Trauma is an unfortunate reality for countless individuals throughout the United States and around the world. Millions of people have endured traumatic experiences such as physical abuse, extreme neglect, sexual assault, serious medical conditions, military combat, and natural disasters. For some people, traumatic events lead to powerful but temporary periods of shock, grief, profound sadness, and similar emotions. For others, though, the trauma leads to posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, a mental health disorder that is characterized by symptoms of such intensity and duration that the individuals are prevented from functioning in a normal, healthy, and productive manner. Symptoms of PTSD may include extremely vivid nightmares, dissociative reactions (also known as flashbacks), recurrent involuntary distressing memories, hypervigilance, exaggerated startle response, and several additional distressing reactions.
Without proper professional care, individuals who have developed PTSD may continue to experience profound distress as well as significant impairments in their daily functioning. At Westend Hospital, we have considerable experience working with men and women who have struggled with PTSD, and our specialized programming has proved effective at alleviating their distressing symptoms while helping them to process the trauma in a healthy and productive manner.
Helping a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment
If someone that you care about has been struggling with debilitating symptoms in the aftermath of trauma, he or she may be experiencing PTSD. Though you are already well aware of the distress that this experience can cause, you may not realize that you can play an important role in helping your loved one overcome this distressing disorder. Please consider the following:
- Educate yourself about trauma and the symptoms of PTSD. The more you understand what your loved one is experiencing, the better prepared you will be to provide meaningful assistance.
- Talk to your loved one. More importantly, listen to your loved one. No book, website, or expert will be able to provide a more accurate description of what he or she is experiencing than your loved one will. This should not be a one-time conversation. Keep the lines of communication open, and allow your loved one to approach the topic in the manner that is most comfortable for him or her.
- If you fear that your loved one may be in danger of harming himself or herself, do not ignore your fears. Talk to other trusted friends and/or family members to develop a safety plan. If you suspect immediate danger, contact a suicide prevention hotline or call 911.
- Research the types of treatment that have helped others with PTSD, and identify programs that appear to be prepared to offer the type and level of care that is best suited to meeting your loved one’s specific needs. Remember that there is no such thing as a perfect program. Your goal should be to find the program that is the best fit for your loved one.
During and after your loved one is in treatment, remain an active positive presence in his or her life. Participate in family therapy or family programs if they are offered at your loved one’s treatment center, and be sure to be included in aftercare planning. Recovery from PTSD can be a long process, and your love and support can be essential to your loved one’s continued progress.
Why Consider Treatment at Westend Hospital
As indicated earlier on this page, posttraumatic stress disorder can have a devastating impact on an individual’s life. When a person with PTSD remains untreated, the symptoms of his or her disorder can worsen, inflicting increasingly more severe damage and making it much more difficult for him or her to live a healthy, productive, and satisfying life. Untreated PTSD can undermine a person’s functioning at work and in social contexts, which can result in job loss and unemployment, family discord, and strained or ruined personal and professional relationships. The disruptive effect of PTSD can lead to the onset or worsening of other mental and behavioral health problems, including substance abuse, depression, anger management issues, diminished self-esteem, and suicidal ideation. Failure to get proper treatment for PTSD can cause a person to experience financial devastation, social ostracization, legal problems, and homelessness. Yet with the effective comprehensive care that is available at Westend Hospital, men and women whose lives had been disrupted by PTSD can experience relief from their symptoms and can learn how to once again pursue productive and satisfying futures.
Types of Treatment Offered at Westend Hospital
At Westend Hospital, we are proud to provide life-changing treatment to adults ages 18 and above who are struggling with a range of mental health disorders, including but not limited to posttraumatic stress disorder, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and depression.
When a man or women enters Westend Hospital, he or she can expect to receive world-class clinical services, to be provided with an individualized treatment plan that has been designed specifically to meet his or her unique needs, and to be treated with the utmost dignity and respect. Throughout an individual’s time at Westend Hospital, he or she will work closely with talented and compassionate professionals who will be focused on monitoring his or her progress and offering the personalized care that will alleviate his or her PTSD symptoms and improve his or her quality of life.
While an individual is receiving care for posttraumatic stress disorder at Westend Hospital, the following elements may be incorporated into her his or her treatment plan:
Medication management: The symptoms of certain mental health disorders respond well to treatment with prescription medications. If a client is experiencing a disorder or disorders that may be treated with such medications, he or she can receive effective and responsive medication management services while being treated at Westend Hospital. Services provided to medication management clients include three weekly meetings with a psychiatrist as well as round-the-clock nursing supervision and care.
Individual therapy: One-on-one sessions between a client and his or her therapist can provide invaluable opportunities for individuals to process successes and setbacks, discuss issues related to the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder, and address matters that the client may be unwilling to bring up during group therapy sessions. At Westend, individual therapy sessions are conducted on an as-needed basis based upon the preferences of each client and the determinations of his or her treatment team.
Group therapy: Group therapy is a foundational element of treatment at Westend Hospital. During group therapy sessions, clients who have been struggling with PTSD have the opportunity to share their thoughts and insights, learn from the experiences of others, and practice healthy interpersonal communication skills, all under the guidance and supervision of experienced professionals. At Westend Hospital, group therapy sessions may be led by a nurse, social worker, or activity therapist. Groups are held on a daily basis. While the specific content of any group will be influenced by the contributions of group members, the following are among the general topics that may be addressed:
- Anger management
- Coping skills
- Grief therapy
- Medication compliance and management
- Relapse prevention
- Stress management
Activity therapy: Clients who are being treated for posttraumatic stress disorder at Westend Hospital also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of activity therapy sessions. Activity therapy features several innovative and interactive techniques that can help individuals to manage their symptoms. Activity therapy also offers customized instruction in how to make the healthiest and most productive use of a client’s leisure time, and provides clients with new skills that they can develop and enjoy long after they have returned home.
Family therapy: At Westend Hospital, we are keenly aware of the impact that a client’s struggles with PTSD can have on loved ones, and we also understand the essential role that family members can play in a client’s continued progress during and after he or she is in treatment with us. For these reasons, we are proud to provide family therapy sessions on an as-needed basis. Conducted by an experienced social worker, family therapy sessions allow loved ones to address personal concerns, strengthen familial bonds, and learn how best to support the client’s continued healing after he or she has returned home.
The goal of Westend Hospital is to provide clients who have been struggling with PTSD with the assessments, treatment, and continuing support that they need, based upon their unique strengths, needs, and goals. To learn more about our programming, please contact us at your convenience. We look forward to answering all of your questions and helping you determine if Westend Hospital is the perfect place for you or someone you care about.