One of the most common co-occurring mental illnesses that materialize with addiction is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. The problem happens when a person experiences life threatening situations which lead to addiction as a way to manage the severity of the psychological condition. Top dual diagnosis treatment centers closely associated and commonly saw the problem among war and returning veterans because they have been exposed to a broad range of trauma-generating stressors.
Nowadays, though, PTSD has been expanded to admit a wide array of life experiences that leads to addiction. Life experiences such as exposure to life-threatening events, serious injuries, or sexual violence are all part of the spectrum of the dual diagnosis. It is also important to understand that developing PTSD does not only mean experiencing the situation directly but witnessing an incident can also lead to the problem.
Also, individuals with co-occurring PTSD and addiction often have a harder time dealing with their condition and has poorer treatment results that those who does not have such comorbidity. Although this does not mean that the problem cannot be worked out. Dual diagnosis inpatient treatment centers use effective treatment programs that simultaneously teach you of coping skills and get rid of the addiction.
When you or a loved one is suffering from PTSD, here are some ways to get the help you need:
- 1. Learn the value of acceptance. Acceptance is the key to a good recovery. You must admit to yourself and others that you have PTSD and the trauma that you’ve gone through has had a large impact on your life. Seeking help from professionals would be beneficial in teaching you coping skills that would counteract the emotions and thoughts that are associated with the disorder.
- 2. Talk to a person you can trust. If you have been exposed to a serious condition, it is best to talk about the incident with a person you trust. It can be helpful to able to let emotions run as this would provide you with internal healing. Although it can be hard to divulge experiences for fear of judgment or misconception, talking to a professional counselor in the absence of the needed support from family or friends can be a way to rectify the situation. This would also allow you to regain control of your emotions and thinking patterns.
- 3. Learn to reduce stress. When suffering from PTSD it is important to learn about effective strategies that would help you lessen stress. PTSD involves a lot of adrenaline and all those excess energies can have a negative consequence on your psychological and emotional health. Top dual diagnosis treatment centers use therapeutic elements such as yoga and meditation to keep you calm and manage a number of negative effects of PTSD.
- 4. Connect with others. When experiencing an episode of PTSD, it can be hard to deal with the fight-or-flight reflexes. Connecting with other people can be an effective way of handling the difficulty and balances your nervous system back. You do not have to necessarily talk about the trauma but connect with someone who would want to listen and talk to you without prejudice.
- 5. Create positive lifestyle changes. Your body can suffer from serious consequences because of PTSD. So, it is important to train yourself and develop healthy lifestyle changes that can work to your advantage. Finding time to relax, eating properly, and getting enough sleep can be beneficial enough. Also, get the help of a treatment center to get you off your addiction.
- 6. Seek professional treatment for dual diagnosis. To alleviate the severe symptoms of your condition, it is best to seek professional treatment. This can help relieve the symptoms by teaching you how to deal with the trauma you’ve experienced. It can also be a powerful way addressing the problems it has caused your life and your relationships.
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