Treatment For Complex Ptsd
Treatment protocols for PTSD and c-PTSD conditions are quite similar. The primary treatments for PTSD and C-PTSD are psychological therapy and medication.
For an individual diagnosed with complex PTSD, psychological therapies are generally the first form of treatment prescribed. Trauma-focused psychological treatment may utilize modalities such as:
- Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy .
- Body-Oriented Psychotherapy
- Restorative Yoga
For those who are experiencing particularly severe or persistent c-PTSD, a combination of psychological therapy and medication may be prescribed. The type of medication often prescribed for C-PTSD is a type of antidepressant known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors .
Its not surprising that complex PTSD often requires a longer period of treatment. And treatment requires a greater variety of modalities, than traditional PTSD.
Getting A Diagnosis For Complex Ptsd
Diagnosing CPTSD isnt as straightforward as one would hope. Many doctors arent familiar with it because its a newer disorder. Its often mistaken for PTSD or even borderline personality disorder .
The first step to receiving the proper treatment is getting an accurate diagnosis. Once diagnosed, individuals can decide if they want an in-patient or outpatient program. Since theres no specific test for CPTSD, patients need to prepare for their appointment.
To help the doctor accurately diagnose the disorder, patients should ensure they:
- Keep track of all symptoms
- Note when symptoms began
- Keep an eye on any changes in symptoms
- Record the intensity of each symptom
- Identify what their triggers are
The doctor will likely ask about past traumatic events. Theres no pressure to provide in-depth information at the first appointment. They will also inquire about family and medical history to rule out other issues.
Being open about medication, drug use, and alcohol consumption is critical. This information can help the doctor create an individualized treatment plan. Some people need a dual diagnosis and its corresponding remedies.
How Do I Select A Therapist For Cptsd
The most important thing is to feeling like you like and can learn to trust your therapist. Trust your gut or instinct.
A good trauma therapist will have a great understanding of trauma, be trained in a few trauma modalities, hold firm boundaries, engage in self-care outside of their work, hold hope for healing, are strength-based, and flexible to adapt treatment to your needs.
Schedule a consultation and see how you feel speaking to the therapist.
What is your first reaction?
Do you feel like you can talk more with this person?
Do you like this person?
Find someone with training and experience with trauma, PTSD, and specifically PTSD.
Look for a therapist who focuses on the following areas:
Don’t Miss: What Qualifies For Disability In Ga
Is A Ptsd Support Group Right For Me
PTSD support groups offer a safe place to find anonymous support for PTSD symptoms and guidance as you work toward healing. They dont replace therapy, though, and recovering from PTSD symptoms without professional treatment may prove difficult.
Keep in mind that some online groups have limited abilities to moderate posts and chats. Many groups do have moderators and administrators who try to make sure participants communicate with consideration and respect.
Still, theres always a chance some people will refuse to follow the rules and say hurtful things. You might also encounter written details of traumatic events that could trigger additional distress.
These things dont make support groups a bad idea, but it never hurts to consider these factors before getting started.
On the flip side, message boards and chat rooms can sometimes make it easier to share painful experiences. No matter how understanding and supportive group members are in person, typing out distressing memories might feel easier than saying them aloud.
Free Brochures And Shareable Resources
- Helping Children and Adolescents Cope With Traumatic Events: This fact sheet presents information on how children and adolescents respond to traumatic events, and what family, friends, and trusted adults can do to help. Also available en español.
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: This brochure provides information about post-traumatic stress disorder including what it is, who develops PTSD, symptoms, treatment options, and how to find help for yourself or someone else who may have PTSD. Also available en español.
- : Help support PTSD awareness and education in your community. Use these digital resources, including graphics and messages, to spread the word about PTSD.
Don’t Miss: Is My Social Security Disability Taxable
Marketing And Graphic Design Teams
Have you ever watched a commercial or seen an ad online and experienced an unpleasant emotional response? Well, this is likely because most people who work in marketing, graphic design, and other related fields dont always realize the effect their marketing efforts will have on people . Well, with the proper trauma-informed care training, more brands and marketing teams would understand how their content impacts people, which would help them avoid upsetting images or videos.
Filing For Social Security Disability With A Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosis
Post traumatic stress disorder cases are approved by SSA either by satisfying the criteria under Section 12.06 of the Blue Book, or by medical vocational allowance.
Most PTSD claims are approved as a medical vocational allowance. If SSA finds that your PTSD symptoms are not severe enough to meet the listing, it will award a medical allowance if the condition is severe enough to prevent you from working in a former job and severe enough to prevent you from working at another job that would pay you a substantial and gainful income.
Career Trauma Is A Real Thing Here’s How To Recognize And Recover From It
Toxic workplaces are harming the health and mental well-being of many workers. In recent years, more people have spoken out about these dangers — inspiring hope that we might finally be able to make a difference for those who suffer from workplace trauma every day.
Layoff announcements and workplace violence top list of most stressful events facing U.S. employees, yet fewer than half of employers provide support following traumatic workplace events.
And when a career trauma does happen, it can be difficult to recover from.
Two-thirds of employees responded that counseling or emotional support from their employer following a traumatic workplace event is something they would consider valuable in the wake of tragedy. But less than half reported experiencing such an experience themselves, with 53 percent working Americans saying it’s happened to them at some point while on the job yet just 46% were given any type of assistance by employers during this trying time for themselves and those close around them as well.
This article explores how to recognize and recover from a career trauma so that you can get back on your feet again.
Are Online Support Groups Effective
In general, evidence suggests peer support groups can have a lot of benefits.
Research from 2015 suggests many veterans find peer support groups helpful for:
- providing hope and a sense of purpose
- normalizing PTSD symptoms
- connecting members with social support
- improving day-to-day function
- boosting trust and relationship skills
Older research also supports the benefits of peer support for veterans. In a study of 128 male veterans living with PTSD, other veterans made up an important part of their social network. Veterans mostly found these relationships supportive and free of the tensions they experienced in their romantic relationships.
According to a 2020 review, peer-led support groups for survivors of sexual assault and abuse seemed to help improve participants mental and emotional well-being. The review authors noted that while some survivors might find participation somewhat difficult, connecting with others to navigate distressing memories and painful emotions could actually promote healing.
Online groups can make support even more accessible while adding a layer of anonymity.
Behavior Associated With C
- Substance abuse:Research suggests a strong correlation between substance use disorder and trauma. One of the most common theories is that drugs and alcohol are used to numb emotional pain.
- Self-harm: Self-harm may also be called self-injury or self-mutilation and means hurting yourself on purpose due to emotional distress.
- Avoidance:Emotional avoidance means creating distance with unpleasant emotions. Behavioral avoidance is staying away from people, situations, and senses that are reminders of the traumatic event. While this is natural in the short term, extreme avoidance can make it difficult to cope with other areas of life.
- Inability to accept criticism:For those with C-PTSD, criticism can cause severe stress because they are already self-critical or feel shame. They may have also had an abuser who manipulated them with criticism to get an emotional reaction.
A Day With: Complex Ptsd
My life is woven together by threads of trauma. None are explosive enough to solely cause post-traumatic stress disorder . But it’s the impact of dozens of smaller traumas combined that landed me in a psychologist’s office with a complex PTSD diagnosis.
That was five years ago. Back when the stress of a turbulent divorce and serious health problems left me incapable of using my normal coping skills. I couldn’t work harder or achieve more to prove my worth because I was too sick to work at all. I went to therapy to “fix” my problems and get over childhood pain, but instead, it unleashed a monster that swallowed me whole. For six months, CPTSD left me curled up on the bathroom floor, shaking and sobbing, reliving my past traumas. There was no past or present, just the cold hard bathroom tile, feeling incapable of stopping the tsunami of memories and sensations.
You May Like: Is Type 1 Diabetes A Disability
Triggers Of Complex Ptsd
People who have PTSD or complex PTSD can react to different life situations as if they are reliving their trauma.
The particular situation that triggers a person can be random and varies depending on their specific trauma history. A person can be triggered by situations, images, smells, conversations with others, and more.
This triggering can manifest as a fight-or-flight response triggered by the amygdala, responsible for processing emotions in the brain.
When this happens, a persons brain can perceive that they are in danger, even if they are not. This is known as an amygdala hijack and can also result in things like flashbacks, nightmares, or being easily startled.
People with PTSD or complex PTSD may exhibit certain behaviors in an attempt to manage their symptoms.
Examples of such behaviors include:
- misusing alcohol or drugs
- avoiding unpleasant situations by becoming people-pleasers
- lashing out at minor criticisms
These behaviors can develop as a way to deal with or try to forget about the original trauma and the resulting symptoms in the present.
Friends and family of people with complex PTSD should be aware that these behaviors may represent coping mechanisms and attempts to gain control over emotions.
To recover from PTSD or complex PTSD, a person can seek treatment and learn to replace these behaviors with ones focused on healing and self-care.
Often, people with complex PTSD have experienced prolonged trauma such as ongoing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
What Is Career Trauma
Although some joke about being “scarred” by past bad jobs, workplace-induced emotional trauma is real with long-lasting effects.
Career trauma is an “injury” that occurs when an individual experiences a traumatic event in the workplace such as harassment, bullying or being passed over for promotion. Career trauma can even happen without any direct incident if your job doesn’t provide you with enough of what you need from it, like money, security, fulfillment or support.
The problem starts when we don’t recognize this injury and instead try to ignore the symptoms by distancing ourselves from our emotions and thoughts about what happened.
Recommended Reading: Is A Divorced Spouse Entitled To Va Disability Benefits
Benefits Of Ptsd Support Groups
Support groups often make up an important part of PTSD recovery.
Peer support can provide a sense of connection, safety, and comfort. Learning about the experiences of others living with PTSD can help ease feelings of isolation and loneliness. Joining a support group can also help you realize that recovery is possible, since some members may already be further along in their healing journey.
With an online support group, youll get other benefits:
- Anonymity. You dont have to use your real name or even your main email address. You can even log in from a public computer if you prefer.
- Around-the-clock support. You can log in to the message board or chat room at any time, from wherever you are in the world.
How We Chose The Best Ptsd Support Groups
To find the best options for online PTSD support groups, we considered the following:
- Accessibility. We chose support groups with easy-to-use, established websites. We also checked to make sure these groups had a fairly straightforward signup process.
- Cost. We only included free or low cost support groups.
- Rules and moderation. We considered guidelines used to prevent trolling, personal attacks, and other harmful and abusive behavior.
- Privacy. Online support groups generally have open membership, though youll sometimes need an account in order to access all message boards. One upside of internet support? You have complete anonymity and can create a username and email address specifically for the group.
- Number of members. Unlike support groups that take place in person, cyberspace doesnt get crowded. Online, greater member participation can make it more likely someone will offer the words of support you need. Plus, a larger number of members also implies that many people find the group helpful.
- Ongoing member participation. We also searched for groups with regular and prompt activity. After all, you wont get much from sharing in a group where your post goes unanswered for days.
- Where its available: website
- Price: free
This forum aims to validate, empower, and support survivors of all types of sexual violence through protected and moderated message boards and online chat.
The site also provides recovery information and resources to help you find support in your area.
Recommended Reading: Is Workmans Comp The Same As Disability
What Triggers Your Ptsd
The symptoms of PTSD vary from individual to individual the circumstances that set off one person have little to no effect on another. That’s why it’s important for you to identifyyour triggers so you can find a job best suited to you.
Does working with many people cause you symptoms?What about having a demanding boss?How about the environment? For instance, do bright lights give you flashbacks?What about noises, smells or working in close quarters?
These are the kind of questions you should ask yourself before looking for a job because you’ll have a clearer idea of what you can and cant do.
Beyond Treatment: How Can I Help Myself
It may be very hard to take that first step to help yourself. It is important to realize that although it may take some time, with treatment, you can get better. If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your family doctor. You can also check NIMH’s Help for Mental Illnesses page or search online for mental health providers, social services, hotlines, or physicians for phone numbers and addresses. An emergency room doctor can also provide temporary help and can tell you where and how to get further help.
To help yourself while in treatment:
- Talk with your doctor about treatment options
- Engage in mild physical activity or exercise to help reduce stress
- Set realistic goals for yourself
- Break up large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can
- Try to spend time with other people, and confide in a trusted friend or relative. Tell others about things that may trigger symptoms.
- Expect your symptoms to improve gradually, not immediately
- Identify and seek out comforting situations, places, and people
Caring for yourself and others is especially important when large numbers of people are exposed to traumatic events .
Also Check: How Do You Apply For Short Term Disability
Tips For Caring For Someone With Complex Ptsd
Unfortunately for those suffering from complex PTSD and for their families, there is not an easy fix for C-PTSD. This disorder that developed after an extended period of trauma will need to benefit an extended period of treatment and compassionate understanding from a solid support system in order to unravel. Your adult child is lucky to have your care and support, but you, too, need support, education, and compassion in order to help lay a foundation for long-term recovery.
Management And Human Resources
When youre in the business of managing people, you need to understand how people think and behave. Unfortunately, a lot of the information people in management and human resources receive on effective management involves blanket statements and generalizations that dont take a persons cultural background, underlying health conditions, or history into consideration whatsoever. This is why these individuals would really benefit from trauma-informed care training it would completely change the way they work with their employees.
These careers in particular desperately need this type of education so they can help people even more.
Also Check: Social Security Offices In Arizona
Remember To Also Take Care Of You
When youre caring for someone with complex PTSD, their distress can quickly become your distress if you dont maintain perspective and boundaries and if you dont have adequate support yourself. Yes, taking care of yourself ensures that you are in the best position to care for your child, but its important to take care of yourself for your own sake. And only in this way do you set an example for your adult child of how to exercise dedicated compassion and self-care.
Safeguard your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. If you are not getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising, or doing the things that you used to enjoy doing, it may be time to seek some family or professional support. You can find occasional respite and build a critical and empowering support system for yourself in the process. Meanwhile, as you practice good listening and cultivate greater awareness of your childs experiences, you can be alert to your own experiences and necessary boundaries. Draw a line at taking personally what your loved one is going through and how they are expressing it. Take responsibility for your own experience and for being a receptive and compassionate advocate.