PTSD is a trauma-related disorder that is commonly diagnosed in individuals who also have a substance use disorder. When both disorders are present, it’s crucial to seek a rehab program that can offer dual-diagnosis treatment that can address both the mental illness and substance use disorder concerns at the same time.
What is PTSD?
PTSD stands for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. It’s a disorder caused by exposure to trauma or events that are life-threatening or life-altering. Examples of traumatic events that can lead to a diagnosis of PTSD include emotional abuse, physical abuse, witnessing abuse or violence, abandonment, witnessing or being the victim of violence or crime, being in a severe accident or natural disaster, or medical trauma. Exposure to these traumatic events can cause distressing symptoms for many people. If these symptoms are present for three days to a month, they are classified as Acute Stress Disorder, which is similar to PTSD, except that the symptoms last for a shorter duration. Once the symptoms persist longer than one month, it is classified as PTSD.
What Causes PTSD?
Exposure to traumatic events can cause an individual to develop symptoms of PTSD. However, not everyone that experiences a traumatic event develops PTSD. Researchers have asked the question of why some people develop PTSD and others don’t when exposed to similar traumas. Researchers have found that certain risk factors put people at higher risk of developing PTSD when exposed to trauma. These risk factors include:
- Having a personal history of mental illness and substance use disorder
- Having little to no social support available after stressful events
- Experiencing extra stress related to stressors, such as losing a job or sustaining an injury
- Childhood trauma
- Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
How Do I Know If I Have PTSD?
The following are symptoms of PTSD that individuals may experience. If you experience any of these symptoms, you may be struggling with PTSD or another trauma-related disorder. These symptoms include:
- Recurring distressing dreams related to the trauma that you experienced
- Becoming emotionally or physically distressed when exposed to trauma-related reminders
- Intrusive thoughts about past trauma. You may have thoughts that pop into your head at random times about the past trauma that are distressing for you
- Trying hard to avoid thinking about past trauma, having emotions about the trauma, or reminders of the trauma.
- Not being able to remember part of the trauma. There is a hole in your memory that can’t be explained by another cause
- Persistent negative mood state
- Withdrawing from activities or relationships that you used to enjoy.
- Having distorted or negative thoughts about yourself, the others, or the world
- Blaming yourself for the trauma even though it wasn’t your fault or blaming others who are not at fault
- Increase in anger, irritability, and anger outbursts
- Increase in risky, reckless, or dangerous behavior
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, or having restless sleep
Is there a PTSD Test I Can Take?
There are certain screeners available for people to take to determine if they may have PTSD. These screeners help identify if there may be a problem present but are not enough to diagnose PTSD. If you take a screener and it determines that you have some symptoms or are at risk of PTSD, you should book an appointment with a qualified mental health clinician to determine if you have PTSD and what treatment you should receive.
How to Find PTSD Treatment Near Me
Treatment of PTSD requires specialized care using trauma-focused treatment modalities. There are several evidence-based modalities that are used to treat trauma-related disorders. Epiphany Wellness most commonly uses Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy (EMDR) and Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) for those struggling with addiction and trauma.
Epiphany Wellness is prepared to help those with dual diagnoses and provide an individualized experience because you are unique. We are here to listen to your needs and help you define your own recovery. Choose one of our programs as a first step toward recovery. We are here to meet your needs. If you or a loved one is battling addiction, reach out to find out what your options are at Epiphany Wellness.