By understanding different types of PTSD, how it bleeds into aspects of daily life and how to find help, you can find a path to recovery.
Types of PTSD
When people think of PTSD, they think of war veterans that return home changed by combat. While this is a devastating form of PTSD, it’s not the only one. In fact, about 15 million adults suffer from PTSD in a given year. It can be the result of single traumatic events such as loss, an accident or a natural disaster or the result of prolonged traumatic circumstances including combat and domestic abuse.
For that large portion of society, PTSD takes five forms:
- Normal Stress Response. This is the normal stressful feeling that comes after any difficult or traumatic event. While it doesn’t always lead to PTSD, if left untreated, it can become problematic.
- Uncomplicated PTSD. After a single traumatic event, a person may avoid certain triggers, have nightmares and experience mood changes that affect relationships.
- Complex PTSD. Unlike uncomplicated PTSD, this form is defined by exposure to repeated traumatic events. It shares many of the same symptoms, but they may develop into more complex personality and mood disorders. It’s often the result of domestic violence and other violent circumstances
- Co-morbid PTSD. When people have mental health or addiction issues that cause or are caused by PTSD, it’s called co-morbid or a dual diagnosis. Because both issues must be addressed, it’s a difficult but not impossible form of PTSD to treat
- Acute Stress Disorder. This isn’t necessarily a form of PTSD, but can turn into it. It’s a step above normal stress response in that the physical and mental symptoms are often more severe and life-altering.
How PTSD Affects Your Everyday Life
Each type of PTSD has its own symptoms, but the American Psychiatric Association defines trauma and PTSD by:
- Intrusive thoughts, nightmares and flashbacks
- Avoidance of anything that reminds a person of their trauma including, places, people, activities, discussions and thoughts
- Changes in mood, memory and habits such as increased isolation, forgetfulness, fear and guilt. People suffering from PTSD commonly exhibit lower self-esteem.
- Changes in response actions and heightened response to stimuli. This might include outbursts, reckless actions, paranoia and sleeplessness.
How to Find Help for PTSD
If PTSD makes daily life harder, you may find solace in an intensive outpatient program or IOP. Unlike residential programs, you attend therapy sessions multiple days a week for hours at a time. You’ll participate in group and individual therapy while learning coping skills.
For people with co-morbid PTSD, an IOP may also include drug rehab, alcohol rehab and mental health services. While you’ll work on those issues individually with a professional, you’ll also meet people in similar circumstances in group meetings. In addition, because you go home at the end of the day, you can maintain your daily life with your IOP as a safety net.
At ATSI Rehab in New Jersey, our team of compassionate mental health professionals hosts IOPs tailored to people with PTSD and related addiction and mental health issues. For more information about how we can help you cope with past trauma and PTSD, contact us today.