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Athena Care
PTSD Assessment and Testing in Knoxville, TN for Children, Teens & Adults

PTSD Assessment and Testing in Knoxville, TN for Children, Teens & Adults

Athena Care Mental and Behavioral Health Services in Knoxville, Tennessee

Living with PTSD and unresolved trauma can be painful and debilitating. Athena Care can help. We specialize in comprehensive testing for PTSD and other mental health disorders for children, teenagers and adults. Through increased insight into your strengths and challenges, we can help you get back to living life on your terms, with a greater sense of wellbeing and purpose.

In addition to providing psychological assessments, Athena Care also provides a full range of testing and mental health services for people of all ages. These include neurodevelopmental testing for ADHD and autism, tests of cognitive function, personality assessment, achievement testing and more. Our comprehensive mental health services include therapy, medication management, intensive outpatient programs, TMS, and Spravato (esketamine).

When you’re struggling with mental health issues, we know how overwhelming it can feel to simply pick up a phone and make an appointment, much less to navigate your health insurance coverage or to coordinate different mental health services. That’s why we try to make the process as easy as possible. Our Athena Care clinic in Knoxville, TN provides high-quality, comprehensive and accessible care for all of your mental health needs in one convenient location. When you contact us, our care coordinators will address any questions or concerns you have and walk you through your health insurance coverage. Next, our team of multidisciplinary experts will collaborate with you to create a plan that best fits your needs.

What is PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people after they experience or witness a scary or shocking event that shatters their sense of safety and security. It rocks the foundation of what they thought they knew about the world and leaves them feeling disillusioned, disconnected and wary—what kind of world is this where such a thing could happen?

Events that may result in PTSD symptoms often include combat, sexual assault, a natural disaster, a terrible car accident and other incidents that significantly harm a person’s sense of safety and bodily integrity. People with PTSD may experience flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts that interfere with daily functioning and last for months, or even years, following the event. These symptoms may begin soon after the event or take years to develop. PTSD may look and feel like depression symptoms or rage, but it’s different.

Complex PTSD (c-PTSD or CPTSD) is similar to PTSD but usually involves witnessing or experiencing a series of events over a longer period of time, often including situations such as abuse, abandonment, neglect and domestic violence. In addition to traditional symptoms of PTSD, people with c-PTSD may experience significant trouble maintaining healthy relationships, regulating their emotions and developing a stable sense of self. Classifying Complex PTSD as a distinct diagnosis remains controversial. The World Health Organization includes it in their International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). However, the American Psychiatric Association does not list it as a distinct disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)1.

Common Causes of PTSD in Mental Health

Similar to other psychiatric conditions, our understanding of what causes PTSD is limited. However, research indicates that it is probably caused by a combination of biological, genetic, and environmental factors that make a person vulnerable to developing PTSD in response to traumatic events.

Specifically, factors associated with PTSD include:2, 3, 4

  • The amount and severity of trauma. Events that are life-threatening, involve extreme violence, or result in significant emotional distress are more likely to contribute to the development of PTSD.  
  • Inherited mental health risks. If you have a family history of issues such as anxiety and depression, you may be more likely to develop PTSD in response to trauma.
  • Inherited features of personality. Certain personality traits, such as high levels of neuroticism or novelty seeking, may be associated with an increased risk of developing PTSD.
  • Biological differences. The way the brain regulates the chemicals and hormones the body releases in response to stress may influence the risk of developing PTSD.
  • Social support. Having little or no social support after a traumatic event may increase your risk of developing PTSD.

It’s important to note that the experience of trauma is highly subjective, and individuals may react differently to similar events. Additionally, not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD (in fact, most do not). Seeking support from mental health professionals, friends, and family is crucial for those who have experienced trauma, as early intervention and appropriate treatment can help manage symptoms and improve long-term outcomes.

Signs and Symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Symptoms of PTSD can vary over time and from person to person. They may include flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, severe anxiety, uncontrollable thoughts, and other issues that interfere with daily functioning. Symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions (arousal).

Intrusive memories may include: 

  • Recurrent, distressing memories of the traumatic event 
  • Reliving the event as if it were happening again (flashbacks) 
  • Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the event 
  • Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to things that remind the person of the event 

Avoidance may include: 

  • Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event 
  • Avoiding places, activities or people that remind the person of the traumatic event 

Negative changes in thinking and mood may include: 

  • Negative thoughts about oneself, other people or the world 
  • Hopelessness about the future 
  • Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event 
  • Difficulty maintaining close relationships 
  • Feeling detached from family and friends 
  • Lack of interest in activities once enjoyed 
  • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions 
  • Feeling emotionally numb 

Changes in physical and emotional reactions (arousal) may include: 

  • Being easily startled or frightened 
  • Feeling on-guard for danger most of the time 
  • Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast 
  • Trouble sleeping 
  • Trouble concentrating 
  • Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior 
  • Overwhelming guilt or shame 

For children 6-years-old and younger, signs and symptoms may also include: 

  • Re-enacting the traumatic event or aspects of it through play 
  • Frightening dreams that may or may not include aspects of the traumatic event 

If you or someone you love would benefit from talking to a mental health provider in Tennessee, call or text:

877-641-1155

One of our Care Coordinators will help you get the care you need.

PTSD Testing and Assessment in Knoxville, Tennessee (TN)

Athena Care Knoxville offers comprehensive testing for PTSD and other mental health disorders. Typically, testing involves a thorough assessment by a mental health professional to establish the presence and severity of PTSD symptoms and determine whether symptoms are part of PTSD or another condition. There is no single test for PTSD. Instead, the evaluation usually involves multiple components, including a clinical interview and self-report measures.

During the clinical interview, a psychologist, therapist or other mental health professional will ask about your background, your current symptoms and the impact that your symptoms have on your daily life. Your clinician will give you standardized self-report questionnaires to further assess the presence and severity of your symptoms. Your clinician will also ask questions to rule-out alternative causes or co-occurring mental health conditions that may contribute to symptoms that mimic PTSD. For example, it’s important to distinguish PTSD from other disorders that share overlapping symptoms with PTSD in order to guide the most effective treatments. Finally, the clinician will write a report that summarizes their findings and provides specific recommendations for treatment.

PTSD Testing for Adults

Athena Care Knoxville provides mental health testing for PTSD in a comfortable and professional environment. Our psychological assessments and mental health evaluation tools will assist your care team in planning safe and effective treatments that are tailored for you needs. In addition to testing, we provide a variety of evidence-based and affordable options for PTSD therapy and other forms of treatment, to keep your expenses down and improve your emotional well-being quickly and effectively.

PTSD Testing for Children and Teens

If your child or teen has gone through a traumatic experience and/or shows signs of PTSD, early intervention and support can help them process trauma and recover from it more quickly and easily. Testing is important to establish the presence and severity of symptoms, to determine whether symptoms are related to PTSD or another condition and to guide safe and effective treatment. A variety of treatment options are available, from talk therapy or intensive outpatient programs to medication. Given how distressing and impairing PTSD can be for a young person, it’s important to get help before symptoms get worse.

How to Find a PTSD Testing Center Near Me in Knoxville, TN

There are numerous ways to find PTSD services, ranging from soliciting recommendations to searching online. When contacting resources, ask about the specific services they offer, the professionals involved, any referral processes, and whether they accept insurance. It’s important to find licensed professionals with experience in PTSD assessment. Here are some tips to find a PTSD testing center in your area:

  • Contact your healthcare provider, such as your primary care doctor or your child’s pediatrician. They may be able to guide you on next steps or refer you to a specialist or diagnostic center.
  • Mental health centers and clinics may offer diagnostic services for PTSD. Contact local mental health professionals or community clinics to inquire about available assessments.
  • Licensed psychologists and neuropsychologists may conduct PTSD assessments. Contact local psychologists or mental health professionals, and inquire about their experience in diagnosing PTSD.
  • Use online directories and resources to search for PTSD testing centers in your area. Websites for organizations like the Department of Veteran Affairs may provide directories or links to local services.
  • Seek recommendations from friends, family members, or other parents who have experience with psychological assessments. Personal referrals can provide valuable insights into the quality of services provided.
  • Conduct an internet search. The following are queries you can type into search engines to find PTSD testing near you:
    • “PTSD testing near me”
    • “PTSD assessment near me”
    • “PTSD assessment clinic near me”
    • “local resources for PTSD assessment”

Does Health Insurance Cover PTSD Testing & Treatment in Tennessee (TN)?

Most health insurance companies cover PTSD testing and treatment when certain criteria are met. In Tennessee, these companies include Aetna, Ambetter, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee, Cigna, TRICARE and UnitedHealthcare, among others. However, the extent of coverage, including the types of services covered, the number of sessions allowed, and any copayments or deductibles, can vary widely.

Since your health insurance plan dictates the services your insurance company will cover, it’s important to carefully review your insurance policy, paying attention to any information related to mental and behavioral health services. Additionally, it may be helpful to contact the insurance company directly or consult with the mental health provider’s billing office to confirm coverage details.

If you or someone you know is seeking PTSD testing or treatment, consider reaching out to the insurance provider to understand the coverage specifics and to find mental health professionals who accept your insurance. Keep in mind that mental health parity laws in many places require insurance plans to provide equal coverage for mental health services compared to physical health services.

For PTSD testing and treatment services in Tennessee, call or text us at (877) 641-1155. One of our care coordinators will answer any questions or concerns you may have, walk you through your insurance coverage, and help you get the care you need.

Which Insurance Providers Cover PTSD Testing and Treatment?

Many major health insurance companies cover PTSD testing and treatment when certain requirements are met. These include companies such as Aetna, Ambetter, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Tennessee, Cigna, TRICARE and UnitedHealthcare. Mental health parity laws in many places require insurance plans to provide equal coverage for mental health services compared to physical health services but coverage can vary.

Since the services your insurance company will cover are largely dictated by your plan, it’s important to carefully review your insurance policies, paying attention to any information related to mental and behavioral health services. The most reliable method for determining your coverage may be to contact your health insurance company directly. If you’re seeking mental health testing or treatment in Tennessee and want to speak to someone about your health insurance coverage, one of our care coordinators will happily discuss it with you. Call or text us at (877) 641-1155.

How Much Does PTSD Testing Cost in Knoxville, TN?

The American Psychological Association estimates that the annual cost per person for PTSD is $18,640, including mental health care costs and unemployment6. The cost of PTSD testing in Knoxville, Tennessee, can vary depending on several factors, including the specific type of testing, the provider’s fees, and whether you have health insurance coverage. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Type of Testing: PTSD testing can involve various assessments, such as clinical interviews, self-report measures, and possibly psychological testing. The type and complexity of the testing can influence the overall cost.
  2. Health Insurance Coverage: If you have health insurance, it’s advisable to check with your insurance provider to understand the extent of coverage for PTSD testing and related mental health services. Insurance plans may cover a portion or all of the costs, but it’s essential to clarify any copayments, deductibles, or coverage limitations.
  3. In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Providers: If you have health insurance, visiting an in-network mental health provider is typically more cost-effective than seeing an out-of-network provider. In-network providers have negotiated rates with the insurance company, which can result in lower out-of-pocket costs for you.
  4. Provider Fees: If you’re paying out-of-pocket or using services not covered by insurance, the fees charged by mental health providers can vary. Different providers may have different fee structures, so it’s advisable to inquire about costs during the initial consultation.
  5. Sliding Scale or Reduced Fee Options: Some mental health providers offer sliding scale fees or reduced fee options based on income. If you have financial concerns, it’s worth discussing payment options with potential providers.

To get accurate information about the cost of PTSD testing in Knoxville, Tennessee, consider contacting mental health professionals or clinics and inquiring about their fees for assessments and related services. You may also want to ask about payment options, sliding scale fees, or any available financial assistance programs. If you have health insurance, contact your insurance provider to understand the coverage details for PTSD testing. Ask about any pre-authorization requirements and the extent of coverage for mental health services.

If you’re seeking therapy, medication or other modes of intervention, PTSD treatment cost varies in a manner similar to the costs for testing. To keep your treatment fees for PTSD low, follow the same steps listed above for PTSD testing.

How to Book an Appointment for PTSD Evaluation

To book an appointment for a PTSD evaluation at Athena Care Knoxville, fill out the form below or call or text us at 877-641-1155. One of our care coordinators will talk to you about your situation, answer any questions you may have and help you navigate your insurance coverage.

To book an appointment at another facility, search for mental health professionals in your area who specialize in PTSD or trauma-related services. This may include psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed therapists, or counselors. You may be able to message them through their website or find an appropriate phone number to call to book an appointment. It’s helpful to have your insurance information handy when you contact them.

Can I Book a PTSD Test for My Child?

To schedule an appointment for your child at Athena Care Knoxville, call or text us at 877-641-1155 or fill out the form above. One of our care coordinators will talk to you about your child’s situation, answer any questions you may have and help you navigate insurance coverage issues.

What is the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Screening and Assessment Process?

Typically, testing involves a thorough assessment by a mental health professional to establish the presence and severity of PTSD symptoms and determine whether symptoms are part of PTSD or another condition. The process typically includes various components to gather information about the your experiences, symptoms, and overall mental health. Here is an overview of the screening and assessment process for PTSD:

These components often include a clinical interview and self-report measures. During the clinical interview, a psychologist, therapist or other mental health professional will ask about your background, your current symptoms and the impact that your symptoms have on your daily life. Your clinician will give you standardized self-report questionnaires to further assess the presence and severity of your symptoms.

Your clinician will also ask questions to rule-out alternative causes or co-occurring mental health conditions that may contribute to symptoms that mimic PTSD. For example, it’s important to distinguish PTSD from other disorders that share overlapping symptoms with PTSD in order to guide the most effective treatments.

Finally, the clinician will write a report that summarizes their findings and provides specific recommendations for treatment.

  1. Clinical Interview: A mental health professional conducts a clinical interview to gather information about your history, including any traumatic experiences, current symptoms, and the impact of those symptoms on your daily life. The clinician may ask you about the nature of the traumatic event, your emotional and behavioral responses, and any coping strategies that you have used. If going into detail about your specific trauma experiences feels too uncomfortable, it’s okay to tell the clinician that. They should treat your feelings with sensitivity and respect.
  2. Self-Report Measures: You may be asked to complete standardized self-report measures or questionnaires specifically designed to assess PTSD symptoms. These measures help quantify the severity of symptoms and provide additional information for diagnosis.
  3. Assessment of Comorbid Conditions: The mental health professional assesses for the presence of comorbid mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or substance use disorders, which commonly co-occur with PTSD.
  4. Functional Impairment: The clinician evaluates the impact of PTSD symptoms on various aspects of your life, including work, relationships, and daily functioning. This assessment helps in understanding the level of impairment caused by the disorder.
  5. Collateral Information: Information from collateral sources, such as family members or significant others, may be considered to provide additional perspectives on the individual’s behavior and symptoms.
  6. Treatment Planning: Based on the assessment findings, the mental health professional collaborates with you to develop a personalized treatment plan to improve your psychological health. This may include psychotherapy techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, medication, or a combination of both.

It’s important to note that the screening and assessment process for PTSD should be conducted by qualified mental health professionals, such as psychologists, psychiatrists, or licensed therapists. If you or someone you know is seeking an assessment for PTSD, it’s recommended to consult with a mental health professional to ensure a thorough and accurate evaluation. Early detection and appropriate treatment can contribute to better outcomes for individuals with PTSD. Learning stress management techniques, effective coping strategies, and self-care practices can also help.

PTSD Facts and Statistics in Tennessee (TN)

These are the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs’ best estimates of the prevalence of PTSD in the general population5:

  • An estimated 6% of people in the U.S. will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
  • In 2020, about 13 million Americans had PTSD, and about 5% of adults has PTSD in any given year.
  • Women have a higher risk of developing PTSD than men do—about 8% of women and 4% of men develop PTSD at some point in their lives. This may be associated with the types of trauma that women are more likely to experience, including sexual assault.
  • People who serve in the military are more likely to develop PTSD than civilians, especially if they are deployed to a war zone.

In addition, the American Psychological Association estimates that PTSD costs the U.S. $232.2 billion dollars per year6.

Sources

  1. Complex PTSD. U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. October 6, 2022. https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treat/essentials/complex_ptsd.asp
  2. Jakšić, N.,  Brajković, L.,  Ivezić, E., Topić, R. & Jakovljević, M. The role of personality traits in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Psychiatria Danubina. 2012; 24(3) 256-266.
  3. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. National Institutes of Mental Health. 2023. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd
  4. Birmes, P., Escande, M., Gourdy, P. & Schmitt, L. Biological factors of post-traumatic stress: neuroendocrine aspects. Encephale. 2000; 26(6) 55-61.
  5. How Common Is PTSD in Adults? February 3, 2023. https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/common/common_adults.asp
  6. By the numbers: Examining the staggering cost of PTSD. American Psychological Association. January 1, 2023. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2023/01/staggering-ptsd-costs

For mental health care in Tennessee, call or text:

877-641-1155

One of our Care Coordinators will help you get the care you need.