Increased Precautions We're Taking in Response to COVID-19
As updates on the impact of the coronavirus continue to be released, we want to take a moment to inform you of the heightened preventative measures we have put in place at San Juan Capestrano Hospital to keep our patients, their families, and our employees safe. All efforts are guided by and in adherence to the recommendations distributed by the CDC.

Please note that for the safety of our patients, their families, and our staff, on-site visitation is no longer allowed at San Juan Capestrano Hospital.

  • This restriction has been implemented in compliance with updated corporate and state regulations to further reduce the risks associated with COVID-19.
  • We are offering visitation through telehealth services so that our patients can remain connected to their loved ones.
  • Alternate methods of communication for other services are being vetted and may be offered when deemed clinically appropriate.

For specific information regarding these changes and limitations, please contact us directly.

CDC updates are consistently monitored to ensure that all guidance followed is based on the latest information released.

  • All staff has received infection prevention and control training.
  • Thorough disinfection and hygiene guidance has been provided.
  • Patient care supplies such as masks and hand sanitizer are being monitored and utilized.
  • Temperature and symptom screening protocols are in place for all patients and staff.
  • Social distancing strategies have been implemented to ensure that patients and staff maintain proper distance from one another at all times.
  • Cleaning service contracts have been reviewed for additional support.
  • Personal protective equipment items are routinely checked to ensure proper and secure storage.
  • CDC informational posters are on display to provide important reminders on proper infection prevention procedures.
  • We are in communication with our local health department to receive important community-specific updates.

The safety of our patients, their families, and our employees is our top priority, and we will remain steadfast in our efforts to reduce any risk associated with COVID-19.

The CDC has provided a list of easy tips that can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces that are frequently touched.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.

For detailed information on COVID-19, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Signs & Symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Learn more about the causes, symptoms, and effects of posttraumatic stress disorder. Understanding what you or your loved one is going through can be the first step to getting help.

Understanding Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Learn about posttraumatic stress disorder

A diagnosable mental health condition that manifests following a trauma is posttraumatic stress disorder. Also known as PTSD, symptoms of this mental illness typically occur in response to witnessing, learning about, or experiencing a trauma and can cause a great deal of distress for sufferers. Including avoidance, re-experiencing, and hyperarousal symptoms, this disorder can disrupt functioning in several areas of a person’s life.

Being the victim of abuse or crime, experiencing the sudden death of a loved one, surviving a disaster or accident, and/or exposure to war are all examples of traumas that can eventually lead to the manifestation of posttraumatic stress disorder. Those who grapple with this illness often experience high levels of anxiety, exaggerated startle responses, and ongoing feelings of panic. Allowing such symptoms to persist can make a person vulnerable to the development of another mental illness, substance abuse problem, and impairment in one’s social, familial, academic, and/or occupational life. Individuals who feel they are experiencing such strife or notice PTSD symptoms in someone they care for should consult with a mental health professional and discuss the need for treatment and options for care of PTSD that can meet a sufferer’s individual needs.

Causes and Risk Factors

Causes and risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder

While it is known that a preceding trauma triggers the onset of posttraumatic stress disorder, there are a number of other contributing factors that can lead to the development of this mental health condition. The following are widely accepted explanations by professionals in the mental health field that elaborate on the causes and risk factors for PTSD:

Genetic: People who have a family history of anxiety disorders have a greater susceptibility to the development of PTSD after a traumatic event. Because of this finding, posttraumatic stress disorder can have a genetic influence.

Physical: Individuals who meet diagnostic criteria for posttraumatic stress disorder often experience structural changes in their brains. Through the use of neuroimaging, it has been realized that these structural changes are most likely caused by the chemical changes that are also known to occur in those with PTSD. These chemical changes are responsible for the dysregulated moods in sufferers and are also the likely cause of the ongoing anxious feelings that are experienced as well.  

Environmental: The onset of posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms is greatly impacted by a person’s environment as a traumatic event or circumstance triggers this mental health condition. The chances of developing this disorder can also increase if a person experiences chronic stress prior to experiencing, witnessing, or learning about a trauma.

Risk Factors:

  • Lack of appropriate and healthy coping skills
  • Exposure to trauma, abuse, neglect, and/or violence
  • Experiencing chronic stress
  • Family history of anxiety disorders
  • Being female
  • Preexisting anxiety disorder or other mental health condition
  • Having an inadequate support system
Signs and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder

If a person learns about, witnesses, or experiences severe trauma, the symptoms of PTSD that can occur as a result could also be severe and elicit mental health treatment in order to alleviate the symptoms of this mental illness. The following signs and symptoms suggest that a person is grappling with posttraumatic stress disorder after some type of trauma has taken place:

Re-experiencing symptoms:

  • Recurring nightmares
  • Flashbacks that make an individual feel as if the trauma is happening again
  • Intrusive memories about the trauma
  • Physiological reactions when reminded of the trauma (e.g. sweating, labored breathing, increased heart rate)

Avoidance symptoms:

  • Avoiding people, places, or situation that are reminiscent of the trauma
  • Feeling detached from the world around one
  • Feeling hopeless about the future
  • Declined interest in things or activities that were once enjoyed
  • Inability to remember details about the trauma

Hyperarousal symptoms:

  • Having an exaggerated startle response
  • Poor concentration
  • Inability to sleep
  • Ongoing concerns about impending doom
  • Feeling on edge
  • Experiencing angry outbursts
Effects

Effects of posttraumatic stress disorder

The symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder can cause a great deal of devastation in a person’s life if symptoms are allowed to remain without treatment. With the potential to span across every area of an individual’s life, the listed effects are likely to occur and have a lasting impact on a person’s overall wellbeing:

  • Decline in quality and quantity of interpersonal relationships
  • Chronic pain
  • Development of a substance abuse problem
  • Suicidal ideations
  • Self-harming behaviors
  • Suicide attempts
  • Loss of employment
  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Poor academic functioning
  • Academic failure
  • Impaired occupational functioning
  • Development of another mental health condition
  • Family discord
Co-Occurring Disorders

Posttraumatic stress disorder and co-occurring disorders

The distressing symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder have the ability to trigger the onset of symptoms associated with another mental health condition. The following disorders are those that can be diagnosed alongside a clinical diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder; disorders that could also require treatment if a person seeks mental healthcare for PTSD:

  • Depressive disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Substance use disorders
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Specific phobias

My severe depression had taken over my life. I’m so thankful for San Juan Capestrano Hospital for giving me the strength to start living my life again to the fullest.

– Luis S.