One of the most difficult disorders to overcome is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The condition typically arises as a result of a traumatic event in a person’s life. If left untreated, a person with PTSD may turn to alcohol to self-medication. As a result, alcohol and PTSD become linked, causing numerous problems in a person’s life.
Alcohol treatment centers in Texas provide dual diagnosis, an advanced form of treatment that addresses both PTSD and alcoholism. A client can heal from their mental disorder while also overcoming their addiction. Below we look at PTSD and alcohol to learn more about their relationship and how they affect a person’s life.
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is often associated with children. However, trauma can also have a long-term effect on an adult regardless of their age. PTSD is a condition that arises when a person feels powerless or out of control after a traumatic event. In many cases, the symptoms of PTSD can linger for years before they finally manifest in a destructive manner.
A person who slowly experiences the symptoms of PTSD may not realize that they have a disorder until they start drinking or engage in other negative behaviors. Common symptoms of PTSD may include:
- Avoiding people, places, or situations
- Intense flashbacks
- Intense nightmares
- Addiction to drugs or alcohol
- Chronic mental or physical pain or discomfort
- Anxiety or depression
The cause of the symptoms may occur as a result of the victim re-experiencing the trauma or avoiding any possibility of experiencing the trauma again.
Causes of PTSD
The causes of PTSD can vary. However, they all have the same thing in common: a traumatic event triggered the victim in a psychological or physical way. Some of the most common causes of PTSD may include:
- Childhood abuse
- Sexual assault
- Natural disasters
- Violent assault
- Military combat
- Death of a loved one
It is important to note that the person who suffers from PTSD is not always the one who experienced the trauma. Many people who have the condition may have witnessed trauma or seen someone else becoming the victim of the event. For instance, a person may have witnessed a natural disaster that took the lives of several people. Thus, they could develop PTSD over time.
The Link Between Alcohol and PTSD
The relationship between PTSD and alcohol is simple: one led to the other. The relationship usually follows one of these two patterns including:
The PTSD Caused the Person to Start Drinking
Most people who suffer from PTSD are unaware that they have the condition. PTSD manifests in ways that make people think they have another problem. Only during therapy do they realize that they have the condition. They also learn that their condition is what led to alcoholism.
A victim of trauma may start to drink to cope with the symptoms of PTSD. For example, they may turn to alcohol as a way of calming down form an episode of anxiety. Or, they may turn to drink to lift their spirits if they are feeling depressed. In any case, the mental condition led to addiction.
Excessive Drinking Caused a Traumatic Event
It is not uncommon for a person who has a drinking problem to cause or experience a traumatic event. An alcoholic may be responsible for another person’s injury or fatality. They may kill someone in a car accident.
A person with a drinking problem may lose their home, family, or job. They may also develop a severe health problem. Severe loss or killing another person can become so traumatic that a person suffers from PTSD.
Get Help for Alcohol and PTSD from Mission Recovery
Are you suffering from alcohol and PTSD disorders? If so, get help from Mission Recovery. We provide comprehensive treatment for both conditions at our addiction treatment center in Texas. Contact us at 833.477.7379 to get started with your treatment today.