Understanding PTSD and Addictive Disorders
Understanding PTSD and Addictive Disorders
Witnessing or undergoing a traumatic event can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental illness. Many people who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder are veterans or survivors of a catastrophic event or violent act, and they may use substances like alcohol or drugs to cope with their symptoms.

PTSD and Addictions

The majority of people who experience trauma are able to recover from the accompanying fear, sadness, and anger. When post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sets in, however, these signs remain. Aftereffects could be felt for a long time, even years. The following are examples of events that might trigger PTSD:

  • War, fighting in the military
  • Dreadful mishaps and injuries
  • Caused by natural disasters

Terrorist Attacks

Abuse, either sexual or physical, can happen at any time in a person's life, whether they are children or

In the aftermath of witnessing a loved one die, for example, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance abuse are common responses.

Making progress in treating both circumstances and maintaining sobriety requires a proper dual diagnosis treatment.

Addiction and PTSD Co-Occurring Mental Health 

Like substance abuse and addiction, PTSD alters brain chemistry. These conditions frequently emerge simultaneously and reinforce one another. Substance abuse disorders are linked to the same types of trauma that cause PTSD.

Seventy-five percent of people who have experienced violent and / or abusive trauma also have experienced later in life problems with alcohol.

The amount of endorphins, a chemical in the brain that makes us feel good, decreases after a traumatic event. Alcohol and other drugs that boost endorphin levels are often used by people with post-traumatic stress disorder to help them cope with their symptoms. They may develop a long-term reliance on drugs to manage their mood swings, anxiety, and anger.

Isolation from social relationships is a common symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Those close to someone with PTSD should be prepared for the possibility of outbursts and ongoing panic attacks. It is common for people with PTSD to turn to substances like alcohol and drugs as a means of coping with the guilt they feel after these outbursts. Addiction can develop from such repeated use of drugs or alcohol.

How PTSD Affects Your Life

The effects of post-traumatic stress disorder can evolve over time. The disorder may manifest itself within three months of the traumatic event or it may take years.

The traumatic stress disorder affects the brain's emotional and memory centres. The normal functioning of the human brain includes the ability to distinguish between the past and the present; however, PTSD disrupts this ability. PTSD sufferers may have a negative reaction to situations that trigger memories of their ordeals. When a person reminisces about a traumatic event, their brain reacts as though it were just yesterday, causing feelings of panic and stress.

A major risk factor for PTSD is the development of suicidal ideation. Increasing drug or alcohol use can heighten these kinds of thoughts.

Memory plays a role in both alcoholism and drug dependency. Substance abuse disorder makes a person's brain vulnerable to "triggers," or cues such as familiar places or people that can bring on intense cravings. The symptoms of both PTSD and addiction can be exacerbated by the same set of circumstances.

Complex Trauma and Addiction

While PTSD is often revered to and interrelated to addiction there are other forms of trauma that equally predispose people to addiction. Complex trauma. Children who experience multiple traumatic events, especially those that are intrusive and interpersonal in nature, are said to have experienced complex trauma. Abuse or extreme neglect are examples of such extreme and pervasive events.

Disorders like these are common in young children and can have a profound impact on the growth of the individual. These experiences, which frequently involve a caretaker, prevent the child from bonding securely with that person. A child's emotional and psychological well-being, as well as his or her physical health, depend on this principal source of protection and stability.

Treatment For Trauma

The right amount of empathy, tolerance, and trust can completely reverse the effects of complex post-traumatic stress disorder. In the context of comprehensive support and guidance, a person can actively work to de-empower the trauma that incapacitates them and practise healthy coping mechanisms.

Individual psychotherapy (such as cognitive behavioural therapy) and holistic treatments should be used together to treat complex PTSD. In addition to its individual benefits, group therapy can be useful because it teaches people effective strategies for establishing and maintaining positive relationships with others and controlling their own emotions.


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