Inpatient Care for PTSD

Learn more about how we approach and treat PTSD at The Bridge to Recovery.

An estimated one in 11 people will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime.

When symptoms from an exposure to a traumatic event that persists months and sometimes even years occur, those affected may find themselves with a diagnosis of PTSD.  

The most commonly associated events associated with PTSD are:

  • Military Trauma
  • First Responder Trauma
  • Natural Disasters
  • Terrorist Attacks
  • Violent or Serious Accidents 

However, PTSD diagnoses are becoming more common as it is more widely accepted that traumas cover vast types of events and experiences and the symptoms of such. These can a PTSD diagnosis from:

  • Physical Abuse
  • Emotional/Mental Abuse
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Rape and other Sexual Trauma
  • Family of Origin Trauma
  • Indirect or Second-Hand Trauma

Many clients attending our inpatient care for PTSD struggle with chronic symptoms of their unresolved trauma, often detrimentally, and sometimes having received a diagnosis of PTSD.

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Symptoms of PTSD

Intrusive memories represent a haunting aspect of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), where individuals grapple with distressing and recurrent recollections of the traumatic event. These memories manifest as intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, or haunting nightmares, permeating daily life and intruding upon moments of peace. The challenge lies in confronting and managing these intrusive memories, as they act as unwelcome echoes of the past, impacting an individual’s mental and emotional well-being.

In the landscape of PTSD, avoidance becomes a protective mechanism, a means of sidestepping the painful echoes of trauma. Individuals may consciously or subconsciously steer clear of reminders, thoughts, or discussions associated with the traumatic experience. This avoidance extends beyond mere cognitive elements to encompass places, people, or activities that might serve as triggers, creating a delicate dance of evading potential distress while attempting to navigate the complexities of everyday life.

Negative changes in thinking and mood represent profound shifts in an individual’s psychological landscape post-trauma.

This intricate tapestry includes persistent negative beliefs about oneself or others, distorted blame or guilt, feelings of isolation, and emotional numbness that casts a shadow over positive experiences. The struggle to forge meaningful connections and experience joy becomes an uphill battle, as the aftermath of trauma leaves indelible imprints on one’s self-perception and emotional well-being.

The aftermath of trauma often manifests in heightened states of arousal and reactivity, creating a constant state of alertness that can be overwhelming. Hypervigilance, an exaggerated startle response, difficulty concentrating, and irritability form part of this intricate web of symptoms. Sleep disturbances, including insomnia, compound the challenge, as individuals find themselves easily startled or constantly on edge, navigating a world that feels perpetually threatening.

The aftermath of trauma permeates the cognitive and emotional realms, manifesting in a myriad of symptoms. Problems with memory and concentration, negative thoughts about the world, oneself, or others, as well as persistent feelings of fear, anger, guilt, or shame create a tumultuous inner landscape. The struggle to maintain cognitive clarity and emotional equilibrium becomes a daily endeavor, as individuals navigate the complex aftermath of traumatic experiences.

Emotional numbing encapsulates the profound impact of trauma on an individual’s ability to experience a full range of emotions. Difficulty in accessing positive emotions, a sense of detachment from others, and a reduced ability to experience pleasure become hallmarks of emotional numbing. The echoes of trauma reverberate through daily life, creating a sense of disconnection and emotional void that adds an additional layer of complexity to the journey of healing.

The aftermath of trauma can drive individuals to engage in reckless or self-destructive behaviors as a desperate escape from the pain that lingers. Engaging in risky activities without concern for personal safety or partaking in self-destructive behaviors becomes a coping mechanism, albeit an unhealthy one. These behaviors often serve as a misguided attempt to gain a semblance of control or to numb the internal turmoil, further complicating the path to healing.

Hypervigilance, a heightened state of alertness, characterizes the daily existence of individuals grappling with the aftermath of trauma. Living on the edge of alertness, they find themselves easily startled, with a constant feeling of being on guard. The world becomes a potential threat, and the struggle to find moments of peace and safety is a persistent challenge. Managing this hypervigilance becomes a crucial aspect of the healing journey, requiring a delicate balance between awareness and finding moments of respite from the ever-present sense of danger.

Just an hour and 20 minutes North from Nashville, Tennessee sits our healing refuge. Hidden away on 120 acres of rolling Kentucky hills.

Relationship Between PTSD & Acute Stress Disorder

When trauma occurs, symptoms can last hours, days, weeks, and even years. Symptoms occurring in the days and weeks following a trauma are more characteristic of Acute Stress Disorder, but those lasting longer could be indicative of PTSD.  

When we find ourselves in those early weeks (sometimes even early months) following the trauma, it can be difficult to dial in to the type of work we do at our inpatient PTSD center because the event itself is still very acute. Because we work on healing the whole person – from childhood through adulthood – clients attending our program find their experience most successful when they can work from this “whole self” approach, and not a single, recently occurring event.  

With that said, trauma symptoms that resulted in Acute Stress Disorder which transition into PTSD are incredibly detrimental and need to be addressed. By understanding how that transition occurs is often directly impacted by other details, events, and parts of our lives, we can understand that healing our “whole self” will also improve the symptoms that came with the more recent trauma.

If you have been diagnosed with PTSD or suspect you have PTSD, and are ready to dive into this idea of “whole self” healing, as opposed to only focusing on the recent trauma event itself, our program could be a great fit for you and we invite you to reach out to our team.

Regardless of diagnosis, unresolved trauma will lead and coincide with many negative response and behavior patterns, such as:

  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Suicidal Ideation, Thoughts, and (possibly) Plans
  • Anger & Rage
  • Work Struggles

There is hope for healing. Our inpatient care for PTSD have been helping individuals heal for five decades, and will continue to be a resource to those in need for decades to come.