You’ve probably heard of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a mental health diagnosis that makes it into pop culture media that often shuns mentions of mental health, but that’s a different blog post. In movies or television we see the broken veteran with shell shock, the abused domestic who is afraid to assert herself, or the traumatized orphan who is scared to even speak. These are just some of the events that could lead to PTSD.
So what is PTSD?
PTSD is a mental health disorder that usually happens after someone has experienced some kind of trauma like a tour of duty in the military, emotional, physical, or sexual abuse, a natural disaster, or any kind of heightened state of fear, fight or flight.
What are some symptoms of PTSD?
PTSD can cause you to feel detached from the people around you. Someone with PTSD often experiences flashbacks of the trauma they went through. It can feel like it’s still happening, like you’ll never get away from the fear. That fear is what drives people with PTSD to self medicate. The pain is so substantial, and it feels like the trauma will never stop happening.
Why does PTSD lead to addiction?
Because of PTSD’s persistent symptoms of flashbacks, nightmares, and dissociation, a person with PTSD may be willing to do whatever it takes to numb the chronic depression and fear evoked by having to relive the trauma that caused their disorder to begin with. Alcohol and drugs help distract from or quell the ache they feel inside, so it’s something they come back to again and again. In turn this becomes addiction and all of the health and psychological harm that comes with addiction.
But you don’t have to live with that addiction or in a constant state of pain. The good news is that there is hope. If you, or anyone you know are suffering from PTSD in Florida, please seek out a therapist or support group. If your PTSD is attached to a drug or alcohol addiction, call us for help at (855) 441-2449. You’re not alone.