What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Many of the women that we see at New Directions for Women suffer from trauma and/or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Often, women will cope in the form of substance misuse, which is why we treat both concurrently at our facility.
PTSD can be classified as a traumatic event or episode that causes someone to have extreme anxiety, fear or emotional distress. They are constantly reminded of what happened to them and will experience intense flashbacks, intrusive thoughts, or nightmares.
Symptoms of PTSD
- Reliving the experience over and over through flashbacks, nightmares, or thoughts. This can cause your heartrate to increase and sweating to occur
- Negative thoughts or feelings that affect your daily life
- Feeling nervous, jittery, or tense
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating on everyday activities such as work, school or other hobbies
- Negative thoughts about yourself including anger, guilt or shame
- You might feel empty or numb
- You find it difficult to show interest or happiness in activities you used to enjoy
- Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
Women with PTSD
Women typically develop PTSD more often than men and will use substances to cope with the symptoms associated with their PTSD.
“About 1 woman in 10 will develop PTSD at some point in her lifetime. Women are about twice as likely as men to develop PTSD.”
Symptoms of women with PTSD:
- Be easily startled
- Have more trouble feeling emotions or they feel numb
- Avoiding things that remind them of the trauma
- Feeling depressed and anxious
Women who suffer from PTSD will likely use substances to deal with their trauma and PTSD. Treatment for PTSD and substance use disorder among women are treated as a dual diagnosis, which we are able to treat together at New Directions for Women. Women typically become addicted more quickly (a phenomenon known as “telescoping”) and become intoxicated at a faster rate than men, which is why treatment for women is so important.
People with PTSD need to be treated to alleviate the painful symptoms that they deal with daily. The reason to treat PTSD includes:
- Developing coping skills and strategies to handle the symptoms of PTSD and allow you to live a healthy, happier life
- Help improve self-esteem, confidence, and self-worth
- Reduce the chances of developing other disorders, for example, substance use disorder
Types of Treatment:
Holistic Services- Some holistic services we offer include our biosound lounge, mindfulness meditation, yoga classes and acupuncture services that are available to provide a calming atmosphere for our patients to heal during their recovery.
Children and Family Support- Our program understands the need for a mother to stay with her young children while she is going through recovery, along with needing the additional support from her family. The whole family system of identified support is encouraged to participate in family healing programs.
Seeking Safety – helps people in recovery who suffer from concurrent substance use disorder and trauma. It’s an evidence based treatment model.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)- helps women recover much more quickly from PTSD and trauma than using traditional talk therapy. At New Directions for Women, it’s used as an adjunct to talk therapy and other experiential work. EMDR is a tool that helps patients reprocess traumatic information so it’s no longer psychologically disruptive.
Wellbriety – seeks to heal intergenerational trauma caused by addiction with Native spiritual traditions. We have incorporated Wellbriety into our curriculums for all women, who come from many ethnic backgrounds. New Directions for Women is the first non-native Wellbriety certified site in the country.
Finding out if you are suffering from PTSD can be an emotional, draining process and answering a series of questions can cause feelings to arise. Going through a traumatic event is hard in and of itself, but then having to relive it or answer questions about it can make it even more difficult. However, finding out if you have PTSD and getting treatment for yourself is one of the best things you can do.
It’s not uncommon for our patients to have experienced one or more of the following: emotional, sexual, or physical abuse in the course of their childhood, adolescence, or adulthood; long-term exposure to domestic violence; neglect; and of course the long-term chronic health issues which are often associated with these experiences.
PTSD Screening at New Directions for Women
Many women seeking recovery from addiction at New Directions for Women suffer from PTSD, and we do screen for it. This PTSD quiz can help inform you if it’s necessary to seek additional medical attention or counseling. This screening tool is not designed to make a diagnosis of PTSD, but to be shared with a mental health professional to inform further conversations about diagnosis and treatment.
It’s important to read each question on the quiz carefully, to ensure that you are answering openly and honestly and get the most accurate results. If you have questions about PTSD or the PTSD quiz, please reach out to us and one of our caring intake counselors can support you.
Treatment at New Directions for Women
New Directions for Women focuses on the entire family unit and treats family members, children and support systems of our patients in treatment. We offer children’s services, holistic care, family counseling and 12-step program options. We strive to treat every case individually and tailor the program to meet the person’s needs. This means, we treat all backgrounds, situations, and ages.
Our women recover with other women who are going through similar situations, and our program is highly effective as a result. Women have different needs than men, and addiction treatment modalities should reflect the needs of the women in our program. The reason for these differences is biological and sociological. Our professional, experienced staff can help women in need of addiction treatment services.
Don’t wait to get help – contact our caring intake coordinators for more information about our rehab for women in Costa Mesa. We can verify your insurance benefits and answer any questions about treatment. If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD or other trauma, we encourage you to get the professional help that’s needed to ensure a bright, healthy future.