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What Is PTSD and What Causes It?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition that occurs after living through trauma resulting in exaggerated fear in normal life, flashbacks, and feelings of danger. Post-traumatic stress disorder causes changes both physiologically and mentally.

The Impact of Trauma on the Brain

When scientists take images of the brains of people who experience PTSD, they can see physical changes.  One is a hypersensitive amygdala. Your amygdala is supposed to tell you when there is danger -– it’s meant to save your life. But when you have PTSD, your amygdala lies to you and says there is danger in safe situations.

Another place where changes occur is the prefrontal cortex. This should help you manage your emotional responses, but in PTSD, your prefrontal cortex essentially takes the day off without leaving anyone to modulate emotions. Both of these brain changes result from exposure to severe trauma or repeated traumatic experiences. Trauma-targeted therapies can help reverse these changes.

Traumatic Accidents

Many people are surprised to find themselves experiencing feelings of anxiety or vivid, unwanted memories after surviving an accident. After all, they walked away, didn’t they?

What they must come to realize is that survival can be traumatic. Whether you suffered minor injuries in a car accident or experienced a sudden fall while horseback riding, you may be vulnerable to symptoms of PTSD. While they had a positive outcome, these traumas can still affect your brain and emotions the same as other traumas.

Sexual Assault

After a sexual assault, it is common for survivors to feel some level of trauma. When this passes into a state where doing normal things that once felt safe to them –– such as walking around their neighborhood at night or going to a party with friends –– no longer feels safe, they may be experiencing PTSD.

Violence and Combat

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder gained its notoriety when first applied to soldiers who had returned from the Vietnam War. For those who lived through violence and combat, the possibility of developing PTSD is significant.

They may be innocent bystanders in war zones, victims of gang violence, or soldiers in combat. All become equally vulnerable to unknown threats, repeated trauma, and extended periods of uncertainty, potentially resulting in PTSD.

What Are Signs and Symptoms of PTSD?

Some of the earliest signs and symptoms of PTSD may be intrusive vivid memories when faced with a situation similar to how trauma occurred. People with PTSD may experience fight or flight symptoms, hypervigilance that expresses itself in a desire to keep their back to a wall versus an open doorway, or nightmares.

Treatment Options and Process at MHCSD

At MHCSD, we rely on evidence-based therapy. These are therapies that have been rigorously examined in studies and shown to work. Using evidence-based therapies gives you the best shot at success and utilizing your time well.

Talk Therapy

Sometimes just talking it out can help you process trauma. Talk therapy and cognitive therapy uses techniques to tackle difficult memories and intrusive thoughts.

Exposure Therapy

Getting exposed to the thing that is causing you stress and anxiety might sound counterintuitive. However, when used as a therapy in a controlled way to gradually reduce your anxious response to the traumatic trigger, it can help reduce symptoms overall.

Using Medications

Medications are an essential part of treatment for PTSD. Your provider can advise you on which kinds may work for your unique situations. Anti-anxiety meds and anti-depressants may help your brain along while you work on treatment exercises in therapy.

Passionate & Professional

The Benefits of Working with MHCSD

Even if your trauma happened years ago, there are still many reasons to seek treatment. In fact, if you’ve been suffering for years, that may be all the more reason! We can help you regain some of what you’ve lost to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder through tailored trauma-focused psychotherapy.

All our professionals are highly qualified, licensed, experienced, and passionate about being there to get you back on your feet. We stay engaged even after your therapy comes to an end to ensure you have the support you need to continue progressing in life.

Affording Treatment

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There is a way to get help – Affordably.


Talk Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)


Everyday Medications
Medications Taken as Needed

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Take the first step and reach out today. Our admissions team is standing by to help you with every step of the process. Insurance could cover up to 100% of the cost of treatment with no out of pocket cost to you.

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Getting To Know You

When you give us a call we talk and get an understanding of what your current situation is and how to help you.

Insurance & Payment Options

We accept most types of private (non-government) insurance policies along with a variety of payment options.

Intake & Treatment

Once you are all set, our clinical team will outline every detail of your treatment plan to help you get to where you need to be. Your journey to a happy and healthy life starts today!

Insurance can cover the complete cost of treatment!
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