PTSD and Addiction and the Need for Inpatient Rehab Costa Mesa
PTSD and addiction can have overlapping symptoms and causes. So, it makes sense that many people suffering from one may also be afflicted by the other. Both addiction and PTSD can be incredibly debilitating on their own, but they present even more challenges that should not be faced alone when combined. When someone is struggling with addiction accompanied by another mental health diagnosis, this is called co-occurring conditions, or dual diagnosis. Rehabs specifically need to be able to treat dual diagnoses in order to adequately provide the tools necessary for long-term recovery.
What is PTSD?
PTSD is short for post-traumatic stress disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health disorder caused by experiencing a traumatic event. Common causes of post-traumatic stress disorder include:
- Serving in the military, especially combat veterans
- Sexual trauma
- Natural disasters
- Physical Assault
- Past injuries or accidents
- Childhood trauma
Although there are traumatic events that are more common, PTSD can be caused by any traumatic event in a person’s life.
What are the Symptoms of PTSD?
Someone who has PTSD may experience many symptoms that interfere with their daily lives. Many people who have PTSD turn to drugs or alcohol to self-medicate and cope with the difficult PTSD symptoms. While trauma will affect everyone differently, and it is difficult for anyone to cope immediately following a traumatic event, if you find that you are still affected by side effects months or years later, you likely have PTSD.
Symptoms of PTSD may include:
- Intrusive thoughts or memories about the traumatic event
- Nightmares that revolve around the traumatic event
- Difficulty concentrating
- Having a hard time remembering when things happened
- Becoming “jumpy,” easily startled, or having a heightened sense of awareness
- Trying to avoid triggers, such as talking about the traumatic event or experiencing something that will remind you of the event (such as a particular place, smell, sound, or video)
- Noticeable negative changes in your thoughts or mood
- Feeling numb or detached
- Irritability or angry outbursts that may become violent
- Participating in self-destructive or risky behavior
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may not present every day; their intensity and frequency vary.
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People with PTSD are more likely to have addiction issues, both due to self-medicating and because participating in self-destructive behavior manifests PTSD. PTSD and addiction have a very similar effect on the brain, and once a person with PTSD forms an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it can create a vicious cycle. The trauma associated with their PTSD may start to be a trigger for their substance abuse.
How Does Having PTSD Affect Addiction?
Having PTSD affects addiction by creating additional triggers, causing the person to seek their drug of choice. For people suffering from PTSD, the most common addiction is alcohol, but people who have PTSD are also more likely to abuse any drug type. People who have PTSD may also be more isolated due to their symptoms, which often make them feel the need to be alone; sometimes, people who have PTSD push away their friends and family.
How Do You Treat PTSD and Addiction?
PTSD and addiction need to be treated simultaneously to recover successfully. A treatment plan for someone who struggles with addiction and PTSD should include cognitive behavior therapy and other holistic options to address the trauma that is causing their PTSD symptoms and underlying issues preventing them from remaining sober. PTSD and addiction require physical and mental rehabilitation, and ongoing therapy for PTSD should continue even after the rehabilitation program is complete.
Inpatient Rehab Costa Mesa
At Clear Life Recovery, we help people who have an addiction and co-occurring mental health diagnoses. We understand that trauma can be life-altering, and we can help equip people with the tools and techniques required to cope and thrive after experiencing such an event. Our facility focuses on holistic recovery programs that are custom for each unique individual. We emphasize alleviating the physical addiction and improving mental health and underlying issues so that people who complete our programs are less likely to suffer from a relapse. Contact Clear Life Recovery today to find out how we can help you or a loved one create an actionable plan to help relieve the physical and mental pain of PTSD and addiction.