We often come across someone getting help for alcohol or drug addiction and having to process and treat and underlying issue like trauma. The relationship between drugs of addiction and trauma is one where they fuel each other. In spite of the fact that mental health professionals in our field have vastly improved the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), current research shows that more and more people are being diagnosed with PTSD.
It is quite common for those who abuse drugs to develop PTSD, according to a 2008 report by Science Daily. Post traumatic stress disorder usually develops after someone is exposed to a traumatic situation. Many people begin to abuse drugs after experiencing a traumatic event. In many cases, they continue using drugs to cope with the stressful situation. As a result, their PTSD only worsens.
According to recent news reports, roughly 30 to 60 percent of people who use drugs have the potential to develop PTSD. The difficult thing about PTSD is that it can be exacerbated by drug abuse. When you are under the influence of a substance, you most likely engage in activities that take you into traumatic situations. If you already have PTSD and find yourself in yet another trauma, your PTSD may worsen, and you may experience more anxiety than you would have otherwise.
It’s important to know that PTSD is closely related to panic disorder in the sense that you feel fearful at certain times and in situations that trigger an emotional response.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms
Post traumatic stress disorder can be short-lived or long lasting. Some people will experience its symptoms for days, weeks, while others may experience it for months even for years. Regardless of how long you deal with the disorder’s symptoms, it is anything but easy. Symptoms of PSTD resemble symptoms of many other conditions, such as insomnia and panic attacks. You may even feel guilty about the “event” that caused your anxiety. If you’re a sufferer, you can most likely relate to the feeling of feeling detached from others and losing interest in activities you once enjoyed. This can negatively impact your life, because you no longer feel like socializing with others.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, it is important to consult with a psychiatrist who can diagnose your condition and help you find strategies to control your disorder and stop using drugs. This is the first step to recovery, especially if drugs are to blame for you having PTSD.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, the first step is to seek drug counseling to get off drugs, so you can deal with your PTSD. Once you find a therapist, he or she will possibly administer “in vivo” or exposure therapy, according to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Your therapist will take you into situations that make you fearful. These are situations you may have avoided for a long time. During exposure therapy, it is important to have what is called an “out.” An out is an area where you can go if your fear gets too intense. For more information about PTSD and the various modalities of treating it, please call us today.