June 27th each year marks National PTSD Awareness Day, a day dedicated to improving education and understanding of trauma related disorders. Experience with or exposure to trauma can cause PTSD, which stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Trauma can include witnessing a violent crime or experiencing a tragic event. PTSD is also one of the most common co-occurring disorders that accompany addiction. A co-occurring disorder is when you suffer from both addiction and a mental health disorder.
Trauma and PTSD can make it difficult to cope with day to day life. Symptoms can be overwhelming and even emotionally crippling, which can make drugs and alcohol a convenient method to self-medicate. Drugs and alcohol can help momentarily relieve symptoms like anxiety, but ultimately addiction significantly worsens conditions like PTSD. When symptoms become debilitating, seek a PTSD treatment program that can address all of your needs.
What is National PTSD Awareness Day?
National PTSD Awareness Day 2019 focuses on raising awareness about PTSD and other trauma related disorders. National PTSD Awareness Day started in 2010 after Senator Kent Conrad proposed designating a nationally recognized day to improve understanding about PTSD. Nearly 20% of people who witness or experience a traumatic event develop PTSD. PTSD can be disabling and causes serious symptoms, including:
- Nightmares and night terrors
- Avoidance of environments that remind you of the traumatic event
- Panic attacks
How PTSD and Addiction Are Connected
Nearly half of all people struggling with addiction have a co-occurring mental health disorder. If you have a mental health disorder, such as PTSD or depression, it can make you more likely to experiment with drugs or alcohol. Since drugs and alcohol can help alleviate anxiety, improve mood, and lower inhibitions, they can be an attractive option to cope with mental health symptoms. Mental health counseling often accompanies addiction treatment so each individual has the greatest chance at success.
Recognizing the prevalence of co-occurring disorders, many treatment centers offer dual diagnosis programs to help you recover from addiction while providing mental health treatment. Stabilizing your mental health can drastically improve your ability to recover from addiction. Properly managing mental health symptoms through therapy and medication helps improve treatment outcomes. Additionally, treatment helps stabilize your brain chemistry and teaches you healthy coping strategies. For example, if anxiety is a trigger for drug use, managing your anxiety can help prevent you from relapsing.
Dual diagnosis treatment can help you address past trauma and find ways to manage your symptoms without the use of drugs or alcohol.
Finding Help Today
When you decide you are ready to reach out for help with trauma or addiction, it can be difficult to find the right treatment center. Finding a treatment center that provides dual diagnosis and trauma related programs improves your chances of successfully beating addiction.
National PTSD Awareness Day 2019 demonstrates how common and serious PTSD is and that treatment can be a lifesaver. Reaching out to treatment centers directly is the best way to know what programs are offered and to complete additional steps like insurance verification before you arrive. Contact AspenRidge Recovery today at 866.977.8625 to find out more about how our PTSD treatment program can help you achieve your recovery goals.