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Treatment for PTSD and suicidal thoughts can occur simultaneously because they frequently occur together.  That’s because those who suffer from PTSD are at increased risk of suicide and as many as 27% have attempted suicide at some point in their lifetime.  In fact, PTSD and suicidal thoughts are the 10th leading cause of death in the United States.2 Individuals who don’t receive treatment for PTSD and suicidal thoughts are at increased risk of attempting or completing suicide. Any threats or plans of suicide must be taken seriously and are not frivolous attention seeking behavior.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects millions of Americans each year. PTSD can occur as a response to any type of traumatic incident such as combat duty, sexual assault, violence, motor vehicle accidents, natural and man-made disasters, and physical violence and its effects have been studied with increasing frequency over the last several years. Symptoms of PTSD can include re-experiencing the event or flashbacks and feeling the same fear or horror as when the incident occurred. Those with PTSD may avoid situations which remain them of the event, may experience emotional numbness, anxiety, jitteriness, irritability, anger, shame, depression, despair, problems eating or sleeping, problems with alcohol or drugs, and may have thoughts of suicide. PTSD and suicidal thoughts may be partially related by the ultimate desire to avoid all situations.

Suicide affections millions of people each year and is responsible for the deaths of 105 Americans every day.1  Warning signs of suicide can include repeated talks or thoughts about suicide, deep sadness, trouble eating or sleeping, loss of interest in social connections and activities, behavior like they have a death wish by engaging in unnecessary risks, and heavy drug or alcohol use. Other signs include the person making comments about how they are hopeless, worthless, or useless and how everything would be better if they were just not here anymore. Signs of preparation or making a plan are also extremely serious and can include making amends with people and saying goodbye, making sure all affairs are in order, changing their will, talking about killing themselves or their plans to commit suicide. Finally, sudden changes in behavior are also a signal and may include changes such as the person going from severely despondent and depressed to suddenly happy and calm.

Treatment for PTSD and suicidal thoughts can include cognitive behavioral therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, and other forms of psychotherapy can assist those suffering from PTSD. These treatments may be used in conjunction with prescription medications for short or long term periods, if required. Successful treatment is possible with therapy alone but prescriptions may be used to help a patient cope while they go through the various stages of therapy. A trained mental health professional will perform an evaluation and decide a course of action which is as unique as the person and may adapt the treatment plan as necessary depending on the patient’s response to the treatment.

Should you or a loved one show the warning signs of PTSD and suicidal thoughts, it is important to seek help immediately. Actively listen to what the person is saying, don’t try to argue them out of committing suicide or make statements about how much life has to offer. Instead, just be there to listen, remove any items which may be used for suicide, and call for professional assistance right away by dialing 9-1-1 or calling a center which specializes in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

Because our treatment for depression and anxiety programs rely on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  Unfortunately, in Tennessee, about 3.7% of all adults will have serious thoughts of suicide.  Furthermore, less half of all individuals with any mental illness in Tennessee will receive mental health treatment. Treatment for PTSD and suicidal thoughts can be effective. In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment for PTSD and suicidal thoughts and other disorders in seven peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.  Our treatment center provides services to 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. It is also important to keep in mind that women and men often experience depression differently and therefore the presence of depression may also appear differently based on gender. If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, including PTSD, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  People who have completed our program have provide very high consumer satisfaction scores and reviewsCall us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.

  1. http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0CB4QFjAAahUKEwjNsY3d34LGAhXDFpIKHRLFD7s&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fviolenceprevention%2Fpdf%2Fsuicide_datasheet_2012-a.pdf&ei=Ku52Vc30K8OtyASSir_YCw&usg=AFQjCNHvzADqn2F0dLAa6lwH-blXqKgQdA&sig2=NyeLTu2VBs7-28K8AfQv9Q&bvm=bv.95039771,d.aWw
  2. http://healthresearchfunding.org/engrossing-ptsd-suicide-statistics/