Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, usually referred to as PTSD affects many people throughout the world, for a variety of reasons.
A person suffering from PTSD and addiction has usually either witnessed something violent, engaged in warfare, or been the victim of some sort of assault. This disorder is by no means limited to the above causes, but there is typically a traumatic event involved. People with PTSD often struggle with severe anxiety, depression, nightmares, insomnia, and detachment.
There are treatment programs available for individuals who are affected, but not everyone who experiences a traumatic incident seeks professional help to overcome it. There can be several reasons a person might not reach out to resources, such as financial issues, overwhelming anxiety or panic attacks, or secluding themselves from others in general. A person might even feel ashamed that the incident occurred and refuse to speak about or acknowledge it. In these cases, people often self-medicate with alcohol or other drugs.
While drinking or getting high will temporarily relieve some of the symptoms associated with PTSD, it does nothing toward treating the disorder, and ultimately does further damage.
Alcohol and substance abuse in PTSD is very common. For individuals who are afflicted with the nightmarish manifestations of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a ‘quick fix’ is hard to pass up. People in the general population often use a glass of wine to unwind after a long workday. A person can then easily understand the temptation to blot out the pain and anxiety with either alcohol, tranquilizers, and other narcotics. Unfortunately, the individual with PTSD who self-medicates is only compounding their problems.
Finding the right treatment plan for a dual diagnosis of PTSD and addictive disorder is crucial.
There are specialized treatment programs that are dedicated to helping individuals find recovery from both PTSD and addiction. For these individuals, having a strong network of support is paramount as well. If you or someone you love are battling with PTSD and drug or alcohol addiction, please seek help, because recovery is possible.