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Stressful events, such as abuse, police brutality, domestic violence, accidents and natural disasters, can have a profound impact on survivors and their families. Even when the traumatic episode is not overt or sudden, victims of exploitation, injustice, or oppression can experience changes in thoughts, feelings and behavior.

Trauma can result from a one-time event (acute) or from ongoing circumstances (chronic), such as an abusive relationship. The type and severity of symptoms help clinicians understand how patients process the traumatic event. Some common symptoms of distress caused by stress or trauma are:

  • Nightmares or intrusive thoughts about the incident
  • Jumpiness or exaggerated startle response
  • Going out of the way to avoid anything that brings what happened to mind
  • Inability to stop blaming oneself for what happened
  • Feeling numb or detached from loved ones, activities or surroundings

Stress and trauma: Risk and protective factors

Depending on various factors, such as inherited traits, environment and circumstances, each individual processes stress and trauma differently. Risk factors increase the chance of having negative effects from trauma, while protective factors help shield people from the negative effects of traumatic experiences, and promote resilience. For instance, strong family support constitutes a protective factor, whereas, social isolation is a risk factor.

A common mental illness that can result from either acute or chronic trauma is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Some of the symptoms of PTSD include depression, anxiety, jumpiness, emotional numbness and avoidance of things that remind them of the trauma. During intervention, part of the PTSD trauma treatment focuses on strengthening protective factors and reducing risk factors.

People experiencing painful thoughts and feelings want to feel better as quickly as possible. To get back on the right track, people often tend to “self-medicate” using drugs or alcohol that help provide temporary relief. However, masking one’s trauma symptoms prevents one’s brain from processing the experience in a healthy way and this can lead to addiction.

Drug and alcohol addiction increases women’s vulnerability to even more trauma and loss, but trauma and addiction treatment can help break the cycle. A comprehensive assessment and an integrated treatment can help promote full and lasting recovery.

Stress and trauma: Resulting mental illnesses

According to the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition (DSM-5), mental illnesses resulting from stress and trauma in adults include the following:

  • PTSD: In this disorder, symptoms of the illness persist for more than one month.
  • Acute stress disorder: After the trauma, symptoms of the illness begin between three days and one month.
  • Adjustment disorder: The symptoms begin within three months of trauma, are disproportionate to what actually occurred, and cause significant impairment of function.

In addition, the response to trauma may give rise to another co-occurring disorder – panic disorder or dissociative disorder. However, a professional evaluation by a trauma specialist can help sort out the underlying causes of troubling behavioral symptoms.

Women are more vulnerable to the effects of trauma. As compared to men, women with PTSD exhibit more severe symptoms, longer durations of illness and lower quality of life. Studies have shown that compared to men, women respond better to treatment for trauma and PTSD, but many women delay or never receive treatment. Psychotherapy and medication can help women deal with trauma for which women can visit a women only trauma treatment center. The intervention must also address all underlying and co-occurring disorders for a holistic recovery.

Trauma treatment at Sovereign Health

Sovereign Health’s flagship trauma treatment for women at Chandler, Arizona, specializes in providing trauma treatment program to women patients in a private and safe environment. Our trauma and recovery program for women in Chandler, Arizona, specializes in treatment for trauma and co-occurring disorders.

At Sovereign Health’s trauma treatment centers, our multidisciplinary teams of experts provide comprehensive evaluations and integrated treatment for women who have survived trauma. Individualized care plans offered at our trauma residential treatment women facilities help meet patients’ needs for a long-term recovery.

At Sovereign Health of Arizona, trauma-specific treatment addresses the consequences of trauma and promotes healing. Some of the evidence-based treatment plans used for women recovering from trauma include the following:

  • Pharmacotherapy
  • Addiction recovery
  • Family-centered care
  • Lifestyle management
  • Prolonged exposure therapy
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Individual, group and family psychotherapy
  • Experiential therapy (equine, yoga, expressive arts)
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

Our trauma and stress recovery center at Chandler, Arizona, offers our women patients’ different levels of care, ranging from residential treatment to outpatient programs. Unlike other trauma rehabilitation centers, our trauma treatment programs include tailor-made intervention plans. We accept most major health insurance plans. For more information about trauma and recovery for women in Chandler, Arizona, or about any of Sovereign Health’s trauma treatment centers for women, call our 24/7 helpline number and speak to our admission counselor.

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