Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a term that you hear more and more frequently now. There are a variety of events and occurrences that can lead to PTSD. However, it typically refers to survivors of combat. That said, it can also affect people who’ve never spent a day in the military. These people suffer a great deal of emotional and psychological distress. A common coping mechanism can be drugs or alcohol. Therefore, here’s what you need to know about PTSD and addiction.
Living through a traumatic event at some point in your life can cause PTSD. In fact, it left you with emotional and psychological scars. Intrusive thoughts crop up at odd times. Additionally, unwelcome feelings bother you when you try to focus on other things.
Your body reacts to a fight-or-flight response. It may be similar to what you experience during the traumatic episode. Specifically, your heart and respiratory rates increase. You feel like you should be doing something.
However, there’s nothing you can do. The situation is over. Even so, you’re still dealing with a physiological and psychological response to its stimuli. In response, you experience flashbacks, can’t sleep and feel like you’re continually failing at something.
How PTSD and Addiction Connect
When you can’t deal with it anymore, you self-medicate. Opioids and alcohol are two specific drugs that users enjoy because they help numb you. They take the edge off. They calm you down. This can temporarily relieve a few of the symptoms of PTSD but a reliance on these substances to relieve symptoms creates the potential for addiction.
Cocaine and other stimulants give you a false sense of self-confidence and strength. You feel like you’re in control again. However, the artificial sensations don’t last long. In their wake, you develop an addiction which only compounds your problems.
Getting Help in Rehab
Addiction treatment addresses chemical dependency. It helps you break the psychological addiction to a drug or alcohol. You learn to identify triggers and how to deal with them. However, for recovery to last, you also need a PTSD treatment program.
A therapist customizes your modalities for you. Furthermore, as you undergo an assessment for co-occurring mental health conditions, your PTSD comes to the surface. Behavioral treatments and psychotherapy can work together to help you. For example, modalities include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Dialectical behavior therapy
- Trauma treatment program
- Family therapy program
- Group therapy program
- One-on-one psychotherapy
- Addiction education
A reality-based treatment model can also be advantageous. In fact, it combines outings with peer group interactions. Moreover, you learn how to handle yourself in situations you’ll encounter after rehab. By that time, you’ll feel comfortable counteracting stressors and triggers.
You don’t have to keep suffering from a substance abuse problem while reliving traumatic memories. When therapists understand the connection between PTSD and addiction, they can help you overcome both issues. Therefore, at Crest View Recovery Center, you find this level of assistance along with a reality therapy component. Call 866.327.2505 today to schedule an intake appointment.