Treatment for Veterans Struggling With PTSD
Struggling with PTSD doesn’t have to last forever. Treatment creates space for healing. To learn more, call Hawaii Island Recovery at (866) 390-5070.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that occurs due to an individual experiencing a traumatic event. These traumatic events typically include, but are not limited to:
- Serving in the military
- Witnessing death or another individual getting injured
- Emotional, physical, or verbal abuse
- Natural disaster
- Experiencing terrorist events
- Being in a severe accident
However, knowing that each person experiences and processes trauma differently is essential. What was experienced as trauma for one individual may not be the same for the other. Even if they lived through the same experience, it is felt differently. The above list is by no means exhaustive, and at the end of the day, trauma is trauma. There is not one type of trauma that is more or less severe. Each person dealing with the impact of a traumatic experience deserves to heal through effective treatment.
Veterans and PTSD
Not a single person is immune to experiencing trauma that may lead to a diagnosis of PTSD. However, there are certain populations of people that are more vulnerable to developing PTSD. Unique experiences one goes through can increase the risk. One of these groups of individuals is those in our veteran population.
Among the shared experiences veterans go through in war – such as combat, violence, or death – these individuals are put at risk for developing PTSD. These are traumas most others may not be as likely to face in their lives.
Due to their increased likelihood of experiencing PTSD, knowing treatment is available and tailored to help veterans experiencing this mental condition is essential for proper healing. Unfortunately, a large number of individuals go without treatment. When PTSD and any co-occurring concerns go untreated, symptoms of PTSD will persist and continue to manifest in everyday life and relationships.
PTSD symptoms can affect one’s daily life, activities, work, and relationships. Seeking treatment and recovery is essential to taking back control over one’s life. Finding healing through therapy and other treatment modalities is a key component of such treatment.
At Hawaii Island Recovery, PTSD treatment ranges from psychotherapy to group therapy. From experiential and cultural programming to other alternative modalities, we approach healing from a holistic lens. We honor the whole person through mind, body, and spirit. A large number of individuals living on or near the Big Island of Hawaii are part of this population. We are dedicated to meeting the needs of veterans so they can experience healing and recovery.
Statistics on PTSD
Although each of us experiences trauma, not every traumatic experience will lead to developing PTSD. Statistically speaking, we know that every year, PTSD impacts about:
- 12 million adults each year
- 6 out of every 100 people
- 8 out of 100 women / 4 out of 100 men
These numbers don’t account for the number of individuals who go without receiving a diagnosis for PTSD. And, unfortunately, that lack of proper treatment and care to heal from trauma is the norm.
The Process of Diagnosing PTSD
PTSD is a mental and psychiatric condition requiring a diagnosis and appropriate treatment to heal. Experiencing and processing trauma does not always come naturally and can disturb someone’s life to a devastating degree.
The experience of trauma may not get processed in the same way for everyone, leading to trauma getting “stuck” in the body, mind, and psyche. When this happens, imbalances in the human body are experienced, ranging from emotional to physical pain.
Trauma can become stuck in the psyche and mind, and it can manifest a range of mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual symptoms classified as PTSD. If someone does not meet the above criteria for a PTSD diagnosis, it doesn’t mean trauma was not endured. That said, for a PTSD diagnosis to occur, an individual must be experiencing:
- Memories of the traumatic event are experienced through dreams, nightmares, flashbacks, or intrusive thoughts. These memories may cause anxiety, fear, guilt, racing heartbeat, headaches, and panic. Often, individuals feel as if they are reliving the event for the first time.
- Avoidance of anything that may trigger a memory of the event or reminds the individual of the traumatic event. This can include people, places, and activities. It can also mean avoiding others altogether, leading to increased amounts of isolation.
- Behavioral changes include trouble sleeping, risky behavior, isolation, intense mood swings, fatigue, trouble concentrating, sleeping too much, and difficulty finishing everyday tasks that were once easy.
- Mood swings that weren’t present before the event. These mood swings may include feeling numb, guilty, sad, anxious, shameful, and lonely. Individuals often lose interest in activities they once enjoyed and lack the motivation to maintain relationships with others and everyday routines.
When these symptoms are experienced, it can be a complex situation. In many cases, it can feel impossible to continue connecting with others and being present in one’s life. As relationships become challenging to manage, everyday tasks and coping with daily stressors can lead to an even heavier burden. Often, life can feel out of control, intolerable, and too great to maintain while navigating PTSD.
PTSD and Substance Use Disorder
For many individuals, experiencing PTSD can often lead to co-occurring conditions such as substance use disorder (SUD). Substances are often used as a way to cope with the trauma endured. Although it may feel briefly effective, substance use is a form of self-medication that leads to further adverse effects such as other co-occurring conditions. These conditions can include anxiety, depression, mood disorders, and other mental illnesses.
What started as a PTSD diagnosis may turn into a SUD diagnosis when substances, rather than proper treatment, become a method of self-medicating. This is the case, especially when and if you don’t have the tools to cope in any other way. Treatment for SUD, PTSD, and any other co-occurring conditions exists to give you access to learning how to regulate your emotions, cope with stress, and heal from past painful experiences in ways that lead to balance, harmony, and holistic wellness rather than deter you from it.
In healing from both PTSD and whatever co-occurring conditions are present for you, it’s essential to ensure you can receive treatment from a facility that specializes in the treatment of co-occurring disorders, such as SUD and PTSD, as they are undeniably interconnected. Recovery becomes prolonged when evidence-based, holistic, and comprehensive medicine is put off and doesn’t prioritize the healing of any co-occurring disorders.
Types of Treatment for PTSD
Treatment for PTSD integrates a range of therapeutic modalities, such as talk therapy, group therapy, biomedical care, holistic care, and other alternative therapies that have proven to be effective in healing PTSD. Alternative therapies may consist of cultural and experiential programming to create space to connect with nature, yourself, and those around you. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we also emphasize the importance of community for healing, which is why we integrate community-based support into treatment.
Other alternative therapies may include massage therapy, acupuncture, physical fitness, and meeting with other medical professionals as needed. This is important in approaching healing from a holistic perspective that honors the mind-body connection and encompasses individuals as physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual beings.
Receiving Treatment to Heal From PTSD
Many individuals never receive the care they need due to the stigma associated with a diagnosis of PTSD, SUD, or other mental illnesses. When unaware of the signs or symptoms of PTSD, people may not even know that treatment is available and healing is possible. There is also the drastic and challenging stigma surrounding PTSD and seeking treatment, which can affect a person’s decision to get help.
At Hawaii Island Recovery, we are passionate about breaking down the stigma of mental illness. Therefore, we are dedicated to ensuring you know which treatment options and programs are available to you. We answer your questions and support you on your journey to recovery.
Here, we treat your mind and body so that you can fully heal. Being human means that we are bound to struggle, and the fact that you may be struggling to navigate healing from PTSD is not a weakness. Allow yourself to reach out for support to experience joy, presence, and peace again, which we all are deserving and worthy of sharing.
Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Our treatment team is here to meet you wherever you are in your journey with PTSD. From the time you pick up the phone to learn more about the treatment options available, we are here to hear your story, answer any questions, and address your needs. Our treatment programs are evidence-based and holistic, although individual treatment plans look different for each person who walks through our doors because we understand that ach person is unique.
Individual and Group Therapy
Treatment at Hawaii Island Recovery consists of a combination of individual and group therapy sessions. Both individual and group therapies may include a variety of treatment modalities proven to be effective in treating PTSD, such as:
These therapies help support you as you heal from painful past experiences so you can restore balance in your mind, body, and spirit. By processing past experiences, learning new ways of coping, and making peace with the pain you’ve experienced, you will be able to experience relief from symptoms related to PTSD that are impacting your ability to thrive and feel connected in your life and relationships.
Treatment at Hawaii Island Recovery also consists of various experiential therapies and cultural programming that aim to bridge the gap between more clinical approaches to healing and experiences that lead to recovery. We do this in a way that is different from simply sitting in a room with your therapist. These experiences range from:
- Nature-based experiential therapy
- Ocean-based experiential therapy
- Medicine walks/hikes
- Culturally-based experiential therapies
Through these experiences in nature, you can connect with the Big Island of Hawaii, leading to healing that often cannot be achieved inside four walls. Being surrounded by nature leads to healing in and of itself. You will be guided to experience relief from the chatter of your mind and form a connection with our community, all the while cultivating the ability to be present and content with yourself and life.
Holistic Health Services
Hawaii Island Recovery also integrates holistic health services into treatment for PTSD to address wellness from a holistic perspective. These types of treatment include:
- Acupuncture treatment
- Massage therapy
- Trauma-informed yoga
- Nutrition education
- Mindfulness groups
As trauma is experienced and becomes stuck in the body and mind, it is helpful to participate in treatment services that focus on healing the body – as well as the mind. Receiving care for your body, such as through acupuncture or massage therapy, improves your overall wellness. Trying things like trauma-informed yoga and nutrition education can allow you to become better connected to your body.
Many individuals experiencing PTSD are also experiencing chronic pain due to the injuries endured during their time in the military. Living with chronic pain can be difficult. Without having trained professionals to help make living with chronic pain and injuries feel more manageable, it can feel hopeless.
Part of your treatment for PTSD with us will likely include meeting with on-site registered nurses and medication management services. Other treatments that include the use of medication for pain or psychiatric conditions present are also a part of your healing. In addition to other forms of therapy, medication treatment can often help individuals move past some of the hurdles they are facing.
Choosing Hawaii Island Recovery
It can be challenging to find a treatment center that meets your needs. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we treat your mind, body, and spirit at our facility on the Big Island of Hawaii to meet your treatment needs and help you experience healing. If you are struggling with PTSD while trying to re-integrate into the demands of everyday life outside of the military, we can help. And if you are battling PTSD alongside SUD and other co-occurring mental health concerns, we are here to support you as well.
Our treatment team is trained to create individualized treatment plans that nourish you in each area of your life. Whether you need mental, emotional, or physical support, we can help you. We value the work we do and do not take your healing lightly. Through a combination of treatments, your treatment needs will and can be met during your time with us.
At our Hawaii treatment center, we provide talk therapy, community-based support, experiential therapy, holistic care, and biomedical services. Beyond receiving effective, evidence-based, and holistic treatment for PTSD and co-occurring concerns, you will be able to experience life on the Big Island of Hawaii. Here, you are surrounded by nature and a community of people supporting you in your healing journey. You were never meant to struggle alone or become stuck in pain. Our team is here to help you find freedom and gain control over your life once again.
PTSD is a condition that can impact you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Symptoms of PTSD make living feel difficult and life feel intolerable. At Hawaii Island Recovery, we are here to guide you as you heal from past experiences that are impacting your ability to be healthy and thrive in everyday life. Healing is possible through holistic and evidence-based treatment services. Living without PTSD being the focal point of your life is one phone call away. To begin your journey, call Hawaii Island Recovery today at (866) 390-5070.