Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, can have a serious impact on a person’s life. People with PTSD may have experienced indescribable atrocities and only feel relief when they use drugs or alcohol. Finding the right combination of medications can truly give people their lives back. PTSD often leads to people feeling like they’re disconnected from what’s going on around them. Viewpoint Dual Recovery in Prescott, AZ, can help veterans and other people struggling with PTSD a chance to take their lives back. Give us a call at 855.746.3633 to learn more.
How Can PTSD Affect Addiction?
Someone who has PTSD may turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate because they’re struggling with symptoms such as:
- Violent outbursts
- Night terrors
- Anxiety attacks
- Vivid flashbacks
- Intrusive thoughts or images
These symptoms and others can be overwhelming, leaving the individual seeking any method to reduce their impact on their daily life.
The Symptoms of PTSD Can Play a Role in Addiction
Some symptoms of PTSD may encourage a person to start using drugs or alcohol more regularly. Since the condition affects the brain and its ability to regulate emotions, the person might struggle with suicidal thoughts or ideation and other negative thoughts. Combined with insomnia and night terrors, they may start abusing drugs or alcohol in hopes of overdosing.
Suicidal thoughts are among the most dangerous symptoms a person can have, and having access to drugs or alcohol only puts them in more danger. On top of that, using drugs or alcohol can actually increase and intensify those thought patterns.
How Can You Recognize Co-Occurring Disorders and PTSD?
Co-occurring disorders and PTSD may share some of the same symptoms, making them difficult to diagnose. Someone who is abusing drugs or alcohol is more likely to attempt to hide that fact as well.
Some possible red flags you can watch out for include:
- Withdrawing from normal activities with friends and family
- Unusual changes in behavior after experiencing a trauma, like a car crash, sexual assault, the death of a loved one, or trauma in the military service
- Panic or anxiety attacks
- Sudden aggression and mood swings
- Changes in drinking behaviors
These are just some of the possible symptoms of PTSD or a co-occurring disorder. It’s important to make sure that anyone struggling with trauma is able to seek the right dual diagnosis care and treatment. If they have gone through a trauma, they may want to speak with a counselor, psychiatrist, general practitioner, or someone else who can understand what they’re going through and how to treat the condition.
PTSD changes over time. Some people will be able to recover on their own, but many need support. If their condition now includes alcohol or drug abuse, it’s even more important for them to seek medical care.
Prescott Mental Health Services Can Help with PTSD
PTSD and addiction can be treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) as well as medications and exercise. It has been shown that exercise releases endorphins that help better manage both anxiety and symptoms of depression. Antidepressants may also help some people who are struggling with PTSD and are not satisfied with their progress with CBT or an exercise program. We offer the following options for people struggling with PTSD:
PTSD and Addiction Go Hand in Hand; Viewpoint Can Help
Both addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder can be very difficult to live with, both as a patient and as someone watching over a loved one struggling. Whether you or someone you love are dealing with an addiction, PTSD, or a dual diagnosis, it’s important to get the right care. At Viewpoint Dual Recovery, we are here to help. Contact our team at Prescott, AZ treatment center today so we can give you more information about our comprehensive dual diagnosis services and trauma-informed care at [direct].