San Diego PTSD Treatment Centers
Women, Children, Veterans and Military Personnel in the Time of War and Conflict
In this day and age, conflict and war is no longer a rare occurrence that people get pulled into. Political conflicts, religious disagreements, and hate, in particular, are the causes of the various firefights and senseless killings around the world. While there are many governing bodies and institutions that are looking to help resolve the violent conflicts to achieve a global state of peace, the sad fact remains that cases like these cannot be avoided as long as all sides are willing to cooperate. If you or someone you love is struggling and would like to speak with someone about help from a PTSD treatment center in San Diego California please contact us now by clicking on the contact tab.
Currently, there are countless firefights occurring back and forth in many areas in the world; most particularly in Middle Eastern countries. The fights have brought nothing but pain and losses to those who are stuck at the center of it. Clashing ideologies and radical beliefs are also at the center of these conflicts which many are dying from.
Countless lives are affected by war and at the forefront of these unwanted occurrences are soldiers who are fighting for the protection and well being of others. These soldiers have undergone rigorous training before being destined to war-torn countries such as Syria and Iraq. The training they receive is designed to push a human body to its limits so that it can overcome any situation.
The Soldiers’ Sacrifice
Other than expanding their physical capabilities, soldiers are also trained to become mentally and psychologically tough. In doing so, they are able to surpass any adversity through determination and a savvy on ranged and melee combat. Despite the rigorous training, some soldiers are still prone both physical and mental anguish. Regardless of how high we look at these soldiers, we must never forget that they are only human and being in the line of fire is no walk in the part.
We’ve all heard stories about the Vietnam and World Wars and how the survivors from them have to live through a case known as post-traumatic stress disorder. It may sound like a light condition for some but in actuality, PTSD has drastic effects on a human mind and those who never get the chance to seek help are bound to suffer day in and day out.
70% of adults in the United States have been on the receiving end of a traumatic state at least once during their lifetime. From a grander perspective, that 70 percent is equal to a staggering 223.4 million people. This basically means that there are countless individuals who could be suffering from PTSD, which is something that we should not take lightly.
PTSD – the Unfortunate Upshot of Wars to Soldiers
This state is for the population of the United States in general and it does not refer only to the military population. Studies have revealed that 1 in 5 soldiers return from war-torn areas like Iraq and Afghanistan return home with PTSD. Even more harrowing is the fact that the number of diagnosed cases continue to jump up each year. That’s just the undiagnosed cases though as there could be a lot of others who are unwilling to open up. In actuality, a lot of others are affected by the disorder.
Yes, the harsh reality is that PTSD can happen to anyone and it is not just limited to people who are active in military combat or those who have been a part of previous wars. Men, women, children; everyone is prone to this disruptive disorder so long as they’ve been through a harsh struggle in life.
The Golden State’s Few and Proud
People who enlist in the army or other military groups come from all walks of life. Each state in the United States is home to countless brave men and women who are willing to fight for peace and the lives of others. Some states, however, contribute more to the overall military population than the others.
North County is the second most populous region in California next to San Diego. The area is known for its vibrant night life, extravagant houses, beaches, and more. It is also an area in the United States that carry a vast number of military members and officials.
Military Population in North County
San Diego’s North County massive military population is due to the fact that the area is where a ton of military bases are situated at. In total, the state of California is home to a whopping 32 military bases situated across the shorelines and across the state. The Golden State has the most military bases out of all the states in America. The Navy and Marine Corps are mostly taking bases in San Diego while the rest of the state houses the United States Army.
This should not be a surprise anymore but California is the state that houses the most military active-duty personnel. As of September 2017, the state of California is the home to a staggering 184,540 military personnel, most of which are active in their line of work. In total, there are 1.3 million active duty military personnel in the United States.
In total, there are 128, 737 active military members in California. 6,567 are from the Army, 44,838 are from the Navy, 55,101 are from the Marine Corps., 17,243 are from the Air Force and 4,624 are from the Coast Guard.
What’s good though is that with all the military bases situated around the Golden State, California remains to be one of the safest areas in the United States. The soldiers in these military bases are more than ready to spring into action whenever they are needed and as such, Californians can rest easy most of the time knowing that they are being safe guarded by highly trained individuals.
The Growing Concern of PTSD in California
Like most people in this line of work, the military personnel in the state of California are very prone to experiencing traumatic events. PSTD in the military is rather common. As active personnel, they are tasked with springing into action when necessary and they could face tough adversity along the way.
The Others Who Suffer Through PTSD
As stated, everyone can be a victim of PTSD so long as they went through a horrible experience. Women, children and especially veterans from previous wars are very prone to it and in fact, they attribute a huge number to the total cases of PTSD cases in the United States. Locating some of the best PTSD support groups San Diego locations can sometimes be difficult.
According to studies, 1 out of every 9 women develops PTSD. That makes them the gender most prone to it, as they are twice as likely as men. PTSD causes in adults vary but for women, the most common cause for them is through sexual harassment encounters and advances. Women are victims of cases like these and as such, their PTSD cases continue to grow.
Although there are men and women who experience sexual assaults, such traumatic incident is most common in women. And among the traumatic events that could happen to a person, sexual assault is known as one of the main causes of PTSD. That being said, apart from war veterans, PTSD is also prevalent in women compared to men.
PTSD in Children and Young Adults
Of course, the young ones; including children and teens are also victims of PTSD. Since they are at such a young age, traumatic experiences leave a long-lasting imprint on their memories as their minds are yet to fully process a keen understanding of events. The traumatic event could range a lot and it includes bullying in school, molestation, and so many more.
Looking at the PSTD statistics, studies show that girls and boys go through at least one traumatic experience in their lifetime. To be more precise, 15% to 43% of girls, and 14% to 43% experience these traumatic events. Of these causes, 3% to 15% in girls develop PTSD and 1% to 6% in boys develop it.
Children and teens that develop PTSD at such a young age and refuse to get treatment for it tend to suffer from the disorder for a really long time. PTSD symptoms vary from person to person but with kids and teens going through it, a part of their symptoms include the inability to interact with others, anxiety, depression, and in worse cases, they develop suicidal tendencies too.
PTSD in Veterans
Of course, another group of PTSD victims worth looking into is the veterans. The different World Wars and the Vietnam Wars has produced a ton of PTSD prone veterans. At such an old age, it is saddening to see these veterans suffer through the events of their past and they are greatly affected by it the most.
Suicidal Tendencies and Mental Illnesses in Veterans
Veterans of modern and previous wars went through a lot and after the war, they would feel like their life has lost its direction. PTSD symptoms in veterans vary from person to person but a common factor among them is that most of them develop suicidal tendencies. If they don’t get help or if their disorders aren’t dealt with immediately, it could eventually lead to them taking their lives and it is something treatment centers are looking to avoid.
War veterans, for example, are one of the people who usually develop such mental illness. No matter how experienced a person is in the war zone, killing someone or almost getting killed could still cause traumas which is the main reason why patients develop PTSD.
There is Hope
The term PTSD is very broad and vague, under it are various ideas and theories but it all boils down to how traumatic events affect and individual’s life in the long run. Though it is a harrowing condition, PTSD is curable and there are even various establishments that center their functions on ridding veterans and other military personnel of PTSD. Before anything else though, it is important to first get a clear understanding of what PTSD is, what it does to an individual, its symptoms, and how it is acquired.
The Effects of PTSD
Most people would feel scared, anxious, or sad when they experienced or witnessed something tragic and it is normal as it is the body’s natural reaction when it senses danger. However, if an individual’s negative feelings did not go away even after a few weeks or months, it might cause further problems.
Inability to Perform Properly
PTSD, as well as other mental health problems, if not treated, can negatively affect an individual’s everyday life and even his or her overall health. Because PTSD includes symptoms that affect a person’s ability to think and focus, he or she would have a hard time performing well at work. PTSD patients also experience changes in their moods thus, it could negatively affect a person’s relationship with others.
PTSD and Depression
Furthermore, PTSD could result in other mental illnesses. PTSD and depression often accompany each other. In fact, more than 40-50% of diagnosed PTSD patients also experienced depression. And depression is also often linked to other mental health problems. Thus, there is a possibility that a person struggling with PTSD could develop other mental illness if left untreated.
The Link Between PTSD and the Brain
In addition, persons with untreated PTSD are prone to greater health risks. It is still unknown to experts as to why PTSD patients are more prone to physical health problems. However, it may be because of the changes happening in the brain. Experts think that this activity in the brain could make the body vulnerable to health issues such as hypertension and other cardiovascular disorders as well as abnormalities in the thyroid, etc.
Causes and Development of PTSD
When a person directly experiences something tragic events like terrible accidents, natural disasters, or war, he or she could develop PTSD. Domestic violence, physical abuse, sexual assaults, or any catastrophic events that are very traumatic for a person could also result in PTSD. However, those who experience life-threatening or depressing tragedies at first hand are not the only ones who are likely to develop such mental illness. Even those who have witnessed such horrendous incidents, as well as those who already had mental problems in the past, are not safe from developing PTSD as well.
In spite of the statistics that prove that PTSD is real and could happen to anyone, not everyone who experienced or witnessed a traumatic incident has a high chance of developing PTSD.
Factors That Cause PTSD
There are lots of factors that play a part in developing such mental health issue. These are as follows:
- Frequency of a tragic event.One of which is the frequency of the incident – is the person physically or sexually assaulted repeatedly? Is the person exposed in a war zone for a longer period of time or whatnot?
- The kind of treatment the victim is experiencing in his environment.In addition to that, how an individual is treated by his or her family members or the society after the incident plays a major role. Did he or she receive an ample amount of social support after what had happened? Or was the person criticized for the traumatic incident?
- Heredity.The family’s mental health history contributes as well. If there is a history of mental health illness in the family, it is likely that a person who experienced traumas would develop PTSD.
Diagnosing Treating PTSD
The way to treat PTSD in people varies from people to people and it’s up to the heath expert on what the proper treatment should be for an individual. Most people would tend to ask, “How is PSTD diagnosed?” The treatment all begins with the initial process of physical and psychological evaluation.
Treatment centers for PTSD use an array of techniques and devices to give an individual a thorough diagnosis of his case. Considering how California has more PTSD cases than most states because of its massive military personnel population, the state’s facilities offer top-of-the-line service even at the early stages of treatment.
During the examination process, the doctors and the professionals at hand are going to use a criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders by the American Psychiatric Association to see whether or not the individual is indeed suffering from PTSD.
Experts specializing in mental health also refer to such prerequisites for adults and children older than six years as “Criteria A – H.” Below are the formal criteria to be diagnosed with PTSD.
- Criterion A. The person must have been exposed to a threat or an actual death of another person encountered an incident that led to a serious injury or witnessed or experienced sexual or physical violence as well as emotional abuse.
- Criterion B. In this criterion, the possible PTSD patient must have experienced recurring, uncontrollable, and/or unwelcomed thoughts or memories – be it expected or unexpected. The person must have also been having nightmares and vivid flashbacks about the traumatic incident that had happened. The person might also experience physical responsiveness to traumatic reminders.
- Criterion C. A person struggling with PTSD might also avoid trauma-related stimuli. They would avoid thoughts or feelings that are connected to the traumatic event that they witnessed or experienced. They tend to abstain from people or situations that are related to the cause of their trauma as well.
- Criterion D. The mood, as well as the how adults and children who are older than 6 years who suffered from traumatic incident think also changes. Their mood and thoughts could negatively be affected. They would have difficulty remembering key features of the traumatic event, they would have negative beliefs or thoughts about themselves, other people, or even the whole world. They will feel like they are unwanted and would blame themselves for what had happened too. People who struggle with PTSD will lose interest in the activities that they used to like before the traumatic event as well and they would not be able to feel positive emotions.
- Criterion E. In this criterion to diagnose a person with PTSD, he or she may experience difficulty in concentrating, he or she may be easily irritated, falling or staying asleep will be hard for him or her, he or she may experience hypervigilance or would be easily startled.
- Criterion F, G, and H. These criteria describe how severe the symptoms are. Basically, the symptoms above should have lasted for at least a month, have seriously affected the person’s capability to function and the symptoms should not be caused by the use of any substance, medical illness, or whatnot except the traumatic event itself to be diagnosed with PTSD. Note that these are all for adults, adolescents, and children who are over six years old.
How PTSD in Children is Diagnosed
Children who are under 6 years old have more abstract intellectual and verbal abilities in expressing themselves. The criteria for their PTSD diagnosis are somewhat different than the adults and children who are older than 6 years. Their criteria are more tied up to their development and behavior. For very young children, their symptoms may include the following:
- Fear of being detached from their parents
- Children (younger than 6 years) would also become more irritable and aggressive
- Like the adults, teens, and kids older than 6 years, they too would experience nightmares and sleeping problems
- They are likely to lose their previously acquired skills as well such as potty training
- Children under 6 years old might also probably develop anxieties and new fears
- They would become more hyperactive
- And unlike adults and teens, they are likely to act out the traumatic incident through stories, play, or even drawings
Diagnosing PTSD in Children
The treatment process itself is arduous and there are various ways for a patient and his doctors to tackle it. First and foremost, the patients are thought ways and methods to help them cope with PTSD on their own. For self-help methods, patients are taught skills to combat symptoms and they are taught to see themselves on a better light. Most importantly, the patients are taught to rid themselves of problems brought about by PTSD like depression, and substance abuse.
Treatment of PTSD
Treating PTSD is mostly tackled through various psychotherapeutic techniques.
One method the top treatment centers like those in California and North County use is Prolonged Exposure (PE). In this treatment, patients are helped fight PTSD by helping them understand how to face their negative feelings head-on. Basically, it is the process wherein individuals are taught to live their lives normally.
Cognitive Processing Therapy
Another psychotherapeutic technique used in fighting PTSD is Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT). In this processes, patients are taught to express the negative thoughts that come to them in relation to their trauma. It helps patients cope with the fact that they are indeed having troubles with moving on from an event and that they can face it head-on.
Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
Next is the Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) technique. This is a crucial therapeutic technique as it helps a patient process the traumatic event to sort of desensitize it. The process involves recalling the traumatic experience while looking at an object that is moving back-and-forth.
Medications for Treating PTSD
Of course, part of the treatment process also involves the use of various medications which have been proven to be helpful in treating and weakening the symptoms that come bundled with PTSD. Most of the medications come in the form of medicine that helps control depression and anxiety.
These medications commonly called as SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors) and SNRIs (serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors). To be precise, these medications help promote the level of the naturally occurring chemicals in the brain like serotonin and norepinephrine that play a part in affecting how a person feels.
Some of the recommended medication for PTSD include; Sertraline (Zoloft), Paroxetine (Paxil), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Nefazodone (Serzone), Imipramine (Tofranil), Phenelzine (Nardil) and Venlafaxine (Effexor). Doctors aren’t going to be too trigger happy in handing out prescriptions for these drugs though as patients and those near them will have to monitor the intake of the medications to avoid any abuse or overdose.
These medications help a great deal for individuals who are going through the symptoms and effects of PTSD and these are the best supplements to the psychotherapeutic programs as the patient and the doctors will be able to tackle the problem from multiple sides.
Relapse and Recovery
Curing PTSD is not a one-step or one visit process. In fact, patients might even go through the treatment plan for months and even years to completely help themselves recover from the traumatic event or events that they have experienced. Since this is a memory that is implanted in a person’s mind, ridding them of it is no easy task and it requires patience from both the doctor at hand and to the patient himself.
In some cases, people who underwent the treatment process get a relapse of PTSD. In cases like these, it is important for the patient to go back to the treatment process again before it gets any worse. Relapsing for patients is completely normal but it is something that doctors and treatment facilities are always looking to avoid.
Treatment Facilities in California
In California, there are various treatment facilities and counseling centers that are focused on helping out individuals who are suffering from PTSD. These facilities and centers offer a lot of ways to treat PTSD and they do so using a top-notch facility and highly trained professionals.
Inpatient and outpatient programs are available as well. Outpatient programs are usually conducted on those who show mild symptoms of PTSD while the inpatient programs are reserved for those with severe cases. Though both in and out-patient programs have excellent success rates, patients with severe cases are best left under the care of the treatment facilities through in-patient programs.
There are various treatments that individuals can avail to rid themselves of PTSD but it will be up to the professionals to know which of these is perfect for the case of an individual. There’s a suited method for each of those suffering through PTSD and as such, acquiring the help of treatment facilities, doctors, and more, is more than important to fight the disorder.
It’s hard to really fathom the hardships that those who suffer PTSD go through. While we can never fully understand the trouble and pain that those affected by the disorder go through, we can at least get an insight on how we could help them out through the use of modern-day psychological and medicinal techniques that help individuals cope with PTSD.
Since the disorder chooses no age or gender, nearly everyone can be a victim of it. It’s best to help out our loved ones or those close to us, come to terms with PTSD as it could greatly affect their lives for a really long time. With a knowledge of the symptoms of PTSD, we should make ourselves responsible by pointing out loved ones in the right direction. As always, the way to curing PTSD is by first facing it head on and accepting that it exists within an individual.
For those who are experiencing the same symptoms on their own, then it would be the best move to seek the help of professionals to avoid making PTSD any worse. It’s important to note that PTSD is not something that people should hide from themselves or from those special to them as it is a condition that does not discriminate. Having PTSD does not make one weak or fragile. It does, however, make them very prone to the adverse effects of the condition.
Comforting the Military Men
Many states in the United States including California understand that trouble that comes with PTSD. And since the country has a huge military population, they’ve come to terms with the fact that there are many individuals returning from duty with PTSD in tow. As such, states are always looking to help individuals who are suffering from it and these states are also pushing for more advancements in the treatment process to make it easier and more effective. To locate a California treatment center that specializes in PTSD therapy in San Diego please contact the helpline and speak with an adviser.
In a world as volatile as this, people going through traumatic experiences are no longer rare. There are countless individuals who are going through harsh experiences and they keep it to themselves in hopes of recovering from it. PTSD is a horrible condition and as such, we should all do our part to help those with PTSD and someday, there might come a time when people will no longer have to experience these horrible experiences but that is a future that is still very far off.
Of course, as people who are close to those suffering from PTSD, it is important that we give them all the support and love they deserve before, during, and after the treatment process.
If you or someone you know is looking for a San Diego PTSD treatment center that can discuss options that are available, please contact the number listed below. Helping Disorders main goal is to provide treatment options for people searching for help, thank you for taking the time to review, we hope this article had the information you where seeking.