Addiction and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
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What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD, is a mental health issue that arises from experiencing or witnessing frightening and distressing events. Substance abuse is, unfortunately, something that many suffering from PTSD turn towards as a way to find relief. There are PTSD and substance abuse treatment options available.
While Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is often associated with military personnel and law enforcement, anyone can experience it. This can include victims of assault or robbery, domestic violence survivors, women who have experienced miscarriage, car accident survivors, and those who have experienced medical accidents.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can also arise from living in continually painful experiences, such as children who were neglected, witnessed violence and aggression in their homes, or who were raised by substance users. The estimated lifetime prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the U.S. population is 6.8%. However, there is reason to believe that the actual total may be higher.
However, research suggests that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has identifiable symptoms, including:
- Flashbacks, including physical symptoms, like heart racing
- Reoccurring memories or dreams of the trauma
- Distressing thoughts
- Physical signs of stress
- Avoiding places, events, or objects that trigger memories of the experience
- Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event
- Feeling tense or anxious
- Being easily startled
- Difficulty concentrating
- Angry or aggressive outbursts
- High risk or destructive behavior
- Negative or depressive thoughts
- Real or perceived social isolation
- Trouble remembering aspects of the traumatic event
- Distorted thoughts and feelings of blame
- Ongoing fear, anger, guilt, or shame
- Loss of interest in activities
- Difficulty experiencing happiness
To be diagnosed with clinical Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, individuals must demonstrate the following for at least 30 days:
- At least one re-experiencing symptom
- At least one avoidance symptom
- At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms
- At least two cognition and mood symptoms
Research also indicates that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder has five stages, including:
- Impact / Emergency – the time immediately following the trauma, when the individual may be most visibly in crisis
- Denial stage –the individual tries to avoid, self-medicate, or hide from their fear and trauma
- Short-term recovery – the individual may be experiencing some success with their coping strategies but is prone to relapse
- Long-term recovery – the individual has the coping skills required to manage their trauma and move forward
However, many individuals do not recognize the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Disorder in themselves or, because of stigma against mental health needs, choose not to seek help.
Effects of Addiction and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Evidence shows that behavioral health issues and addiction often occur simultaneously. In fact, approximately 50% of all individuals with serious mental health issues will suffer from a Substance Use Disorder. Furthermore, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder often co-occurs with major depressive disorder, and other mental health issues.
Some professions, like military personnel, police officers, medical staff, child abuse case workers, firefighters, photojournalists, and some types of media reporters can be especially prone to developing this disorder. And while knowledge of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has grown significantly, mental health resources are still not always readily available for those in need.
Mental Illness, Addiction, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Approximately 50% of all individuals with serious mental health issues will suffer from a Substance Use Disorder. Furthermore, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder often co-occurs with major depressive disorder and other mental health issues.
Although Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can appear in many forms, it is a mental illness that requires professional assistance. If untreated, it will likely lead to high-risk behavior, depression, and addiction. PTSD and substance abuse treatment is needed to help get you healthy and clean.
And as the negative mental health consequences of addiction begin to take hold, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms, such as insomnia and depression, will likely worsen. This often drives these individuals to use more drugs and alcohol to escape their mental health issues, damaging their physical and phycological health, careers, and relationships in the process.
For individuals who have turned to alcohol or drugs to ease Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder pain, seeking professional help from a recovery center could be a matter of life and death.
Do you want treatment but are worried about how you can pay for it? We have a team of financial professionals who provide free insurance verification. We will work with you to determine how to move forward with the treatment in a way that works for you and your financial situation.
How to Get Help
Are you suffering from PTSD? At Resurgence Behavioral Health, we understand your struggle with trauma and addiction. Our caring staff is prepared to help you break the cycle.
Call 855-458-0050 to schedule your consultation. Together, we will help you beat PTSD so you can live a healthier, happier, and addiction-free life.