PTSD Treatment

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Treating PTSD in Orange County, California

Post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly referred to as PTSD, is a mental health disorder that follows exposure to immense stress and trauma. For most people, symptoms of flashbacks, anxiety, avoidance and dissasociation are common in the weeks following a traumatic event. But, for individuals with PTSD, those symptoms can persist for years and won’t go away without treatment. While once associated almost entirely with veterans and individuals who had experienced or lived through war zones, PTSD is now known to impact anyone, with 6% of the U.S. population affected at some point in their lives. In 2020, that meant that about 13 million Americans qualified for a PTSD diagnosis.

We Offer Support For Mental Health

If you or a loved one is struggling after a traumatic incident, it’s important to talk to your doctor, get context on what’s wrong and why, and work to get help. The mental health experts at Compassion Recovery Center offer support for mental health including intensive inpatient care for PTSD to help you recover and get back to your life.

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What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health disorder characterized by an inability to leave a state of responding to stress. Rather than healing and moving on from stressful situations, people with PTSD live in a world as though that trauma were still occurring. This means you live in a state of constant high stress and high adrenaline and may relive the traumatic incident over and over again through flashbacks.

Our Mental Health Treatment Services in Orange County

Explore the different mental health disorders we treat at Compassion Recovery Centers in Orange County, California. From depression to anxiety, to Bipolar disorder and eating disorders, we provide each client with individualized treatment that works for each client’s specific needs in treatment.

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Anxiety Disorders

Dual Diagnosis at mental health and substance abuse treatment center in orange county

Bipolar Disorder

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Eating Disorders

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Symptoms of PTSD

PTSD is broken up into short-term and long-term symptoms, with Chronic PTSD only affecting a small number of people. Here, symptoms typically begin within about 3 months of a traumatic event. However, traumatic events can include periods of high stress, even if others aren’t aware of them. For example, people who work in high stress jobs are likely to experience trauma regularly – even though other people may not always see it as much.

Outwardly PTSD symptoms normally look like:

Anxiety and depression

Being easily startled

Responding with fear

Difficulty concentrating

Changes in sleeping habits, especially having trouble sleeping at all or sleeping too much

Feelings of guilt or shame

Mood swings, especially angry or aggressive outbursts

Self-destructive behavior such as drinking too much or engaging in sensation seeking and escapism, like speeding or taking risks with money

PTSD Symptoms are medically broken down into four categories, “Re-experiencing”, “Avoidance”, “Arousal and Reactivity”, and Cognition and Mood”.



This block of symptoms means that you re-experience a traumatic event through recurrent, unwanted, and distressing memories of the event. Some people relive the event through flashbacks. Others experience nightmares. However, everyone with PTSD experiences severe emotional distress in response to memories around the event but cannot avoid memories of the event coming up.



Most people with PTSD respond to unwanted memories by trying to avoid the memories and the triggers. This often starts by trying to avoid places, people, activities and things that could trigger memories of the event. It may evolve into using drugs or alcohol to reduce the ability to feel or to experience memories of the traumatic event. Avoidance can also mean that the person simply shuts down rather than dealing with the trigger or the memories.


Arousal and Reactivity

Arousal and Reactivity symptoms are typically about the body physically responding from a state of stress. That may mean your adrenal and stress systems are at high function while you’re doing something normal and calm. Here, people can be tense, startled, stressed, angry, and irritable or wound up even when doing calm activities. That can result in trouble sleeping, feelings of guilt and shame, feelings of anxiety, worry, and self-destructive behaviors. These behaviors can be difficult to tell from someone just having a bad day or having mood swings.


Cognition and Mood

Most people with PTSD experience negative changes to cognition and mood, which typically means they experience symptoms of depression. This often means feelings of reduced self-worth, alienation, detachment, poor memory, negative self-thoughts, suicidal ideation, guilt and blame, lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyed, difficulty maintaining relationships, difficulty experiencing positive emotions, and feelings of hopelessness.

These symptoms will vary significantly from person to person and can range from moderate to severe. In addition, not everyone with PTSD will experience all these symptoms.

Our Program Defined

We strive to offer the best treatment experience and believe that through our proven program, that we can help you not only overcome mental illness, but achieve a fulfilling life full of gratitude and compassion beyond what seems possible at the beginning of your path to recovery.
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Who Gets PTSD?

Anyone can get PTSD. That includes people who don’t deal with stress or stressful situations regularly. Today, about 6% of the U.S. population will have PTSD at some point during their lives. That works out to about 2 out of every 25 women and 1 out of every 25 men. And, about 1 in 20 people in the United States will qualify for a PTSD diagnosis at any given time.

Veterans and persons exposed to war zones are more likely to have PTSD than civilians, with 3 in 10 veterans of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom having PTSD at any given time. However, anyone can have PTSD.

Diagnosing PTSD

Most people experience at least some of the symptoms of PTSD as a normal reaction to trauma. In fact, it’s unusual not to experience intrusive memories, flashbacks, depression, and difficulty managing emotions in the first few weeks after trauma. Here, if you or a loved one has experienced a traumatic event, it’s recommended that you seek out a trauma counselor and get help dealing with and managing that trauma in a healthy fashion.

For people with PTSD, those symptoms don’t go away. The DSM-5 requires that an individual have experienced a traumatic event with additional symptoms for at least one month.

Trauma/Stressor (direct exposure, witnessing, a close friend or relative experiencing, direct exposure to details)

Intrusive/re-experiencing symptoms (1+ required)

Avoidance symptoms (1+ required)

Cognition and mood symptoms (2+ required)

Arousal and Reactivity symptoms


If you or a loved one is struggling after exposure to a trauma, it’s important to talk to your doctor. They can work with you to either diagnose you with PTSD or refer you to a mental health professional who can.

How Do You Treat PTSD?

For most people, treating PTSD means talking to a doctor and seeking out behavioral therapy. Depending on your state of mind and mental health, this treatment can be delivered outpatient or inpatient. In either case, it will include a mix of therapy and counseling, support, and help adapting behaviors and how you process things to help you recover from trauma.



Inpatient PTSD treatment means that you stay at a treatment center for up to 6 weeks, where you receive intensive care for PTSD symptoms, a personalized therapy program, and daily support. That program will be mixed with a routine, help building healthy patterns, and help exercising and eating well to ensure you have the basis to recover from. At Compassion Recovery, our inpatient treatment means staying in a home-like environment with a small group of peers, and receiving a mix of group therapy, one-on-one therapy, and counseling to help you through every part of PTSD recovery.



Outpatient treatment for PTSD is a good solution for individuals with moderate symptoms and as a follow-up to inpatient treatment. Here, you receive much of the same care that you do in an inpatient setting but go home, to work, and to your responsibilities during the day. These programs are lighter but allow you to maintain responsibilities while working on recovery.

In most cases, PTSD is treated with:

Behavioral therapy and psychotherapy

In every case, the treatment is approached holistically, with the intent to treat the most pressing symptoms first. For example, if someone is too stressed to too anxious to respond well to treatment, PTSD treatment may begin with a short course of benzodiazepines and therapy – after which the therapy should have helped. Medication is not a first-line treatment for PTSD, however you may receive it as part of your personalized treatment plan if you need it to make the most of therapy.

You’ll also receive:


Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy gradually exposes you to trauma and triggers using your memories, writing, visits to places where traumatic events happened, talking to people who trigger traumatic memories. This is followed by sessions to help you resolve emotions and to move on, so that you can run into those people and places again without triggering trauma.


Behavioral Therapy

Behavioral therapy such as CBT (Cognitive behavioral therapy) DBT (Dialectal Behavioral Therapy) and EMDR (Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing) are all commonly used to help patients understand how their own behavior contributes to ongoing symptoms and how to change behaviors to improve how you manage trauma, stress, and negative emotions.


Cognitive Restructuring

Cognitive Restructuring Therapy is often used to help people make sense of emotions and experiences. The therapy is designed to help you understand what’s going on, what you can do about it, and how you can make sense of situations where you were powerless.

Most therapy for PTSD lasts for 40-90 days. However, you may break that into multiple sections, with a 4-6 week stay in inpatient care followed by an outpatient program and aftercare.

Insurance Coverage for PTSD Treatment

Most major insurance plans will cover PTSD under mental health plans. However, you’ll often still need a doctor’s referral. You’ll also want to ensure that you’re working with an in-network provider to make the most of your insurance coverage.

Compassion Recovery is in-network for most major insurance providers. We also accept Medicare and Medicaid. That means we can help you recover from PTSD at the lowest possible out-of-pocket cost to you.

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Long Term Help & Aftercare

It’s critical that your mental health treatment and recovery include support for long-term treatment and aftercare. Your program should include follow-ups, opportunities to go back into treatment, and an alumni program to ensure you continue doing well and get the help you need after graduating your treatment program.

Talk to Compassion Recovery Services today about our aftercare program.

Getting Help

If you or a loved one is struggling with PTSD, experiencing symptoms of depression after a traumatic event, or think you’re struggling, it’s important to reach out and get help. Start by talking to your doctor about your options and getting a referral. And, the team at Compassion Recovery is here to help. Call us at 909-314-1097 to talk to a consultant about you or your loved one’s mental health and treatment.

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