Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Beverly Hills, MI—Therapists and Counselors
Sebastian, backed against a metal door in a crowded New York City subway car, felt his heart begin to race. As feelings of fear intensified he did what anyone would do in danger: at the next stop he rushed from the train and ran home. But Sebastian had not actually been in any danger. He had served in the US military, fighting in Afghanistan, and now back home and safe, he was having panic attacks whenever he was in crowded, small spaces. Sebastian Junger told his story to Vanity Fair because he responded to these panic attacks by reaching out for help. Sebastian had Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He worked with a psychologist to address his symptoms, and he wanted others to know what PTSD is and that it has treatments.
“The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma.”
— Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery
The symptoms of PTSD can begin almost immediately after a traumatic event, but they can also begin months or even years after the event. Sebastian is not alone in speaking out about his trauma and seeking help. More and more people who have PTSD are telling their stories to let other people know that it is ok to speak about what happened. In particular, if you have lived through trauma and you are experiencing disruptions in your home or work life, it may be time to reach out for help from a mental health professional.
The therapists at Thriveworks Beverly Hills offer mental health care for Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder. We have helped many people find a diagnosis, treatment plan, and a feeling of safety.
PTSD: Risk Factors
Not everyone who survives a dangerous or traumatic event will develop PTSD. It is unclear why it develops in some people and not others. One thing is clear: PTSD has nothing to do with whether people are strong or weak. It is a complex psychological disorder. Many of its risk factors are completely outside of an individual’s control. For example, factors contributing to PTSD can include:
- Experiencing a long-lasting or intense trauma.
- The way an individual’s brain regulates the chemicals and hormones that are released in response to the stress.
- Genetic factors like a family history of depression and anxiety.
- The type and intensity of trauma an individual has experienced throughout their life, including childhood abuse.
- An individual’s inherited temperament.
- Working in a profession where exposure to trauma is possible, such as military service, medicine, or first responder.
- Struggling with substance abuse.
- Lack of community support from family members and friends.
The kind of trauma that can develop into PTSD varies considerably. A few of the most common experiences include: sexual violence, combat exposure, childhood abuse (physical, emotional, or sexual), physical assault, receiving a terminal medical diagnosis, being threatened or bullied, and experiencing an accident (fire, car crash, et cetera).
“Very minor threats can be experienced, by what the signals in your body tell you, as, ‘You’re in acute danger’”
—Sandra Bloom, former president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies
PTSD symptoms fall into four different categories:
Re-experiencing the Trauma
PTSD may cause people to re-experience the trauma. These re-experience events can strike at any time, and they often cause people to feel the same feelings they did during the event, including horror, fear, panic, and more. For example, people with PTSD may…
- Have nightmares about the event that feel very real.
- Experience a flashback—a feeling as if they are re-living the event.
- Have triggers: things they hear, see, or smell that cause a re-experience event.
Avoiding Situations that Are Similar to the Trauma
When people develop PTSD, certain situations can trigger memories or flashbacks of the event. In an attempt to control these symptoms, people with PTSD may rearrange their lives so as to avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma. For example, people with PTSD may…
- Stay away from crowds because that situation can feel dangerous.
- Stop driving if the trauma involved a car, such as a military convoy being bombed or an auto accident.
- Refuse to watch movies, TV shows, or the news.
- Avoid anything that may cause them to think about the trauma.
Negative Changes in Feeling and Beliefs
When people experience PTSD, the trauma may alter their beliefs about themselves, the event, and the world in general. For example, people with PTSD may …
- Have difficulty feeling positive emotions about or loving feelings towards other people in their lives, so they may stop trusting those people.
- Forget about some of the trauma that is too difficult to speak about.
- See the world as completely dangerous.
When people are hyper-aroused, they may be always alert and looking out for potential danger. They are often nervous and may become angry or irritable without warning. They may…
- Having difficulty sleeping.
- Having difficulty concentrating.
- Become startled by loud noises or surprises.
- Become uncomfortable when feeling confined or trapped.
Scheduling an Appointment at Thriveworks Beverly Hills for PTSD
As you read through the four types of symptoms PTSD can cause, did you recognize anything? If you did, consider reaching out to Thriveworks Beverly Hills. When you contact our office, your first appointment may be the following day. We accept many forms of insurance, and we offer evening and weekend sessions. Call today.