Mel B Case Shows that PTSD Can Affect Anyone
Mel B was the very picture of a success story.
Born in the UK, she became a member of the Spice Girls – fast on their way toward becoming the hottest pop group of its time – before turning 20. Several multi-platinum hits later, the group made a successful movie before she struck out on her own as a solo artist. In all, Mel B earned everlasting celebrity and an estimated $50 million from the early part of her career, before turning to other high-profile acts, such as her recent role as a judge on America’s Got Talent.
But such triumphs masked a painful private life – one which recently led her to seek therapy at a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment centre. Difficult and allegedly abusive marriages, together with the death of her father, left her in a state of personal crisis. She then turned to sex addiction and alcohol abuse, further fuelling her downward spiral.
Mel B’s decision to enter rehab for PTSD should be applauded, as it represents a brave acknowledgement of the stresses she has endured and her current need for psychological help and support.
Rehab and its role in modern society
Although many people associate it with drug and alcohol abuse only, rehab for PTSD serves a much wider function in today’s world.
Recall that alcohol abuse played a role in Mel B’s case, but this dependency didn’t appear out of nowhere; it was a coping mechanism for a much deeper issue. Mel B cited “emotional and physical abuse” as the ultimate cause of her emotional crisis, stating that she was “drinking to numb [her] pain”.
An effective PTSD treatment centre will always seek to address the immediate issue – alcohol and sex addiction, in this case – while also focusing on the source of this unhealthy behaviour. Proper treatment depends on identifying co-occurring disorders, so that the patient can break free entirely from their self-destructive behaviour, while also remaining true to themselves and their emotions.
Various types of therapy are available for patients like Mel B, who described her own treatment this way: “I have recently been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, and on August 9, after trying many different therapies, I started a course of therapy called EMDR (eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing) which in a nutshell works on the memory to deal with some of the very painful and traumatic situations I have been through.”
EMDR involves exposing patients, in a carefully controlled environment, to images and other elements that relate to their vulnerabilities, and would normally trigger a rise in their stress levels. The stressful reaction is avoided, however, by employing another stimulus at the same time, which can take audio, visual, and tactile forms. This type of deliberately applied distraction can re-train the body and its memory system to experience the source of its distress without responding negatively to it. In time, new associations are made, healthy sensory pathways are formed, and anxiety is substantially reduced or eliminated.
PTSD, its causes, and its effects
Although PTSD is often mentioned in the context of terror and violence, it can also be the result of other kinds of trauma. The death of a loved one, for example, has been known to cause PTSD in some people. The diagnosis of a life-threatening condition can also be a personally traumatic experience that leads to PTSD.
People often think of rehab as a place for alcoholic or drug addicts, not knowing that there are many psychological issues associated with substance abuse. Often times, people self-medicate by drinking or taking drugs to mask other underlying issues.
In the case of Mel B, the emotional anguish from years of painful marriage, combined with a bitter court battle, financial hardship, the death of her father, and the stress of celebrity became too much for her nerves to take. In this vulnerable state, she turned to quick and easy comforts that eased the immediate pain, while putting her long-term mental and physical health in danger.
Her road to recovery will not be easy, but she has taken the important first steps of recognising her problem openly, committing herself to working toward a solution, and checking into a PTSD treatment centre for help.
Mel B added a final comment on her condition. “I am still struggling,” she said. “But if I can shine a light on the issue of pain, PTSD, and the things men and women do to mask it, I will do. I am speaking about this because this is a huge issue for so many people.”
Rehab for PTSD at The Dawn
If PTSD affects you or someone you know, it is important to contact professional caregivers right away. Remember that PTSD can affect anyone, including rich and famous celebrities as well as ordinary working people. In both cases, the fundamental steps are the only ones that matter: Admitting the problem, making a commitment to solve it, and attending a high-quality PTSD treatment centre.
As a full-service inpatient treatment centre, The Dawn is fully equipped to treat patients suffering from PTSD, substance abuse issues, and other types of psychological and behavioural disorders.
We have the expertise to offer dual diagnosis treatment, ensuring that both the underlying and immediate causes of stress and unhealthy behaviour are thoroughly addressed. We provide round-the-clock treatment in a safe, comfortable, and reassuring environment, giving complete support to every patient as they begin their journey to recovery.
EMDR therapy is available for patients, along with group and individual counselling when appropriate. Our 1:1 staff to patient ratio ensures that personalised treatment is always available to patients entering rehab for PTSD.