When people hear “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder”, they may automatically associate this condition with veterans or soldiers who have been to war. While military men and women are usually more susceptible to PTSD, they are not the sole victims. PTSD can occur with anyone who has experienced a traumatic event, and unfortunately, there is still much to learn about the disorder. It is important to not only bring awareness to PTSD, but to also look at how it can impact people’s lives, especially those facing an addiction. How exactly does Post Traumatic Stress Disorder impact addiction and the recovery process?
First, it is important to look at the disorder as a whole and learn about its various attributes and qualities. PTSD can be brought upon by traumatic events such as physical or sexual assault, combat exposure, natural disasters, and serious accidents. The level of PTSD that develops depends on each person, but it can be more severe depending on the intensity of the trauma, how close the person was to the event, and how much support or help they received after the event.
When someone with PTSD has an episode, they may have episodes of intense anxiety, depression, and stress, and in order to combat these feelings, they may turn to harmful solutions, such as drugs or alcohol. These types of substances may temporarily numb the pain and discomfort brought on by PTSD, but it is easy to become dependent on them. That dependency can eventually turn into a full-blown addiction, leading to a downward spiral.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can also have major negative effects on those in recovery. The stress and anxiety brought on from episodes can trigger a relapse, which is why you need to be careful when speaking with people who are currently in rehab. Post-addiction is already a stressful time, and someone suffering from PTSD doesn’t need to deal with the extra pressure.
Make sure that PTSD sufferers are kept relaxed and free of stress. Help them discover alternative solutions to their stress and anxiety. Exercise, sports, hobbies, and family get-togethers are great for battling stress and other negative feelings. The important thing is to keep them away from drugs and alcohol, especially if they are having a PTSD episode.
There is still a lot to learn about PTSD, but we do know that people facing this disorder are more likely to fall victim to stress-related addiction and relapse. Speak with a trained counselor or therapist today to find out more about helping these victims deal with addiction.
Do you or a loved one suffer from PTSD? How has it affected your life? Has it impacted addiction? Let us know in the comments below.