Trauma and Dissociative Disorders

Care and Support for PTSD and Other Trauma-Related Conditions

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Overview

Trauma affects individuals in numerous ways. Traumatic events may include a car crash, rape, domestic abuse, military combat, or violent crime. Many children and adults are able to effectively process a traumatic incident and go on with their lives with little or no lasting negative effect, but for many individuals, psychological trauma may set in. Sufferers may develop extreme anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or they may have ongoing problems with relationships and self-esteem.

McLean Hospital’s experts are on the cutting edge of evidence-based treatments, delivering world-class care to individuals with trauma and trauma-related disorders. Our clinicians and researchers also conduct state-of-the-art investigation into the causes of these conditions and provide robust education for patients and families and the broader community.

Learn more about treatment options at McLean and find definitions and helpful resources.

Trauma Treatment at McLean

At McLean Hospital, we provide exceptional care for trauma and trauma-related disorders such as PTSD and dissociative disorder. Alongside comprehensive diagnostic assessments and specialty consultations, our programs offer individual and group therapy, personalized treatment planning and robust aftercare recommendations, proven behavioral therapies, and medication evaluation and management.

Our inpatient and day program services for women suffering from the effects of childhood abuse or other traumatic events maintain a strong reputation for their balanced emphasis on stabilization and healing. We also offer outpatient care for an array of trauma symptoms and diagnoses.

  • Treatment at McLeanHill Center for Women – An intensive 2-week treatment program offering psychiatric services for women with histories of trauma, mood and anxiety disorders, and borderline personality disorder.
  • LEADER – Substance abuse and trauma care focused on the unique needs of first responders and active duty military. Residential and outpatient options are available.
  • Dissociative Disorders and Trauma Inpatient Program – Comprehensive treatment for adults suffering from the effects of childhood abuse or other painful traumatic events.
  • Adult Outpatient Services – McLean’s outpatient care includes individual and group therapy options focused on trauma and trauma-related disorders.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma knows no boundaries. It affects people of every background, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, age, gender, sexual orientation, and so on. Research has shown that traumatic experiences are associated with both behavioral and physical health conditions, especially trauma that occurs during childhood. With proper care, individuals can recover from psychological trauma and learn to heal and manage their symptoms.

The consequences of trauma and violence can include long-lasting effects. Exposure to trauma at an early age affects brain development, and the rates of post-traumatic stress in adolescents and adults is on the rise. Early exposure to violence and trauma are major risk factors for lifelong health issues and early death. Trauma-related disorders include post-traumatic stress disorder and dissociative identity disorder, both of which have effective treatments to support individuals on a pathway to recovery.

PTSD can occur if one has been through a traumatic event and is having trouble dealing with it. While it is normal to have some anxiety after such an event, it usually goes away over time. With PTSD, the anxiety is more intense and keeps coming back. Often the trauma is relived through nightmares, intrusive memories, and flashbacks (vivid memories that seem real). The symptoms of PTSD can cause problems with relationships and make it hard to cope with daily life. With proper psychiatric care, PTSD can be treated and individuals can feel better.

Dissociation is a mental process that causes a lack of connection in a person’s thoughts, memory, and sense of identity. Dissociation falls on a continuum of severity. Mild dissociation is often like daydreaming, getting “lost” in a book, or when you are driving down a familiar stretch of road and realize that you do not remember the last several miles. A severe and more chronic form of dissociation is seen in dissociative identity disorder, once called multiple personality disorder, and other dissociative disorders.

Trauma Resources

You may find the following organizations helpful for more information on trauma:

Learn More

Looking for information on another mental health condition? Visit one of these pages to find out more.

ADDICTION ANXIETY AND OCD
BIPOLAR DISORDER AND SCHIZOPHRENIA BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER
CHILD AND ADOLESCENT MENTAL HEALTH DEPRESSION
EATING DISORDERS OLDER ADULT MENTAL HEALTH