Man looks out window in distress as he struggles with PTSD and substance abuse

Dual Diagnosis, PTSD, and Substance Abuse

Mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder often go hand-in-hand with addiction. When a person has dual diagnosis, like PTSD and substance abuse, treatment becomes more complex as a result. Dual diagnosis, PTSD and substance abuse require specialized care that addresses both issues simultaneously in order to give the patient the best chance of recovery.

Promises’ trauma and PTSD treatment program is designed to help those with dual diagnosis. We use evidence-based treatment models that focus on the underlying causes of addiction and PTSD, as well as the interconnection between them. Our goal is to provide our patients with a comprehensive approach to healing that teaches life skills, coping strategies, and other techniques for managing symptoms associated with both issues. Contact Promises at [DIrect]today to learn more about treatment options.

Symptoms of PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder can be one of the most debilitating mental illness diagnoses—a disorder that emerges as a result of a single intense trauma or after repeated and upsetting events like domestic or child abuse. Anyone can acquire PTSD at any age. It most often arises after a dangerous ordeal, especially one that induces fear and adrenaline, but not everyone exhibits PTSD after a shocking event. And some people may develop PTSD not as a result of their own trauma but due to the trauma or loss of life experienced by a loved one. PTSD shows itself in symptoms like intense anxiety, invasive memories, and frightening flashbacks. These symptoms fall into the category called “re-experiencing symptoms,” but there are many others that are less known. A person who has PTSD may also express “avoidant symptoms: such as:

  • A need to stay away from people, places, and things that remind her of the trauma
  • Feelings of emotional numbness
  • Feelings of depression, guilt or worry
  • A loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable
  • Memory loss, especially loss of memory of the traumatic event

There are also symptoms known as “hyperarousal symptoms,” which may include:

  • Feeling irritable or easily agitated
  • A tense feeling of edginess
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Outbursts of anger, rage, or other seemingly uncontrollable emotions

Every person is different and will therefore have a unique experience of PTSD. It is important to remember that if someone exhibits one or more of these symptoms, they may not be indicative of PTSD, and further evaluation should be sought out by a mental health professional.

Dual Diagnosis: PTSD and Substance Abuse

Many people who suffer from the symptoms of PTSD may attempt to self-medicate their distress and anxiety through the use of drugs or alcohol. When substance use becomes chronic and when a person relies on it in order to feel “normal,” dependence can be said to have developed. Drug or alcohol abuse taken in conjunction with PTSD or any other mental illness is referred to as a dual diagnosis.

It is important for the recovery of PTSD for sufferers to gain insight into what created their symptoms, as well as an understanding of how PTSD can affect the brain’s wiring over time. We are built to respond to dangerous or stressful events with a fight, flight, or freeze response. While the use of drugs or alcohol may seem to silence the symptoms for a time, in reality, they only complicate them. Anyone experiencing the dual diagnosis of PTSD and substance use disorder needs a qualified helping hand, but the good news is that both addiction and PTSD can be healed.

Discover Promises Behavioral Health’s Trauma and PTSD Treatment Program

Managing PTSD and substance abuse is not easy, but there is hope. Our trauma and PTSD treatment program focuses on evidence-based strategies to help those with a dual diagnosis heal from both issues simultaneously. We emphasize the importance of relapse prevention. At Promises Behavioral Health, we offer comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment that combines evidence-based therapies to help the patient address both issues simultaneously and heal from their trauma in a safe and supportive environment. Our highly skilled team of healthcare professionals is able to create an individualized treatment plan for each patient’s unique needs. To learn more, contact us at 844.875.5609 today.

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