Not surprisingly, people coping with Anxiety Disorders are the second most frequently treated patients in our Intensive Outpatient Program. Of those, individuals suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, are among the most frequent subtype of Anxiety disorders. This is not really surprising since Anxiety disorders are so prevalent and since PTSD is one of the most disabling Anxiety conditions.
To understand why coping with anxiety is so difficult, let’s take a look at PTSD. To be diagnosed with PTSD an individual has to meet the following criteria:
The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following have been present:
1. The person has experienced, witnessed, or been confronted with an event or events that involve actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others.
2. The person’s response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror.
When people hear these criteria they often associate them with war veterans and think “that could never happen to me”. While it is true that veteran’s have some of the highest rates of PTSD, civilians also face similar circumstances every day. For example, convenience store workers, domestic assault victims, police officers, fire fighters, paramedics, and survivors of motor vehicle accidents have some of the highest rates of PTSD and are frequently overwhelmed by their PTSD symptoms and coping with anxiety at this level can be debilitating. First responders, such as deputy’s, sheriffs, policemen, firemen, EMT officers and journalists see horrific circumstances routinely and are often assaulted or face the threat of death or serious injury on a very frequent basis. Natural disasters, including hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes and floods can also create acute stress. Meeting the stressor criterion is more frequent in the civilian population than one might initially think and if you think about coping with anxiety like this, you can see how anxiety could become disabling.
PTSD is most often associated with depression and substance abuse. There is also some evidence that suggests the quicker PTSD is recognized and treated, the better the chances for a positive outcome. Fortunately, there is now an Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of severe anxiety disorders, including PTSD, depression and substance abuse. Our programs provide services to develop skills related to coping with anxiety those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting. If you or a loved one is overwhelmed coping with anxiety or showing debilitating signs of an Anxiety disorder, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery. Treatment for Anxiety, PTSD and depression can be highly successful. Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.