Dual Diagnosis // PTSD
PTSD & Addiction
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the disorder that stems from one experiencing a traumatic event that causes affected individuals to have a hard time recovering from the aftermath of the experience. PTSD has been previously referred to as “shell shock” or battle fatigue” due to the early identification of those suffering from PTSD coming from war veterans. Physical, mental, sexual, and emotional abuse are other common initiators of PTSD. Those who struggle with substance abuse disorder are more likely to suffer from PTSD after a traumatic event.
Different Types of PSTD
Every individual has a different response to traumatic events. There are different classifications of PTSD based on the severity of the symptoms. PTSD is diagnosed at least 1 month after the traumatic experience.
Normal Stress Response: When faced with a traumatic experience, some will have what is called a normal stress response. This does not always mean that the experience will lead to an extreme form of PTSD. When faced with an experience like an accident, surgery, injuries, and other situations that induce a large amount of stress can all be considered contributing factors in this response.
Uncomplicated PTSD: Uncomplicated PTSD is a form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that is specifically liked to one major event rather than multiple events throughout one's life. Typically, this is considered to be the easiest form of PTSD to treat. Medication, therapeutic sessions, or a combination of both are common treatment methods for Uncomplicated PTSD.
Complex PTSD: Complex PTSD is a form of PTSD that is caused by multiple events. This form of PTSD is commonly found in cases that involve forms of abuse, war violence, and sudden loss. Complex PTSD is much more complicated than Uncomplicated PTSD. Individuals suffering from Complex PTSD can also be diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. The behaviors that are commonly exhibited would include aggression, sexual impulsivity, and substance abuse.
Comorbid PTSD: Comorbid PTSD is referred to as a “blanket term” for those diagnosed with co-occurring disorders. This means that the individual has been diagnosed with multiple mental health diagnoses at the same time. This form of PTSD is often coinciding with substance abuse. The most effective path to treating Comorbid PTSD is to treat all of the co-occurring disorders at the same time. Many try to attempt to treat their symptoms on their own which often leads to substance abuse.
Dangers Of Self Medicating
When battling substance abuse and PTSD, it is extremely important to get a professional evaluation in order to treat the symptoms properly. When self-medicating is taking place, the chances for incorrect self-diagnosis, potential adverse reactions, dangerous drug interactions, worsening of the symptoms attempting to be treated, and substance dependence are in play.
Attempting to numb the pain that is being felt is the common goal of self-medicating. Unfortunately, the risk of doing this is extremely severe. Self-medicating with drugs and alcohol provides a feeling of euphoria and temporary relief from the symptoms experienced. Those feelings are just that, temporary. Continuance of seeking temporary relief only spikes the probability of substance abuse issues occurring.
Our Approach To Treating PTSD
At LA Valley Recovery, we have a dedicated team of clinicians and operational staff that are available 24/7 in order to help create an effective treatment plan based on the specific needs of our clients. Our clients are seen by psychiatric and medical professionals throughout the treatment process to ensure the best possible solutions to all identified issues. Compassion, reliability, encouragement, and determination are the core values that we hold onto at LA Valley Recovery. The application of our core values when it comes to our dual diagnosis clients will create a safe and trusting environment necessary to treat the symptoms of PTSD and addiction.