Choosing Inpatient or Outpatient Care for PTSD

Fearfulness, stress, and anxious feelings are common after either witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. In many cases, these symptoms lighten and eventually disappear as time passes. However, if they worsen instead of improving, this may signify the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This serious mental health condition can disrupt an individual’s day-to-day life. It makes tasks extremely difficult to complete and takes the joy out of previously enjoyable things.

A common myth surrounding PTSD is that only war veterans experience the condition. The reality is that it can happen to anyone. If you believe that you or a loved one may be facing PTSD, don’t wait to seek treatment.

As many as 3.6% of U.S. adults in the previous year are affected by this condition. With a lifetime prevalence of 6.8%, PTSD spans far and wide. There are many symptoms involved in PTSD, including re-experiencing, avoidance, reactivity, and issues regarding cognition and mood.

Comparing Treatments for PTSD

When left untreated, the effects of PTSD can seriously impact a person’s daily life and overall well-being. The symptoms of the disorder can progress to higher severity levels and lead to other harmful mental health concerns. These may include but are not limited to depression, substance abuse, and suicidal thoughts or attempts. Fortunately, PTSD is treatable and studies have proven the following methods to be very successful.


Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), a sub-branch of psychotherapy (talk therapy), is the most common form of treatment for PTSD. This branch of CBT is geared specifically toward people facing the challenging aftermath of trauma. TF-CBT is an evidence-based option and aids in the ultimate goal of overcoming PTSD.

Multiple studies support and show just how effective and successful this therapy is in combatting the effects of PTSD. It can be found in many all-encompassing treatment plans, whether outpatient or inpatient style.


In addition to therapy, medication can also be prescribed in both inpatient and outpatient programs to help relieve symptoms of PTSD. One common form of medication used is selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), a kind of antidepressant medication. This helps to increase the levels of serotonin in the brain. More serotonin means more stabilized moods, appetite, and sleep.

Other medications prescribed to help combat PTSD symptoms may include antianxiety medication and sleep aids. Both of these medications assist in counteracting anxiety and helping to alleviate nightmares and trouble with sleep.

Inpatient Treatment

Residential or inpatient mental health treatment is widely used in the treatment of PTSD and other trauma-related conditions. These programs provide professional care day and night within a wonderfully cozy residential-style environment. Participants feel at home with full-time access to caring staff members. Additionally, inpatient mental health programs give them the benefit of gaining camaraderie with a range of individuals who are also on similar journeys.

In advanced cases of PTSD, inpatient care can be crucial to recovery. People can put aside their worldly worries and stress and focus solely on their mental health recovery. This new environment can be the catalyst some people need to find their footing again in life. Deciding to go all-in on mental health by choosing inpatient care isn’t easy, but it can be an incredibly beneficial step for many people.

Outpatient Treatment

If inpatient care doesn’t sound like the right fit, there’s another option that can be equally effective in treating PTSD. Outpatient programs utilize all of the same successful treatment forms that inpatient care plans offer, just without the residential mental health facility setting. These programs allow individuals the freedom and flexibility they need to continue their daily life and responsibilities while still receiving quality treatment.

Outpatient treatment is a great option for those who still need to work or tend to things at home. With programs such as this, participants are in control of their schedule and have the ability to work their appointments around other responsibilities in life. Depending on the individual’s unique circumstances, they may find they need the flexibility that outpatient plans can offer. If someone is still unsure what the best choice is for them, a consultation can help.

PTSD and Me: Finding Freedom Again

It can be difficult to know when to reach out for help. It’s even harder to actually make that call. However, putting the fear and difficulty aside for a moment can help people achieve great mental health improvement.

Facing the challenges of PTSD is hard. The thing is, treatment can help take that all away. There is a beautiful world out there that’s free of the burdens of PTSD. Anyone who has suffered through a traumatizing experience is still an incredible human being who has survived despite the odds. They have a powerful story to share and a happy future to live. Why not make the move today and start the treatment path to freedom?

The burden of PTSD can be insurmountable. It is a heavy weight, but you do not have to carry it alone. Let us help shoulder this burden so you can take the time you need to heal. At Alter Behavioral Health, your happiness is important to us. We can show you the life you were meant to live outside of the challenges of PTSD. There is so much joy and laughter waiting for you to take hold of it. Call us today at (866) 691-4386. We aren’t just another health care facility. We are real people who care deeply about you and your future beyond PTSD. Whatever you need and whenever you need us, we will be there for you.