WHAT IS PTSD?
Many people who experience co-occurring disorders struggle with a combination of addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Unfortunately, PTSD is fairly common. In the United States alone, it’s estimated about 7.7 million American adults are affected by PTSD. Without proper treatment and healing, a person’s risk for addiction is increasingly higher than other adults. This is why it’s vital to identify and treat PTSD properly before people start self medicating. Let’s answer the question, what is PTSD?
HOW PEOPLE ARE AFFECTED BY PTSD
Post-traumatic stress disorder is characterized as the development of debilitating symptoms following exposure to a traumatic or dangerous event. Some people experience flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance, or being easily startled. It’s not unusual for people to change their personal routines in order to escape those memories or triggers. Adults aren’t the only ones affected by trauma. It can occur at any age, including childhood. Women are more likely to develop the disorder compared to men. PTSD is also usually accompanied by depression, substance abuse, and/or anxiety disorders.
A common misunderstanding is the notion that only war veterans experience PTSD. Another similar misconception is the belief that all war veterans experience PTSD. While many veterans experience varying symptoms levels, trauma affects everyone differently depending on the individual. Some people are influenced more deeply, while others seem to be more resilient. As previously mentioned, unfortunately, veterans aren’t the only victims of PTSD.
RISK FACTORS INCLUDE:
- Living through dangerous events and traumas
- History of mental illness
- Childhood emotional struggles and exposure to trauma
- Getting injured or witnessing people injured or killed
- Feelings of horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
- Not having social support after an event
- Dealing with more stress following event, not allowing time to recover, such as losing loved one or job.
- Having ineffective coping strategies after trauma
- Post reminders of the event
PTSD ON THE MIND AND BODY
Mentally and emotionally, many people struggling with PTSD experience nightmares, emotional numbness, anxiety, depression, guilt, sleep disturbances, outbursts of anger, loss of interest, or irritability. But PTSD isn’t only mental and emotional. It’s also physical. Many sudden, possibly bizarre, or unexplainable ailments or discomfort are triggered by experienced trauma. The internal pain is connected to the physical body.
Many people experience:
- Digestive issues
- Trouble eating
- Trouble sleeping
- Feelings of exhaustion
- Rapid heartbeat and breathing
- Urge to smoke, drink alcohol, do drugs, and binge eat
- Chronic medical problems
START A TREATMENT PLAN
If you or someone you love is struggling with symptoms of PTSD, please contact Crownview Co-Occurring Institute to get in touch with a trained medical professional. Medical analysis will determine the best approach and program for healing. At CCI, it is our priority to help patients reach their optimal health mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.