PTSD Treatment in Port St. Lucie, FL

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder more often called PTSD is a disorder that develops as a result of one or more traumatic experiences. Traumatic experience may involve physical danger, but an emotionally intense event, like the death of a child can also result in PTSD. 

It isn’t unusual for people to be unaware of their condition prior to diagnosis. They may notice the symptoms but attribute them to something other than the traumatic events.  Symptoms usually begin within 3 months of the initiating trauma. In order to qualify as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder an adult must experience the core symptoms for at least a month.

This includes:

At least one avoidance symptom

One or more re-experiencing symptoms

At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms

Two or more cognition and mood symptoms

Who Gets PTSD? Can PTSD Treatment Help?

PTSD affects about 3.6% of the U.S. adult population. About 37% of those diagnosed with PTSD are classified as having symptoms. Women are more likely to experience PTSD than men. Symptoms usually begin within 3 months of an event but can sometimes appear years later. Many people who have PTSD are unaware of their diagnosis until they see a professional. They are well aware that they are experiencing symptoms but may not realize they are connected to traumatic events.

Others may be under the impression that there is nothing that can be done about PTSD. This is not true of course. There are a number of effective, evidence-based methods of care which are proven to deliver real relief for people living with this condition. It takes time to recover from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, but with the right help from a trauma-informed mental health program and some willingness, great strides can be made and you or your loved one can get their life back.

What are Some Symptoms of PTSD?

Symptoms of PTSD often vary in intensity over time. You may have more symptoms when you are under stress or experience something that reminds you of the traumatic event(s). For example, you see someone who looks like a person who assaulted you or hear fireworks and be reminded of a traumatic experience in combat. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has a way of taking over your life and making it very difficult to relax and enjoy things as you used to.

PTSD can interfere with relationships, work, school, sleep and physical health. The symptoms can be dramatic and appear when you least expect them. The Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic wants you to know that you or your loved one do not have to face the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder alone. There is a great deal that we can do to help you overcome this condition and live a more peaceful and pleasurable life. All it takes is a phone call to put the wheels in motion towards a better life.

Symptoms of PTSD include:

Depression and anxiety

Feeling emotionally numb or ‘dead inside’

Difficulty concentrating and/or memory problems.

Irritability, uncharacteristically aggressive behavior or anger

Avoiding places and activities that remind you of the event.

Nightmares and/or flashbacks and reliving the event.

Recurring, distressing memories of traumatic events.

 Hopelessness about the future, things getting better.

Trouble with emotional intimacy and relationships.

Being easily startled, frightened/being on guard for danger

Treatment for PTSD

There are a variety of evidence-based treatment methods which can help facilitate recovery from PTSD. They range from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to pharmacotherapy (medication) to EMDR and wellness approaches including meditation, yoga,exercise and nutrition. The most effective treatment plans tend to include several of these elements. In combination, they can have a synergistic effect which provides the patient with more relief and resolution than they might have otherwise experienced.

How Do I Know If I Have An Anxiety Disorder?

Only a trained medical professional can formally diagnose an anxiety disorder. You should be careful to avoid self-diagnosis or having another non-professional label you with a specific condition. That said, if you know whether or not you have persistent feelings of worry, dread or panic that are serious enough to undermine your quality of life. 

You can tell if you seem to be much more frightened of certain things than anyone else you know. It’s not important that you diagnose yourself and figure out exactly what type of disorder you have. Anxiety disorders are best addressed with professional support. That’s the only way to ensure you get the accurate diagnosis and effective treatment you deserve. Here are some symptoms of an anxiety order you can self-assess yourself for. 

Often tired or restless

Hypervigilance or paranoia 

Sense of impending doom

Heart palpitations, racing heart

Excessive worry, fear or dread

Stomach cramps and/or nausea

Difficulty concentrating, especially due to racing thoughts

Unwanted annoying or disturbing thoughts that recur

Again, only a medical professional can formally diagnose a mental health disorder. But, If you have two or more of these symptoms regularly, it’s possible you have a disorder and it’s worthwhile getting a professional assessment. The next section defines some of the most common types of anxiety disorders, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) so you can familiarize yourself with their symptoms. 

More Common Types of Anxiety Disorders

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

This disorder features excess and persisting worry and anxiety about people, places, things or events. Part of what makes it a disorder is that the anxiety can arise over very ordinary and routine issues, for example a plumber coming to your home to do a repair or plans to go out to the movies with friends. The other part which helps define it (and all anxiety disorders) is the persistence. It’s not something that just happens once or twice. Rather it is a regular behavior that’s part of a person’s life. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is a form of anxiety disorder which is the result of trauma. It may manifest after a single experience, like a bad car accident or plane crash. More complex forms of PTSD can arise from multiple experiences across a period of time. For example, being in active combat during war or surviving repeated sexual assaults or psychological abuse events. PT

Social Anxiety Disorder or Social Phobia

Social phobia is similar to GAD, except that all of the feelings of worry and dread are associated with other people. It is characterized by extreme fear or avoidance of social situations. People with this condition are often acutely frightened of being embarrassed or judged by others and are particularly self-conscious. 

Panic Disorder

A panic disorder is characterized by “panic attacks”. These are repeated episodes where feelings of intense anxiety and fear come about and rapidly reach a climax where a person may hyperventilate, shake, sweat or even faint and lose consciousness. It can be very difficult for a person in the midst of a panic attack to see things clearly or listen to and understand instructions or reasoning. 

Specific Phobias

Specific phobias are less common than some of the other anxiety disorders. They are focused on one specific object or location. For example, Coulrophobia (fear of clowns) is a specific phobia. A person with this disorder may not show any unusual signs of anxiety, worry or panic in their everyday life. But when they are exposed to the subject of their phobia (clowns, in this case) they may react with anything from nervousness and unease to a full-blown panic attack. 

What Should I Do If I Think I Have An Anxiety Disorder?

If you believe you or someone you care about may have PTSD or another anxiety disorder, your next step should be to seek relief. There’s no reason to continue to be subject to the symptoms of an anxiety disorder. This is particularly true in this day and age when treatment for anxiety disorders has made tremendous strides. 

Effective treatments for PTSD and other anxiety conditions exist. It does take time and effort, but if you are willing and persistent, the chances you can substantially reduce your symptoms are good. All it takes to start is contacting us here at The Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Help for PTSD is Here

The Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic is committed to delivering the best mental health and addiction treatment available. We can help you or the one you love too, but you need to make the first move. Call us now at (888) 574-3506 or send us a message using this form. 

Samantha Kelly​

Director of National Business Development & Admissions Coordinator

I am a dedicated and passionate professional with extensive experience in business development Admissions and marketing. I have an incredible passion for showing others that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel if someone truly wants it.
Being in recovery myself I understand the struggles of addiction and alcoholism. I Started this Career path in 2009. With multiple years of experience, I bring a multi-faceted approach and am always seeking new ways to make a difference in the lives of those I work with.

Kim L. Buckner


As a Substance Abuse Motivational Speaker, Pastor, Peer Advocate, and Facilitator. Kim helps clients avoid relapse by understanding their triggers. Those people, places and things that can cause craving, as well as internal triggers like feelings, thoughts, or emotions. Kim also clients with identifying and building healthy relationships now that they’re clean and sober.

Kim’s background includes extensive experience as a motivational speaker and work in faith-based organizations helping youth and adults alike. He says he is motivated by giving back to the community, understanding, and not judging who she comes into contact with. Kim’s favorite quote is by Dr. Raymond Johnson: “The respect given to others rebounds to the giver to deny the scared in the Other is to deny it in oneself.”

Caty Burns


Caty graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in Counseling and History. Throughout her undergrad, she worked at the local CASA program, supporting volunteers advocating for children who had experienced abuse and neglect. Caty worked for seven years at a community mental health center (CMHC), partnering with children, adults, and families.

During those seven years, she taught life and coping skills as well as behavior management, provided case management and peer recovery services, and facilitated treatment teams that included the client, family, providers, and community members. I have also worked at an IOP providing group therapy services. She is currently working towards my Master of Social Work.

In her free time, Caty enjoys reading, especially historical fiction, spending time outdoors and having movie nights with her family. Disney World is her happy place, and she dreams of living among the elephants.

Madison Knowles

Mental Health Therapist

My name is Madison Knowles, I am a Mental health therapist at NPAC. I am a single-mother of two and I have a daughter who is globally delayed and has been diagnosed with autism. I have been in this industry since I was 16 years old, as I was fascinated with human behavior. I obtained my masters in applied behavioral analysis and started off working with people with disabilities. I then found my love for counseling when I worked with juveniles who had mental health and substance use issues. I then decided to go back for my mental health therapy license after that and working in a forensic treatment center. I went on to obtain my therapy credentials and since 2017, I have also been working on my PhD in forensic psychology in which I am currently working on my dissertation. I am inspired by change and how resilient people can be. My favorite inspirational quote is “Some will, Some won’t, So what, NEXT!!!” This quote has inspired me to try, try, and try again no matter how hard life gets, someone will give you a chance eventually. As a therapist at NPAC, I have been given the opportunity to work with diverse populations such as in substance use and mental health and I am known for my work with people on the schizophrenic spectrum as well as with other clients with other severe conditions including personality disorders.

Megan Carmona, LMHC

Lead Therapist

Our Lead Therapist, Megan, is a bilingual Licensed Mental Health Counselor who specializes in working with adults who struggle with addiction, anxiety, depression, and trauma. As Lead Therapist, she provides individual, family, and group therapy sessions to our clients.  Megan says “I am very passionate about therapy, especially about supporting my clients in exploring their strengths and identity. My goal is to provide individuals with the tools that can help them achieve independence in coping with their challenges and facilitating personal development.” In her free time, Megan enjoys watching docu-series and playing video games with her family. Her dream is to own acres of land so she can care for vulnerable animals, especially old dogs, cats, and horses. 

Kristen Bensley

Primary Clinician

As Primary Clinician, Kristen works with all aspects of our clinical team, from case management to primary therapy.  She has broad experience working in the mental health field. Prior to joining our team at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic, Kristen was part of the team awarded the Evernorth Behavioral Health Center of Excellence Designation by Cigna. She says her motivation is to help people rediscover who they are and become excited about the future and all the possibilities life offers. Kristen’s favorite quote is: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.”

Ronn Daigle, MSW

Therapist, Utilization Review Clinician

Ronn Daigle services as a Therapist and Utilization Review Clinician at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has been working in the field of substance use disorder treatment since 2011, with experience in all facility-based levels of care. Ronn earned, both an Associate of Arts in Psychology (2013) and Bachelor of Science in Human Services, with an Addiction Studies Concentration (2015) from Indian River State College. 

Ronn additionally earned a Master of Social Work degree in 2021 and is a current Registered Clinical Social Work Intern working toward licensure (LCSW). He describes himself as detail oriented, and solution focused.

Ronn says: “There is nothing more fulfilling than working with someone who doesn’t believe in himself or herself, and being there in the moment with them when the belief begins. We work with individuals who come to us at a point and time in their respective lives where they do not believe that change for others is possible; let alone for themselves…throughout the process they eventually come to a point where they realize that change is not only possible, but achievable.”

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI

Assistant Clinical Director

Erika Melecio, LMHC, MCAP, CEI is the Assistant Clinical Director at Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic who specializes in the treatment of LGBTQ, addiction, as well as mental health disorders ranging from depression and anxiety, to Bipolar Disorder, trauma, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, and eating disorders. Erika utilizes a number of modalities including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and Mindfulness amongst others. Erika has been in practice for close to a decade and has earned her license in Mental Health Counseling, as well as being a Master’s Certified Addiction Professional. Erika has worked with many individuals including couples counseling and family therapy, and is fluent in Spanish.
Throughout my years of practice, one of the things I enjoy helping people find is inner peace. Whether you are in the deepest parts of depression, overrun by your anxiety, controlled by your addiction, or there are certain issues in your life that are negatively impacting your ability to function, and have a happy, healthy life, maybe now is the time to talk about it. I am a big believer in empowerment, working hard in therapy, and utilizing different techniques to help you regain that inner peace that may have been lost along the way. I want to work with you as a team because with two people, absolutely everything is possible. I want to be there as a therapist, to help build you up, support you, but also help you be honest with yourself and accountable. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, my biggest goal for you is going to be simple….for you to no longer need my services. Why? Because if you no longer need my services, it means that you have regained your peace, you have regained your strength, you have regained your confidence. It means that you now have the tools to address any issues that try to derail you, and best of all, you will have the insight to overcome and thrive. So let’s begin this journey together, and get you to the place you want to be, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, and in your sobriety.

Aurelio Ayuso, MSW, LCSW, CAP, ICADC

Clinical Director

Aurelio has worked with those that suffer from the disease of addiction in adults and juveniles alike for over 10 years, beginning in the United States Navy where he proudly served for 20 years, working with those that were succumbed by addiction due to trauma and continuing his passion for helping those in need locally in Central Florida.

He specializes in both Addictions and Trauma, he has worked first as a therapist then as the clinical supervisor to both the Juvenile and Adult Drug Court programs in Brevard County. Aurelio has been instrumental in developing substance abuse treatment programs directly tailored to help those that also suffer from complex trauma due to their addiction. He has been recognized by several organizations for his forward thinking and ability to tailor treatment to individuals in the most restrictive environments.

Mr. Ayuso received his Graduate Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker as well as Certified Addictions Professional in the State of Florida, and Internationally Certified Alcohol & Drug Counselor. Aurelio specializes in the treatment of Addiction, Trauma, and Abandonment using strength based strategies deeply rooted in Solution Focused, and Mindfulness Therapies. At the Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic he passionately develops holistic curriculums that foster the belief that through addressing the mind, body, and spirit together, the Disease of Addiction can be addressed successfully.

Robert Lehmann, MHSA

Chief Operating Officer

Bob Lehmann is the Chief Operating Officer at the Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Services Administration with a concentration in Mental Health Administration and over twenty-five years of experience as a senior executive at addiction and mental health treatment facilities.

One of the reasons for his commitment to excellence in addiction treatment was his experience related to family members who suffered from the disease of addiction. Bob has been actively involved in community organizations throughout his career. Recently he was one of the founders of the Florida Addiction Treatment Coalition (FATC) and is its present Vice President. FATC was designed to bring together treatment executives in Florida to advocate on behalf of treatment facilities and the clients they serve adhering to a foundation of integrity and service excellence.

Jose R. Toledo, M.D.

Medical Director

A well-rounded and accomplished individual, Jose R. Toledo, M.D., is the Medical Director of Neuro Psychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a neurologist with 25 years of experience and has been in private practice since 1991 on the Treasure Coast of Florida. He completed his neurology training at the State University of New York and his Fellowship training at the University of Pittsburgh in Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology.

He also completed 24 months of acute inpatient psychiatry at the Western Missouri Mental Health Center, University of Missouri in Kansas City. In 2008, Dr. Toledo participated in and was certified in the continuing medical education activity entitled “Buprenorphine and Office-Based Treatment of Opioid Dependence” from The Medical University of South Carolina during which began his quest to found and head Neuropsychiatric Addiction Clinic.

Dr. Toledo is a brain specialist with particular competence in addiction medicine and out-patient detoxification treatment and integrates the fields seamlessly. He is certified to prescribe Buprenorphine (Suboxone). He incorporates his background in neurology into the addiction field. Dr. Toledo is member/fellow of The American Medical Association, The Florida Medical Association and The American Society of Addiction Medicine