Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can occur after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event or events, or through early neglect which can lead to attachment trauma. Typical traumatic experiences are childhood sexual abuse, childhood neglect, emotional and physical abuse, domestic violence, rape, military combat, accidents, acts of terrorism, illness and complex grief.

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Some symptoms of PTSD are:

  • Numbing
  • Emotional instability
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks or reliving the trauma
  • Avoidance of anything that reminds the person of the trauma
  • Anxiety and sleep disturbance
  • Hyperarousal
  • Hypervigilance
  • Mood swings between hyperarousal and hypervigilance.

Alcohol and drug use may be used to cope with the psychological symptoms of trauma. PTSD may be a cause of relapse if left untreated.

Trauma Therapy in Group Sessions

All patients at Castle Craig are screened for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder using the PTSD questionnaire and a full psychiatric assessment by our Consultant Psychiatrist.

Trauma Therapy at Castle Craig Hospital is undertaken by experienced, qualified trauma therapists. There is a trauma group in which participants learn ways of dealing with the psychological and physical effects of the trauma. Some patients may require individual trauma therapy. The therapies of choice are Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). 

Both therapies are recognised as the gold standard by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence. As trauma memories are often held in the body, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy may also be used. Mindfulness is also practiced as this can teach people ways to regulate their arousal levels. Complementary therapies such as acupuncture and aromatherapy can be used to help the person relax.

The trauma treatment is holistic and helps the person re-process the trauma so that memories which are being re-experienced are processed into narrative, explicit memory rather than implicit and somatic memory. This means that these memories no longer intrude on daily life nor interfere with addiction treatment.

By Dr. Glynis Read and Linda Hill