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Recognizing PTSD Triggers

Woman puts head in hands as she struggles to recognize PTSD triggers

Veterans are among the most prominent groups affected by post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Those who have experienced the duress of war are often permanently psychologically affected, and as a result, certain sounds, sights, and senses can cause a dramatic response. Understanding these triggers, as well as how to navigate them, can minimize the residual effects of PTSD.

Those who have PTSD are prone to depression, withdrawing from attempts to help or discuss, and may react suddenly or disproportionately to seemingly innocuous things. Unlike post-traumatic stress disorder itself, which has no known cure, the ensuing PTSD triggers can be treated to a point where they’re functionally dormant.

At Footprints Beachside Recovery, treatment for PTSD and any of its ensuing psychological effects can be simultaneously addressed with our dual diagnosis treatment program. When PTSD and addiction, for example, form a cyclical relationship, both must be given equal attention for recovery to take place. For more information on our dual diagnosis treatment program, contact us today at 727-954-3908, or reach out online.

Understanding PTSD in Veterans

Members of the armed forces are far from the only demographic to suffer heavily from PTSD. Enduring any severe trauma, especially at a formative age, can leave scars that may take years to surface. The way PTSD seems to linger years after a traumatic experience is due to how the brain handles trauma and association. People, places, and things associated with the recollection of a traumatic event, such as the location it occurred, the sounds that were present, or certain words or phrases, can reach parts of the brain proximal to the traumatic event.

These triggers are often extremely personal and/or specific. They may also not be obvious to an outside observer, who may not see the correlation in the same way. As a result, others may put the person living with PTSD into situations that cause an unexpected or abrupt reaction, leading to anger and confusion. PTSD triggers are hard to discuss for similar reasons—sharing trauma with others is difficult enough. Still, the embarrassment from an outburst can compound that difficulty even further.

Identifying PTSD Triggers

PTSD triggers can only be truly identified by the self. The struggle may be internal, but therapists have a method of cooperating with patients to help uncover latent triggers. For instance, a therapist may be told or discover accidentally that a certain phrase upsets the patient in a way that seems disproportionate. They can then discuss why this phrase is so upsetting and, paired with knowledge of their patient’s history, identify a potential link.

Identifying PTSD triggers takes a total understanding of the individual, cooperation, and the drive to push past the pain of unearthing old trauma. The steps to treat PTSD seem simple enough, but the actual process includes a human element—one that makes discussion difficult and may introduce inaccurate memories. It also involves the treatment of co-occurring disorders, like depression, anxiety, or an addiction that came as a result.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for PTSD at Footprints Beachside Recovery

Addressing the big picture of a patient’s life is the only approach that sufficiently treats PTSD. PTSD has deep roots, far-reaching consequences, and what can feel like impenetrable armor. PTSD can’t be cured like other psychiatric disorders, partially because it is part of the individual’s life. The only way to prevent PTSD from controlling your life is to grow beyond it, and that takes a lot of work.

At Footprints Beachside Recovery, our team has family members or even personal experience with PTSD. We understand how excruciating the process of working with old wounds can be, but we know the benefits outweigh the cost every time. Our dual diagnosis treatment program is for addressing every facet of PTSD and serves to treat co-occurring disorders that are common with people living with PTSD. You can begin your journey to grow beyond PTSD today by calling 727-954-3908 or by reaching out online.

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