What is Preventing You from Getting Treatment for PTSD?
For many people it is difficult and embarrassing to ask for help, but it is the only way you can get your PTSD treated. You should know that many people are going through the same thing and the initial step is the most difficult one. In fact, up to 10% of the general population experience PTSD in their lifetime and these rates are considerably higher for certain occupations. For example, first responders, such as fire fighters, policemen and EMT’s have reported rates of up to 50% of those who witnessed a horrific event later developed PTSD. Unfortunately, first responders have a hard time asking for help and getting treatment for PTSD. So, while you might be extremely nervous or apprehensive about reaching out for help, you know deep down the only way you will improve is if you seek professional treatment.
Why Getting Treatment for PTSD is Necessary?
The symptoms of PTSD are highly disruptive to an enjoyable and productive life. For example, the core symptom of avoidance of reminders of the trauma may result in being unable to return to work. The core symptom of hyper-arousal may make it difficult to sleep, feeling jumpy, uneasy and easily startled. The core symptom of re-experiencing may result in re-living the event over and over, nightmares about the event, and unwanted, distressing recollections of the event. People do not have to suffer from PTSD. Many treatment methods have been found to be successful in alleviating PTSD symptoms. If you suffer from PTSD, it will be extremely difficult to enjoy your life as these symptoms create problems in work and can destroy relationships. For the majority of people the symptoms of PTSD can be significantly reduced and even eliminated with successful treatment.
Getting Treatment for PTSD Can Help You:
- Understand why they are suffering from the trauma
- Start learning how to address with negative feelings and thoughts
- Start living life again and go back to school or work
- Begin to connect with family and friends once again
Why Getting Treatment for PTSD Can be Difficult
There can be many difficulties or obstacles which prevent you from getting support for PTSD. When people have PTSD their first coping mechanism is to avoid the problem altogether. Unfortunately, they may also avoid trying to get assistance. Beyond this there are numerous other reason people avoid getting care quickly. Here are a few reasons:
- Thinking the PTSD is temporary and will go away eventually
- Not knowing the facts about the effectiveness of PTSD treatment
- Believing no one can help because your problems are unique
- Having trouble finding the correct care because don’t have transportation, costing too much or not being able to get a therapist you are comfortable with
- Being embarrassed about your problems
When you are embarrassed about the PTSD you feel as if everyone is judging you. You seem to notice people are talking to you directly or behind your back and also treating you differently than they used to. This can be due to the fact that PTSD is misunderstood and the general public may believe that sufferers are unstable and dangerous, which isn’t the case.
If you are member of the military, you may have other reasons why you may not want to get assistance. You may worry if they talk about your problems to other soldiers, commanding officers or a doctor it will destroy their career in the service. You may be afraid that if they find out you are suffering from PTSD you will be viewed as untrustworthy and weak. You may also feel that you don’t want the PTSD to be revealed if someone reads your medical records.
But if this fear holds you back from getting treatment, the PTSD may continue to get worse and damage both your career and make your life more difficult. Most members of the military don’t reveal their problems until after their tour is finished and they are back with their family. However they shouldn’t wait. The quicker the PTSD can be treated the easier it will be to advance in your career in the military.
What Happens Without Getting Treatment for PTSD?
Approximately 50% of those with PTSD recover at 2 years without treatment. Without treatment 2/3 recover in 6 years. Left untreated, 1/3 of those with PTSD continue to have experience PTSD and develop Chronic PTSD. On the other hand, in people diagnosed with PTSD who receive treatment, the average symptom duration is 36 months or less. Treatment is successful in reducing the intensity and frequency of PTSD symptoms in the early phases of treatment and a full recovery is possible.
Ways of Getting Treatment for PTSD
- Educate yourself about the various PTSD treatments and how they work.
- Talk with someone who is trusting such as a clergy member, spouse, sibling, or doctor. When you know someone has your back you will no longer feel alone.
- Get the ball rolling and seek help from a qualified therapist in your area.
Because our treatment center relies 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 PTSD, depression and other mental health disorders. In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in six 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. If you or a loved one is showing signs of PTSD, depression or anxiety, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan that can result in recovery. Treatment for PTSD depression and anxiety can be highly successful. Call us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.