Geisinger Behavioral Health Centers

Moosic’s trusted trauma & PTSD disorder treatment center

Though we can’t control the traumatic events that happen in our lives, with help, we can recover from our own reactions to trauma.

Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is triggered by a frightening or stressful event or time period in your life. Symptoms of PTSD might include debilitating anxiety, racing thoughts, unwanted flashbacks and confusing emotions that are hard to manage and can cause difficulty functioning. More and more, behavioral healthcare service providers see the need to address trauma’s impact on mental health.

In some cases, after a traumatic experience, you can recover and move on without professional treatment. In other cases, trauma can cause symptoms that, if left untreated, may have negative effects on your functioning and well-being. If symptoms of PTSD have lasted for more than a few weeks and are interfering with your quality of life, it might be time to seek treatment.

Traumatic experiences vary widely and include things like child abuse, service in war or the loss of a loved one. During and after traumatic events, the mind goes into a “fight or flight” state. For some, PTSD resolves on its own. In others, it’s caught early and treated so symptoms are unnoticeable. Left untreated, posttraumatic stress disorder can turn into a chronic condition.

If you have posttraumatic stress disorder, mental health treatment can help you learn to cope with your symptoms and ultimately begin healing. You can find comprehensive, high-quality integrative care that can help improve your well-being at Geisinger Behavioral Health Center Northeast, in Moosic, Pa.

Symptoms of PTSD

Typically, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms begin to happen a few weeks after the traumatic event. Sometimes, though, it can take months or even years for PTSD symptoms to develop. Treatment for PTSD symptoms can help you avoid trouble in your relationships, social and work situations as well as your ability to perform basic daily tasks. In fact, mental health treatment could protect the rest of your body, too — new research shows possible connections between untreated trauma and physical health problems such as immune disorders.

The four major PTSD symptom categories are avoidance, negative changes in thought patterns, emotional changes and intrusive memories.


  • Attempting to distract your thinking from the original traumatic event
  • Staying away from people, places and events that trigger unwanted memories about the original trauma
  • Avoiding all social settings even if they don’t resemble the setting of the traumatic event
  • Keeping your distance from friends and partners

Negative changes in thought patterns:

  • Loss of hope for the future, including lack of interest in planning for the future
  • Difficulty remembering details from the traumatic experience
  • Feelings of detachment from close friends or relatives
  • Loss of interest in activities and events you once enjoyed

Emotional shifts:

  • Feelings of emotional numbness
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Self-destructive behavior that shows a lack of care for self-preservation and health
  • Feelings of irritability or aggression that go beyond what is appropriate for the situation
  • Difficulty focusing and concentrating

Intrusive memories:

  • Nightmares about the traumatic event
  • Flashbacks that make you feel like you’re reliving the traumatic event in real time
  • Constant repetitive memories of the traumatic event
  • The nagging feeling that a similar trauma might happen

The effects of untreated PTSD

Left untreated, PTSD symptoms can shift from mildly disruptive to life-threatening. They can make it difficult to do tasks that once felt simple. By seeking posttraumatic stress disorder treatment, you can reduce your risk of:

  • Substance abuse
  • Suicidal ideation
  • Difficulty maintaining employment
  • Financial difficulties
  • Interpersonal relationship conflicts
  • Outbursts at loved ones or strangers
  • Onset of new mental health concerns

When to seek PTSD treatment

In some cases, PTSD symptoms come and go depending on what’s happening in your life. You may feel like your symptoms are under control, only to have a new stressor trigger them. An event or even an unexpected sound might spark memories of the trauma. It may cause you to briefly feel upset, or you might find it difficult to recover for some time.

PTSD symptoms can be unpredictable and sometimes even subtle. Mild symptoms of PTSD may not even be recognizable as a sign of a mental health disorder. For example, emotional numbness can be difficult to notice. But over time, it can damage your relationships with others, and it could have negative effects on completing basic tasks.

Notice when PTSD symptoms are affecting your lifestyle and mental health. If you’ve been having disturbing, disruptive thoughts due to a traumatic event, or if you’ve felt emotionally numb for more than a few weeks, it may be time to seek help from a mental health professional. Being treated for posttraumatic stress disorder early on can keep your symptoms from getting worse.

Therapies used to treat PTSD

PTSD treatment can help you feel a new sense of direction and satisfaction. Common therapies used to treat PTSD include:

  • Trauma-informed care: Trauma-informed care, or TIC, focuses on resilience and adaptation. Using this type of care, mental health professionals can help you plan for how to manage PTSD symptoms when they come up. Plans may include creating a safe environment or lessening stressors that can be triggering. TIC is heavily based on input from trauma survivors who have personal insight into what’s worked for them. Using TIC, mental health professionals can apply their understanding of PTSD symptoms to recognize the trauma and respond with educated compassion to avoid causing more negative emotions.
  • Evidence-based practices: Mental health professionals may begin PTSD treatment with evidence-based practices such as cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. These practices combine research and clinical experience. Trauma can sometimes cause distorted thought processes. CBT helps retrain the brain to notice when these distortions are happening and restore balance to these thoughts.
  • Creative arts therapies: By learning and using creative processes, you can improve your communication, expression and cognitive functioning. Under this umbrella, art, movement, music and writing may be used to stimulate creativity and improve your mental health.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy: Done under general anesthesia, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a procedure that sends gentle electric currents through the brain. This changes the chemistry of the brain and has been shown to ease symptoms of mental health disorders such as PTSD. ECT can work when other treatments have not, but its success varies with the person.
  • Medication: In some cases, psychiatrists may recommend using medication to ease PTSD symptoms. Whether you are prescribed medication is determined on a case-by-case basis and only with your consent.

PTSD treatment at our northeastern Pennsylvania facility

Set near Scranton, Pa., overlooking Montage Mountain in Moosic, Geisinger Behavioral Health Center Northeast integrates the most current evidence-based and trauma-informed practices of clinical care and education. When you seek treatment for PTSD, you can benefit in ways that may include:

  • The ability to work through the traumatic event
  • New skills to cope with memories that might otherwise disrupt your day or your relationships
  • Healthier relationships with friends and loved ones
  • A renewed interest in planning for your future
  • Improved physical health
  • More success in your career

Early treatment of PTSD symptoms can help prevent long-term negative outcomes. So don’t put off treatment or hope that your PTSD symptoms will subside on their own, or your untreated symptoms may get worse.

If you have PTSD symptoms, you can shift from feeling guilt and shame to feeling power over your life. We’re here to help — and we’ll focus on helping you find your strength through recovery and resilience.

This content was written on behalf of and reviewed by the clinical staff at Geisinger Behavioral Health Center Northeast.