Learn more about the connection between PTSD and addiction and how to get the necessary treatment for both.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) results from a traumatic or horrifying event. These events can include experiencing abuse, accidents, medical diagnoses, and more.1
PTSD often develops within a few weeks to a month after the traumatic event, but in some cases, the onset of symptoms may not start for years. The symptoms and side effects often cause difficulties for the individual in personal, social, or work situations. The intensity of PTSD symptoms will vary from person to person and are often made worse when the individual experiences any sort of stress. Often, they may worsen over time if the individual does not receive professional help.2
PTSD may also lead to co-occurring disorders such as anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions. It is important to seek help for both conditions and treat the causes of any mental health challenges, not just the symptoms.
PTSD and addiction are often linked, as many people with PTSD will often self-medicate to help mitigate symptoms. Research shows that PTSD co-occurs with substance abuse in 40% of individuals with these mental health disorders. The dual diagnosis of PTSD and addiction can create a heightened risk for other mental health disorders, along with increased rates of suicide, unemployment, and social impairment.3
Some common signs that you or a loved one may have developed PTSD include:
Potential signs of substance abuse may include:
Avoidance often leads people to self-medicate, as they’re attempting to forget about or not think about the traumatic event. They may even avoid certain people or places that may cause a difficult flashback. This can cause a person to feel isolated and unwell.
A very common side effect of PTSD is nightmares or flashbacks of the event. These can cause undue stress, anxiety, or emotional distress for the individual. Further, these occurences can negatively impact sleep, only worsening a person’s cognitive functioning and overall wellness.
Cognitive challenges, or cognitive distortions, are very common for those with PTSD. These are negative thoughts that are often exaggerated or not consistent with what is happening in the real world. These can eventually lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as self-medicating and substance abuse.6
Please reach out to Ripple Ranch Recovery Center today if you or a loved one are ready to start treatment for PTSD and addiction. Our highly-qualified and empathetic team of professionals is eager to help you begin the process of recovery. We will help you accomplish long-term, sustainable wellness and enable you to lead the life you deserve, wholly uninhibited by the grapples of addiction.