PTSD Treatment Albany, NY
Those exposed to traumatic events or circumstances may develop a serious psychiatric condition known as posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD. People with PTSD experience disturbing thoughts, feelings, and other upsetting symptoms long after the traumatic event has passed. If not treated, PTSD can lead to other physical and mental health symptoms that have the potential to be life-threatening.
Signs of PTSD should never be ignored. We offer PTSD treatment in Albany and the surrounding area to help people get their lives back. Call (518) 675-3097 for more information or to schedule an appointment.
What is PTSD
Posttraumatic stress disorder, formerly known as shell shock, is largely associated with veterans of military combat. However, this disorder can affect anyone who has witnessed or gone through an extremely disturbing experience, such as an accident, violent crime, the sudden death of a loved one, or another traumatizing event. An estimated one in 11 people will experience PTSD in their lifetime. In fact, even indirect exposure to traumatic events can cause PTSD.
Most people have temporary difficulty after a traumatic event, but those with PTSD experience these difficulties for months or years after the event. They continue to grapple with severe anxiety, excitability, intrusive thoughts, and flashbacks. Since PTSD may not go away on its own, treatment is crucial. If not treated, PTSD can lead to depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, substance abuse, and other maladaptive behaviors that derail a person’s life and sense of peace.
“An estimated one in 11 people will experience PTSD in their lifetime.”
Symptoms of PTSD
Someone struggling with PTSD may not entirely understand what is going on or that they even have a mental disorder. For this reason, people need to be able to recognize the symptoms and know when to get help. Symptoms may show up within a month after a traumatic event or years later. In either case, they disrupt a person’s daily life and threaten their mental and physical health. Symptoms may vary by person and fluctuate over time, but they generally fall into four categories:
- Intrusive thoughts and memories. The person may have flashbacks or nightmares related to the event. They may be plagued by recurrent, unwanted memories or thoughts and even have strong physical reactions to things that remind them of the event.
- Avoidance symptoms. Sufferers of PTSD go to great lengths to avoid talking or even thinking about the event. They avoid people, places, and things that remind them of the event.
- Negative changes in thinking/mood. They may isolate themselves from friends and family, become depressed, emotionally numb, and feel hopeless about themselves, the world, and the future.
- Changes in physical/emotional reactions. Those with PTSD can be hypervigilant or easily startled and have trouble sleeping and concentrating. They may exhibit irritability or angry outbursts and engage in self-destructive behavior. A person with PTSD may harbor feelings of overwhelming guilt or shame.
If one notices a significant number of these symptoms in themselves or someone close, we recommend seeking help from a mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist, right away.
“Symptoms may show up within a month after a traumatic event or years later.”
Causes of PTSD
Not all who experience trauma will develop PTSD. The inner workings of the human brain are complex As with most mental health conditions, there is still much we have to learn about the causes of PTSD. The reasons some develop the disorder others do not need further investigation. Whether it is due to genetic and environmental circumstances, structural and chemical differences in the brain, or a combination of these factors is a subject of debate. However, what we do know is PTSD is not a matter of low intelligence or moral weakness, but a condition that can happen to anyone and must be met with compassion.
Genetic predisposition has been identified as a major risk factor for developing PTSD. People who are injured or experience the traumatic event directly are at higher risk. Combat veterans, refugees, women, and those from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds appear to develop the disorder in larger numbers. Also, those that have a family history involving violence and substance abuse are at greater risk, along with those already struggling with mental health issues.
“Genetic predisposition has been identified as a major risk factor for developing PTSD.”
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Treatments for PTSD
PTSD is complex and treatment is different for each person, but often employes a combination of medication and therapy. The majority of therapies fall under the umbrella of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). There are different approaches to this therapy but all aim to change negative thought and behavior patterns.
Because chemical imbalances in the brain are involved in PTSD, a psychiatrist may prescribe medication to help make ease symptoms such as nightmares, anxiety, insomnia, and depression. Our team works with each patient to find the right combination of medication and therapy.
“There are different approaches to this therapy but all aim to change negative thought and behavior patterns.”
Questions Answered on This Page
Q. What are the symptoms of PTSD?
Helping a Loved One With PTSD
The loved ones of those living with PTSD are often at a loss as to how to help. They may feel hurt by their partner, friend, or family member’s moodiness, outbursts, or distance. Perhaps the loved one is also dealing with a substance abuse disorder that is wreaking havoc on their lives and the lives of those close to them. Some feel their loved one has become a stranger.
The important thing to remember is not to take the loved one’s behavior personally and understand they are not acting this way on purpose. It is important to set boundaries but be supportive. Family members and friends do not have to tolerate harmful behaviors but should be available to assist their loved one in finding help. Having patience and giving the person space while still providing companionship is key. Learning as much as one can about the disorder goes a long way in helping establish this understanding.
Family members should strive to minimize stress in the home and empower their individual. Routines and structure are an excellent way to create a sense of stability and normalcy at home. Finally, family members should practice self-care. It is difficult to take care of another without first taking care of oneself.
“It is important to set boundaries but be supportive.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What medications are used to treat PTSD?
A. A wide variety of medications are used to help treat the symptoms of PTSD. Our psychiatrist may prescribe anything from antidepressants such as SSRIs and antianxiety agents to antipsychotic medications. Because each person’s symptoms vary, their needs vary. Also, the psychiatrist will need to determine if the medication is safe to take with a patient’s other medications and has no unacceptable side effects for the patient. Patient feedback is very important to us and we can adjust the medication if it is not working.
Q. Can you help someone who has PTSD and substance abuse or other mental health issues?
A. We get this question often and the answer is yes. It is common and understandable for someone who has PTSD to struggle with other mental health issues, especially substance abuse. Our team is made up of professionals with years of experience treating most mental health issues and they understand the complexity of co-existing mental illnesses.
Q. Do you offer counseling for those living with someone with PTSD?
A. We counsel individuals, couples, and families affected by PTSD. We realize that the friends and family members of those with the disorder are also greatly affected. Our team encourages those living with a person with PTSD to seek out support for themselves as well as their loved ones.
Q. How long must a person exhibit symptoms before being diagnosed with PTSD?
A. About a month. Symptoms may appear months or years later, but if they last more than a month in a way that interferes with work or home life, an individual may have PTSD. The best thing to do is for the person to have a professional evaluation.
Q. How long does PTSD treatment last?
A. The answer to this question is different for each person. Treatment typically lasts 6 to 12 weeks, but in some cases, may take longer. The length of treatment depends on the severity of the person’s condition, the types of treatment needed, and if the person has a co-occurring disorder.
Start Feeling Better – Visit Us Today
By visiting us as soon as possible, our team can help get you the professional treatment you need. Instead of waiting around and allowing the symptoms to get worse, we can provide you with treatment options.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of psychological treatment that helps patients become aware of inaccurate thinking to view situations more clearly and respond to them more effectively.
- A state of heightened awareness and sensitivity to the environment and abnormal alertness to potential dangers.
- Substance abuse
- The overuse of drugs, alcohol, or prescription medication for purposes other than which they may be prescribed or the frequency they are intended.
Call Us Today
If PTSD is wreaking havoc in your life or the life of someone you care about, help is available from the caring and experienced professionals at Evolve Psychiatry. We help people with PTSD get back their lives and renew their hope for the future. Call us now at 518-675-3097 to learn more and schedule an appointment.
Helpful Related Links
- Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 2022
- American Psychiatric Association (APA). American Psychiatric Association (APA). 2022
- Psychology Today. Psychology Today. 2022
- The American Board of Professional Psychology. The American Board of Professional Psychology. 2022
- The American Journal of Psychology. The American Journal of Psychology. 2022
- The National Association of Behavioral Healthcare. The National Association of Behavioral Healthcare. 2022
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