PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating condition whose origins are related to extreme trauma. Some people use drugs and alcohol to manage symptoms related to their diagnosis of PTSD. Dual diagnosis treatment of the mental health disorder and addiction can help reduce symptoms of PTSD and eliminate the need for substance abuse.
What is PTSD?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety-related disorder that is the result of witnessing or experiencing an event or events involving death or the threat of death or serious injury to oneself or someone physically and/or psychologically close to the observer. Some events leading to PTSD may be from natural disasters, physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence, war or assault. Symptoms of PTSD can cause the sufferer to relive the traumatic experience through flashbacks, nightmares and uncomfortable emotional responses to environmental triggers.
Symptoms of PTSD:
- Feeling detached
- Being easily startled or agitated
- Dizziness or fainting
- Problems with sleep
There are three, time-specific categorizations of PTSD that are essential to its diagnosis:
- Acute- With symptoms less than 3 months in duration
- Chronic- With symptoms that have existed for 3 months or longer
- With Delayed Onset: 6 months have passed between the traumatic event and the onset of symptoms
Other types of mental health disorders such as Adjustment Disorder or Acute Stress Disorder will mimic PTSD. These disorders, while also in response to a stressful event, do not have symptoms as damaging as those of PTSD and symptoms will typically go away within 6 months of onset.
Those who suffer from PTSD often find that drugs and alcohol temporarily relieve symptoms. They may find that alcohol helps relax tension or that opiates numb emotional pain. Either way, when both PTSD and addiction are present, an individual should seek dual diagnosis treatment for optimal results.
Medication Treatment for PTSD
After someone experiences stress or is startled, he or she is in flight or fight mode for a period of time. This is the body’s natural way of helping to adjust to and overcome the experience. When someone experiences a trauma, the flight or fight mode doesn’t end. Such a permanent state of post-traumatic stress can be both overwhelming and paralyzing.
PTSD has many debilitating symptoms which require specific medication to help the brain and body readjust to a state of balance and relaxation. Medication used for dual diagnosis treatment of PTSD and addiction found in drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers includes:
Looking For Treatment?
You are haunted by a trauma and the only thing that seemed to give you relief were drugs or alcohol. Then, the nightmares, anxiety and numbness returned and the symptoms were worse. Finally, your addiction took hold and now life is completely out of control. Help is available. Call 866.812.8231 and speak with a specially trained Recovery Connection coordinator. Finding the right treatment program is the easy part. Help is possible. Act now and stop the pain and chaos.
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