Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Stressful life events happen daily. But those that break your sense of security and result in feelings of helplessness are known as trauma. When you are overwhelmed with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that seems never to stop, you may begin to feel numb and disconnected from the people and places that surround you.

When these feelings persist long after the initial trauma has subsided, you may be experiencing what’s known as post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. When symptoms last longer than three months, cause significant distress, or disrupt a person’s work, social, or home life, PTSD is generally the reason.

Trauma & Treatment

Trauma often involves a threat to your safety or life, but any overwhelming or isolating situation can cause a traumatic impact, regardless of direct physical harm. Your subjective emotional experience defines trauma more than what occurred objectively. The more fearful and helpless you feel, the more likely it is that trauma is the cause.

Trauma may result from:

  • Single unexpected events: an accident, injury, or violent attack, particularly during childhood
  • Sustained events: natural disasters, fighting a life-threatening illness, or experiencing repeated bullying, domestic violence, or neglect
  • Overlooked events: surgery (especially in the first three years of life), death of a relative, end of a significant relationship, or an incident of cruelty

Symptoms of Trauma include:

  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Insomnia
  • Disordered eating
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Socialization issues
  • Relationship problems
  • Compulsive behaviors
  • Shock
  • Irritability
  • Anger
  • Panic attacks
  • Memory loss
  • Extreme stress
  • Nightmares

Types of Trauma Treatment

Evidence-based trauma treatment is part of every program at Hanley Center. Each patient receives an individualized treatment plan to address the disturbing and traumatic experiences they may have encountered as children or adults.

Trauma therapies at Hanley Center include:


  • Individual and group therapy
  • Meditation training
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Biofeedback
  • Neurofeedback

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder & Treatment

The effects of PTSD may persist long after a person experiences a traumatic event such as sexual or physical assault, natural disasters, or stress related to military combat.

Symptoms of PTSD include various emotional responses to reminders of the event as well as:

  • Recurrent episodes of unwanted, intrusive thoughts
  • Nightmares, distressing dreams, or flashbacks
  • Withdrawal from social circles and loved ones
  • Continuous hypervigilance for cues indicating an additional danger
  • Unwarranted anger
  • Negative changes in feelings and beliefs
  • Fluctuating moods
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dissociative mental experiences
  • Inability to function with daily tasks
  • Exaggerated reaction to events
  • Episodes of panic
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Insomnia


We understand that not all PTSD patients identify with having substance use disorders. That’s why we designed our Residential Mental Health Program in a dedicated space separate from the rest of Hanley Center. Within our program, you’ll find a 24/7 nursing and medical care unit to enhance your privacy and confidentiality, so you’ll feel safe and secure while you receive treatment for your PTSD.

Addiction and PTSD

People who have PTSD seek relief through the frequent use of alcoholic beverages and drugs. This practice is so common that nearly half of all individuals in treatment for addiction suffer simultaneously from PTSD.

Alcohol and drugs often aggravate existing PTSD symptoms. Intoxication can impair judgment and decision-making, leading to additional trauma, such as becoming the victim of physical violence, sexual abuse, or an accident. The misuse of substances is not an effective coping mechanism and may also lead to the onset or aggravation of an existing condition of PTSD.

During treatment, we incorporate other clinical approaches as needed to help resolve PTSD issues and symptoms. We help patients who have experienced trauma manage their responses to feelings of distress. We teach new skills to regulate emotions and work on healthier choices than alcohol or drugs to turn to when the feelings of panic return.

Gender Issues and PTSD Treatment

When experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction, treatment should include trauma-informed evidence-based curriculums with attention to gender issues. Men and women process trauma differently and need a safe space to recover, which is why we offer gender-separate groups in which to discuss and process the effects of PTSD and other co-occurring mental health disorders.


Treatment Modalities for PTSD

Trauma-related disorders such as PTSD require specialized therapies to address the traumatizing experiences. These therapies help reprocess memories and associated reactions and develop healthier coping mechanisms. Hanley Center treats the underlying trauma while empowering patients to lead independently without relying on substances.

At our Center for Brain Recovery, specialists review the patient’s progress and identify any upcoming psychological difficulties, including PTSD. Our licensed therapists and master’s-level clinicians are part of a multidisciplinary team that offers customized treatment plans.

Based on the unique circumstances of everyone, Hanley Center may also offer evidence-based treatments such as:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Neurofeedback
  • Biofeedback
  • Mindfulness training and meditation
  • Individual therapy or group therapy

Heal at Hanley Center

Our therapies provide tools to patients with post-traumatic stress disorder that assist with anticipating triggers, reducing anxiety and fear responses, managing mood swings and anger, and processing traumatic memories. Our multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals has extensive experience in a trauma-informed treatment approach to addiction and expertise in addressing various other co-occurring mental health concerns.


Call the caring staff at Hanley Center today 561.841.1033. Recovery is possible.

Hanley Center: Most Insurance Accepted

Address: 933 45th Street
West Palm Beach, FL 33407