What is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that usually gets triggered after the person experiences or is the witness of a traumatic event. Traumatic events can be caused by psychological, physical, emotional or spiritual harm.

After experiencing trauma, it is common to struggle with anxiety, fear and sadness. A person may have to manage disturbing memories or may experience disrupted sleep patterns that can lead to insomnia. Most people get better with time. In the case of PTSD, negative thoughts and feelings do not fade away. They can last for months and years.

PTSD causes difficulties in coping with daily life, damaging relationships within family members or job loss and can also affect physical health. But with treatment, recovery is possible and happy and healthy life can be re-established.

Trauma, PTSD and Addiction Treatment

PTSD is usually part of a dual diagnosis, whereby the patient is dealing with both an addiction and trauma. Alcohol and drugs are commonly used to cope with the psychological effects of trauma. 

Castle Health treatment programmes investigate both the addiction and PTSD symptoms in order to devise a comprehensive, personalised care plan for each patient. EMDR is often used to treat symptoms of trauma, and a full course of EMDR leads to lasting results.

Typical symptoms of PTSD are: flashbacks of the traumatic episode and relieving the physical and psychological consequences of trauma, anxiety, numbing, avoiding triggers that remind the person of their traumatic experience, nightmares, insomnia, hypervigilance, mood swings between euphoria and depression.

Trauma Therapy and Addiction Treatment

Within the psychiatric assessment, each patient undergoes upon admission at Castle Health clinic, our Consultant Psychiatrists screen for post-traumatic stress disorder. Based on this thorough assessment, they might recommend trauma therapy.

Trauma therapy helps patients overcome psychological trauma that may be perceived as a threat to their life, health or mental sanity so much so that it becomes unmanageable. The main goals of trauma therapy are:

  • To face the reality of the traumatic episode by shifting focus from the past to the present and finally detach from it and leave it in the past.
  • To confront trauma triggers in a comfortable way so as to overcome the negative feelings and behaviours it produces.
  • Find ways to cope with the traumatic experience in a healthy way so that the patient is able to finally move on with their life.
  • To improve the patient’s daily functioning and reclaim their personal power.
  • To develop coping skills that prevent relapse in the long run.

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a form of psychotherapy to help people reprocess painful, unresolved traumatic memories. 

EMDR treatment is carried out by a specially trained practitioner. EMDR reevaluates the disturbance levels in your mind using grounding skills, stress reduction skills, state change skills, or creating an image that will replace a negative connotation with a positive connotation. The therapist uses back and forth eye movements, sounds, and tactile sensations to help the right and left hemispheres of the brain reprocess the traumatic memories that are causing the disturbance. EMDR takes a number of sessions until it is complete and this is why those with trauma are best-suited to a long-term rehab treatment programme that also treats dual-diagnosis.

Our Trauma Therapists

Castle Health programmes have experienced, qualified trauma therapists that run trauma peer-support groups. We offer a number of other specialised therapies for dealing with trauma – such as Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)  and mindfulness.

As trauma memories are often stored in the body, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy may also be recommended. Other complementary therapies such as acupuncture and aromatherapy can help the person relax and regulate their arousal levels.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction problems and PTSD, contact us for help. Our admission team is happy to assist you in finding the best treatment options.