PTSD Treatment & Recovery at HMHI
It’s a common part of life to experience shocking, scary, or dangerous events that take an emotional or physical toll on you. An estimated 50 to 60 percent of adults in the United States will experience a traumatic event at least once in their lives, according to the National Center for PTSD.
At Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI), we focus on helping you develop the tools and skills you need to increase your resiliency and help you deal with traumatic events now and in the future.
Our mental health specialists take a patient-centered approach to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment that’s built on a shared decision-making process between the patient and provider. We select customized treatments that target wellness based on your unique strengths, vulnerabilities, and symptoms.
What Is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health condition that some people develop months to years after experiencing one traumatic event (e.g., natural disaster, acts of violence, accidents) or several traumatic events over time. Many types of events can cause the trauma that leads to PTSD, but the symptoms are the same.
People respond to traumatic events in different ways—you could feel numb, have nightmares, or relive the event for up to three months after the experience (i.e., acute stress injury). However, a small percentage of people will have persistent symptoms that last for months after the event, which will eventually develop into PTSD.
When PTSD develops, it occurs with the following four symptom clusters.
- Re-experiencing events
- Frightening thoughts
- Internal and external avoidance
- Drinking to not think about the experience
- Staying away from people, places, or things that remind you of the experience
- Changes in cognition and mood
- Trouble remembering the event
- Seeing other people as dangerous
- Feelings of guilt and blame about the event towards yourself or someone else
- Disassociation (zoning out or feeling like you’re in a dream)
- Arousal and reactivity
- Easily startled
- Feeling anxious
- Difficulty sleeping
- Angry outbursts
There can be differences in how men, women, and children experience or show these symptoms. You must have a combination of symptoms from these clusters to be diagnosed with PTSD.
What Causes PTSD?
It’s not known why only a small percentage of people develop PTSD. Risk factors include:
- type of event and how severe it is;
- history of childhood trauma, abuse, or neglect;
- repeated exposure to trauma;
- poor recovery environment;
- lack of social support; and
- strength of coping strategies.
However, each of these factors is different for every person and each potentially traumatic experience, which makes it hard to find a common cause for PTSD.
Find a PTSD Specialist
PTSD Treatments & Services
For PTSD, it’s better to get treatment earlier rather than later. At HMHI, we treat people of all ages who struggle with different types of traumatic experiences.
You should seek treatment if:
- you’ve experienced a traumatic event.
- you’re experiencing PTSD symptoms.
- these symptoms affect how you function at work, school, or in your relationships.
During your first appointment, one of our health care providers will ask you questions about your experiences, symptoms, and goals. We will then discuss treatment options and work with you to create a customized treatment plan.
Treatment options offered at HMHI include:
- motivational interviewing (MI),
- acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT),
- sleep hygiene,
- social functioning and loneliness intervention,
- cognitive processing therapy, and
- prolonged exposure.
Acute stress injuries (i.e., having symptoms less than three months) can be treated informally with exercise, social support, and self-care or formally with therapy. It’s important to treat the symptoms associated with acute stress injuries before they develop into PTSD.
Additional services for people with PTSD include:
- Geriatric Psychiatry Clinic (for adults over the age of 60)
- Addiction Recovery Services (for patients also struggling with substance use abuse)
- Perinatal Mental Health Services (for patients struggling with postpartum PTSD)
PTSD Programs for Children & Adolescents
With treatment, PTSD symptoms can be reduced to a level where they stop affecting your life and how you function. While traumatic events can’t be erased, treatment will help you develop the tools to process them so that you can manage, understand, and live with the experience.
How To Help Someone With PTSD
- Help your loved one create a routine of self-care and encourage them to participate in activities they enjoy.
- Create opportunities for your loved one to talk about the traumatic event. Talking helps us process traumatic events and make them part of our life story so that we can move past them.
- Keep an eye on your loved one’s mental health life signs. If you notice any changes, consider having a conversation with them about these changes.
- If your loved one is in a crisis situation, the Mobile Crisis Outreach Teams (MCOT) are available to assist you.
Mental Health Crisis Resources
We are here for you when you need us the most. Our team of professionals are trained in:
- mental health crisis management,
- suicide prevention, and
- emotional wellness.
HMHI provides the following specialty programs and resources for you and your loved ones to prevent mental health crises and provide emotional support when needed.