Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) is a debilitating condition that can devastate people’s lives. It’s a mental health disorder that affects individuals who have experienced trauma—either long-term or via a single event. Examples of this include sexual assault, combat, natural disasters and serious accidents where people feel out of control and afraid as events unfold. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 7.7 million Americans age 18 and older have PTSD.
When individuals go through one of these types of trauma, the lingering effects of the stress can become a mental health problem if it lasts long-term. It’s common for people to experience reactions to traumatic events, but when it starts to interfere with daily living or causes problems in life, untreated PTSD may lead to further problems like substance abuse.
PTSD and Substance Abuse
Many with PTSD experience painful and distressing emotional and physical symptoms. When drugs or alcohol are used to relieve these symptoms, an addiction can easily develop. When someone has PTSD and an addiction, it’s called a dual diagnosis. Specialized rehab is needed to simultaneously treat these co-occurring disorders in patients. A quality PTSD drug rehab center can be the solution for lasting recovery.
Symptoms of PTSD
While each individual experiences symptoms in unique ways, on a general level, the four main symptoms of PTSD are:
- Reliving the event: Sometimes called flashbacks, individuals with PTSD re-experience the source of trauma by reliving the event. This can be scary and frightening, coming upon an individual suddenly and unexpectedly.
- Avoiding reminders of the event: People with PTSD will avoid situations and events that may be reminders of the trauma they experienced. An example of this is a person who was in a serious car accident may then avoid riding in cars.
- Increasing negative thoughts and feelings: People with PTSD will typically notice more negative thoughts and feelings on a regular basis than they had before. Activities that used to give them joy, no longer do. They may also become more suspicious of circumstances or people because they are now viewed as dangerous. There may also be feelings of regret, where an individual wishes he or she had done something differently.
- Feeling “edgy” most of the time: An inability to relax and feeling nervous or jumpy is seen in those who are suffering from PTSD. This can interfere with sleep and concentration, making the person more on edge. There is a greater tendency to anger or become irritable. People with PTSD may also startle more easily.
When these symptoms last more than several months, are upsetting, and are a disruption to daily functioning, professional help is recommended. One of the biggest risks, when PTSD is left untreated, is that individuals may turn to alcohol or drugs for symptom relief.
Taking substances helps numb the negative feelings and blocks unwanted thoughts, but this also creates further problems when addiction develops. The negative consequences and effects of addiction harm the PTSD situation rather than help. Treatment for all disorders is needed to become sober and avoid relapse.
Can a Quality PTSD Drug Rehab Center Help in a Lasting Recovery?
A PTSD rehab center provides addiction treatment while simultaneously treating PTSD. By treating all disorders, individuals receive comprehensive rehab while also significantly reducing the chances of relapse. Many of the tools used effectively in a drug and alcohol addiction treatment center are also used in a specialized PTSD rehab center.
Talk therapy: Learning how to express negative thoughts and feelings with a therapist helps individuals let go of trauma. Individual and group counseling sessions help treat both addiction and PTSD.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE): While avoidance is a major component of PTSD, PE can help lessen the negative feelings and thoughts by talking about the trauma repeatedly. This “release valve” is used to deal with the scary memories of trauma that people block by using substances.
Stress and relaxation techniques: Stress is a trigger for many who abuse substances. It’s also a major component of PTSD. A quality PTSD rehab center helps individuals learn how to control stress in healthy ways, decreasing the need for substances.
Finding a Quality PTSD Drug Rehab Center
At Recovery Connection, our staff is dedicated to helping people who need the right program that treats both PTSD and substance abuse. Call 866-812-8231 today to find out more.
A comprehensive treatment plan includes detox, inpatient and outpatient treatment, and aftercare services to help stop the cycles of addiction and PTSD. As a result, a healthy and more joyful life is possible. Call today and let’s talk about how a PTSD rehab center can help you or a loved one.