PTSD and Trauma
Treatment in Atlanta
When we think about PTSD and trauma, we often think of our military service men and women. While PTSD has been common in the military, anyone exposed to a traumatic experience or who experiences multiple traumatic events can develop PTSD. When you have experienced trauma or have PTSD, Atlanta Integrative Psychiatry is here to help with our personalized PTSD treatment in Atlanta.
What Is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a traumatic event or ordeal or recurring traumatic events. Traumatic events triggering PTSD include violent death, natural disasters, personal assault, military combat, and accidents.
Signs and Symptoms of PTSD
Some of the more common signs and symptoms of PTSD include the following:
- Re-experiencing the traumatic event through intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, and nightmares.
- Avoiding places, people, or activities that remind you of the trauma.
- Negative changes in beliefs and feelings about yourself or others.
- Hyperarousal (feeling on edge) with difficulty sleeping and concentrating; irritability or outbursts of anger; being easily startled etc.
- Feeling detached from friends, family members, and loved ones.
- Difficulty remembering details related to the event.
- Intense anxiety when exposed to reminders of the traumatic event.
- Withdrawal and self-isolation away from others.
- No longer finding enjoyment in hobbies and activities, one likes.
- Excessive alcohol or substance use that could lead to dependence and addiction.
It is crucial to seek professional help if you or someone you care about exhibits these signs and symptoms lasting longer than one month.
Types of PTSD
The different types of PTSD include:
Symptoms last less than three months after the traumatic event and generally do not meet the criteria for a diagnosis of chronic PTSD.
Symptoms persist longer than three months after the traumatic event and meet all criteria for a diagnosis of chronic PTSD.
The onset of symptoms is more than six months after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, with no previous history of trauma exposure or prior psychological distress related to an earlier trauma experience.
This type includes multiple traumas combined with other mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and alcohol or substance use, making it difficult to distinguish which disorder came first – the traumas or the coexisting disorder.
PTSD is typically treated with a combination of medication, psychotherapy (talk therapy), and lifestyle changes. Medication such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can help reduce symptoms like anxiety and depression.
Psychotherapy techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you understand your thoughts and feelings about the traumatic event, learn healthy coping strategies for managing stress, and overcome any avoidance behaviors related to the trauma.
Lifestyle changes may include getting enough restful sleep each night, eating a balanced diet, and exercising regularly to improve overall physical health, which also impacts mental health. Treatment plans can include:
- Relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, yoga, or breathing exercises.
- Nutrition and exercise for improved physical health.
- Support from family/friends/peers who understand the condition.
At Atlanta Integrative Psychiatry, we offer PTSD treatment in Atlanta tailored to the patient’s specific needs. Our treatment process can include the following:
Initial Consultation/Psychiatric Evaluation
The initial consultation and psychiatric evaluation is a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s mental health to obtain the information needed to develop a personalized treatment plan. It can include asking questions about the person’s physical and mental health, current symptoms, past medical history, lifestyle, and family history. The evaluation can also include laboratory tests and physical exams.
Genetic testing for PTSD is used to help identify genetic markers that contribute to one’s PTSD. The test is beneficial as it allows the individual and psychiatrist to better understand contributing factors and identify potential medications that could help.
Psychotherapy is a type of talk therapy that can help people with PTSD. It focuses on helping the person process and work through their trauma to reduce distress, gain insight into their reactions to traumatic events, learn healthier coping strategies for managing stress, and find ways to increase resilience.
Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) combines medications with psychotherapy to treat PTSD. Commonly prescribed medications include antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which can help reduce symptoms like anxiety and depression. Other types of medication may be used to target specific symptoms or comorbid conditions such as insomnia or alcohol and substance use disorders.
Nutritional services may be recommended to help people with PTSD improve their overall physical health. This can include providing education on healthy eating habits and making dietary recommendations tailored to the individual’s specific needs. In addition, nutritional counseling, meal planning, and grocery shopping tips may also be provided to ensure adequate nutrition, which is essential for proper brain functioning and emotional well-being.
Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) therapy is a non-invasive treatment for depression, anxiety, and PTSD. It involves stimulating specific brain areas with short bursts of electromagnetic energy to reduce symptoms. TMS has been shown to be effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD, particularly when combined with other treatments such as psychotherapy or medication.
Spravato (esketamine) and ketamine therapy are two forms of medication-assisted treatment used to treat PTSD. They both work by targeting brain areas involved in regulating emotion, helping to reduce symptoms such as anxiety, depression, and flashbacks. Spravato is administered via nasal spray, while ketamine is typically given intravenously or intramuscularly. Both treatments are effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD, particularly when combined with other treatments such as psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
Substance use disorder (SUD) treatment may be recommended for people with PTSD who are also struggling with addiction. This type of treatment involves a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and lifestyle changes to reduce cravings, manage withdrawal symptoms and provide support during recovery. Treatment typically includes individual counseling, group therapy sessions, and aftercare programs such as 12-step programs or other peer support groups.
The benefits of PTSD Treatment in Atlanta include the following:
- Improved emotional well-being and mental health.
- Reduced stress and anxiety levels.
- Increased ability to cope with traumatic memories or situations.
- Enhanced communication skills and relationships with family, friends, and loved ones.
- Better overall physical health due to improved sleep, nutrition habits, etc.
- Improved concentration, focus, and productivity at work or school.
- Increased self-confidence, resilience, and sense of personal control.
Personalized PTSD Treatment in Atlanta
Atlanta Integrative Psychiatry offers personalized PTSD treatment for individuals in the Atlanta area. Our team of experienced mental health professionals provides a comprehensive approach to trauma-focused care tailored to meet each individual’s needs and goals. We can help you gain control over your symptoms while also developing healthy coping skills so you can live a life free from the effects of PTSD. Schedule an appointment today!
Hathaway, B. (2021). Genetic Analysis Yields New Insights Into PTSD.
How Common Is PTSD in Adults? (2020).
Petrosino NJ, Cosmo C, Berlow YA, Zandvakili A, van ‘t Wout-Frank M, Philip NS. (2021). Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
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