Personalized Treatment To Overcome PTSD & Addiction
Addiction and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are two mental illnesses that often occur together. Like many other mental health issues, these two conditions can be treated if they are properly diagnosed and addressed with the right treatment modalities.
At Tranquil Shores, we strive to end the suffering for people with PTSD and addiction in the greater Tampa area and around the world.
How to Help Someone With PTSD and Addiction
Recognizing the signs of PTSD and addiction is the first step in helping someone who is dealing with either of these conditions. Following a traumatic event, PTSD can develop quickly or slowly, or not at all. Sometimes it takes several months for PTSD to develop, and it can even happen years after the incident.
- Reliving the event through nightmares or flashbacks that can be triggered by a familiar sight, smell or sound.
- Avoiding situations, places and activities that serve as reminders of the event.
- Negative attitude changes about the world and people in general.
- Difficulty sleeping, concentrating and feeling safe.
- Withdrawal from social activities and even familiar people.
- Irritability and extreme mood swings.
- Lack of success and interest in school or work.
- Inability to sleep or concentrate.
Both PTSD and addiction are serious, potentially life-threatening conditions that require professional help. If you suspect someone you love is suffering from either of these or another mental illness, the sooner you get them help, the better off they’ll be.
Treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Addiction
PTSD is often associated with military personnel, but it can happen to anyone. It is the result of being involved in or witnessing a traumatic event. Not everyone who is exposed to trauma gets PTSD — some people are more predisposed to developing it.
In PTSD, the brain is overwhelmed by emotions it cannot process. It gets stuck in a loop of reliving the incident and reviewing all of the possibilities, like what if I got there five minutes later, what if my friend lived and I died, etc. Every time the incident comes up, it can be more intense until remembering what happened produces greater fear and anxiety than living through it the first time did.
Sometimes, people suffering from PTSD use drugs or alcohol to try to numb their feelings and calm their anxieties. This is why addiction and PTSD often occur together. The drugs do not allow the brain to process the emotions of the trauma and the memories of the trauma continue to fuel the addiction.
Military Substance Abuse Treatment Center in Tampa
Military personnel face unique mental health challenges with their work and lifestyle. Being away from home for long periods of time removes soldiers from their greatest support system. Many work in physically demanding and socially challenging climates, and combat adds trauma exposure as well.
The rate of alcohol and drug abuse among military personnel is generally higher than the general population. The additional stress of the military lifestyle, as well as the age group involved in military service, contributes to this statistic.
PTSD and addiction need to be treated simultaneously to be successfully overcome. There are a number of treatment modalities available at Tranquil Shores that have shown success with both PTSD and addiction. Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART) helps people suffering from PTSD become desensitized to the trauma, so they can talk about it and work through their emotions.
Psychodrama is another proven therapeutic technique that improves insight to traumatic incidents and assists clients in processing their emotions.