feel as though time has stopped – you may be unable to function at work, home, or school and your life may be suffering. You may be on the verge of flunking out of school or getting fired from work as your illness grows in severity. Your interpersonal relationships may be suffering as you are unable to socialize with loved ones or engage in romantic relationships with others. You may be staring down the barrel of social isolation and feel as though life may, in fact, no longer be worth living. It’s time to make a change – you’re worth it.
An inpatient treatment center affords those who seek treatment many opportunities not offered by traditional therapy. Inpatient care allows people who have PTSD the chance to escape the triggers of home life and focus entirely upon recovery and healing. In an inpatient center, you’ll have a multidisciplinary team of mental health professionals who will approach your struggles with years of dedicated care and provide an individualized approach to care that allows you to truly begin down the road to successful recovery.
Program Philosophy and Benefits
At Vantage Point, we fully believe that the best approach to mental health and chemical dependency starts with a proper assessment process that allows our team of professionals to truly understand the struggles of those who come to us. We believe that individualized care is the only way to treat disorders such as PTSD and offer each person that comes to us a plan of care tailored to his or her unique needs. Vantage Point understands that simply treating the symptoms of the presenting disorder is not the way to properly provide mental health treatment – we maintain that the best way to treat PTSD and other disorders is through treating the whole person – mind, body, and spirit.
Treatment Options Offered at Vantage Point
When you first come to us for treatment and care of your PTSD, you’ll undergo a number of evaluations that will allow us to properly form a picture of your struggles and ways we can help you. The medical exam will diagnose any medical complications that may have resulted from your PTSD and determine if there are any medical causes for your symptoms. Our psychiatric evaluation will allow us to determine the severity of your PTSD and diagnose any co-occurring mental health disorders such as depression. When we have compiled the results of these evaluations, we will sit down and work with you and your loved ones to create a plan of care for your stay with us as well as potential aftercare options.
Medication may be used as a way to manage the symptoms of your post-traumatic stress disorder. Certain antidepressants and antianxiety agents will allow for symptom reduction so that you can best focus upon your healing. While some people may only be on medication for a short while and tapered down, most will require long-term medication management. You’ll work closely with your treatment team to determine efficacy and adjust medications as needed.
Individual therapy is a great way for people with PTSD to learn ways to cope with their symptoms. Through a technique called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), you’ll be able to see the ways in which your negative thoughts affect your behaviors and ways in which you see the world. You’ll work on anger management, coping with stress, and relapse prevention in individual therapy.
Group therapy can be helpful for people with PTSD to relearn social skills that may have been changed as a result of the traumatic event. You’ll work with others who’ve similarly struggled so that you can all grow, learn, and heal from your trauma. Group topics may include coping strategies, problem solving, and management of triggers.
Family therapy is amazing for people who have PTSD as many of the bonds with family and loved ones are tested when a person develops this disorder. Through family sessions, we’ll teach your loved ones ways to cope with your symptoms, educate your loved ones about PTSD, and determine ways in which they can be helpful in your recovery.
As Vantage Point believes in a whole person healing process, we offer a few experiential methods designed to complement your traditional therapeutic approaches. These may include:
- School-based programming (for children and adolescents)
- Recreational therapy
- Expressive therapy
Continuing Care and Levels of Care
As your time with us draws to close, you and your loved ones will work with our discharge team to create a plan of care that meets continuing care needs. You may find that you need more time in an intensive program and opt to join a residential program which allows you to remain in a closely-monitored environment that will allow for continued healing. You may have made enough progress with us that you’re ready to step down to a more intense outpatient program such as a partial hospitalization program (PHP) or an intensive outpatient program (IOP), both of which offer treatment during the day while you slowly reenter your home environment in evenings and on weekends. Some may have made enough progress that they’re ready to discharge into our traditional outpatient therapy program with referrals to available community resources.