Helping a Loved one Struggling with PTSD and Addiction
Addiction is a mental health disorder that is commonly paired with others. When a person living with mental health issues isn’t diagnosed or doesn’t have medical help established, they often look to the numbing effects of drugs or alcohol to alleviate symptoms. This, in turn, leads to developed lifestyles of using drugs whenever mental health symptoms also arise. And can lead to addictive behaviors and routines which characterize addiction. One of the mental health disorders that is often paired with addiction is PTSD. Those living with both PTSD and addiction can get help through treatment. But, unfortunately, many may not understand that help is available and/or effective. So many people will live with the effects of both conditions for the remainder of their lives. Spreading awareness about these mental health issues and treatment isi imperative to reducing harmful stigmas about these disorders and encouraging those that need help to get it.
Understanding PTSD. What is It?
Traumatic circumstances can happen to any person. However, how a person responds to a traumatic situation or situations may affect other aspects of life. Those who have experienced trauma and are, as a result, debilitated from performing daily tasks may be experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD. Basically, PTSD is a disorder one may experience after living through a traumatic event or events. Those living with PTSD can experience flashbacks of the traumatic experience(s), nightmares, feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, and also may have difficulty enjoying life regularly. It’s a chronic condition which can leave people feeling helpless about what they can do and where they can go.
The Combination of PTSD and Addiction
PTSD and addiction are common pairs because drugs and alcohol are often used by those living with the symptoms of PTSD. One who experiences the emotional pain trauma can bring may wish to escape these feelings with the numbing effects of drugs or alcohol. But, while drugs and alcohol may work to numb these feelings temporarily, the effects aren’t permanent. And, after a while of using to numb feelings, the body eventually becomes physically addicted to these substances. As a result, those living with PTSD often develop physical addictions by attempting to self-medicate.
Helping Someone Living with PTSD and Addiction
If you have a loved one who has lived through a traumatic event or situations and have noticed they are using drugs and alcohol to mask the symptoms of trauma, they may need help. Fortunately, dual diagnosis is available for individuals living with the effects of both addiction and mental health conditions including PTSD. Here at The Wellness Retreat Recovery Center, we help individuals living with both PTSD and addiction. Dual diagnosis treatment for both these issues may include:
Medication Management: PTSD is a psychological disorder in which individuals may be experiencing imbalances in brain chemistry. So, medication is often helpful in these cases to better manage healthy brain components like dopamine and serotonin. Here at WRRC, we offer an in-house psychologist that works to diagnose those living with dual diagnosis conditions. Then, manage medications which may be effective in reducing symptoms brought on by mental health conditions including PTSD.
Individual Cognitive Therapy: Therapy is imperative for individuals living with PTSD. There are a number of triggers which individuals living with this condition must be aware of. This way, relapse can be avoided and prevented and individuals can understand more about the things that trigger the symptoms of their mental health condition.
Group Therapy: Throughout treatment for PTSD and addiction, individuals will have the chance to practice what they’ve learned in group therapy sessions. This allows those who have been dealing with the symptoms of PTSD to feel comfortable role playing situations which may occur outside treatment walls. And gain the skills needed to actively participate in social activities while remaining sober and in control of PTSD symptoms.
Have a Loved one Living with PTSD and Addiction
The number one thing you can do for a loved one living with both PTSD and addiction is offer support. Living with the effects of trauma can be overwhelming. And more often than not, those who have lived through trauma need love and support. So give as much love and support as is needed. Additionally, encourage your loved one to get the help they need. Too often, those living with the effects of PTSD think that they won’t be able to live a full life again. However, those with PTSD can establish healthy lifestyles and live full, happy lives. So never give up hope that your loved one will get the help they need.
Is your loved one willing to get help for both PTSD and addiction. Struggling with these two conditions as they affect one another yourself? We can help. Talk to us today about beginning the road to recovery and the programs here at The Wellness Retreat Recovery Center. Get the help you need today!