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Alcohol Addiction and PTSD: Are the Two Related?

It is not uncommon for people to form an addiction as a result of a mental health disorder. They may be reluctant to get help for their condition because they are unsure what people will think of them if they admit they have a problem. Instead of getting treatment, they self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. 

Many types of mental illnesses can lead people to start using drugs. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a common one. The condition is the result of a stressful event that happens in a person’s life. It causes flashbacks, nightmares, and feelings of anxiety. 

People may drink or take drugs to escape the feelings that make them relive an unpleasant past, but it will only take them on a downward spiral. This article will review the implications of alcohol addiction and PTSD and what you can do if you or a loved one needs help. 

What is Alcohol Addiction?

Alcohol is a drug that is often included in recreational and social activities. But some people don’t know when to stop.

Individuals that drink excessively will begin to build a tolerance to alcohol. A tolerance will force a person to drink more in order to achieve the same effects as before. This is often the first sign of addiction. 

If someone continues to drink, alcohol withdrawal symptoms will begin to appear. Their bodies will get used to having the alcohol in their systems. They won’t feel normal if they are not intoxicated. They will begin shaking and may also feel like they have the flu. The only way to get relief is to drink more. 

Once withdrawal symptoms form, it can be very difficult to quit. 

Other signs of alcohol addiction include:

  • Lack of self-care
  • Mood swings
  • Engaging in dangerous activities
  • Financial troubles
  • Legal troubles
  • Troubled relationships
  • Spending time seeking out and using alcohol

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a mental disorder caused by a traumatic event that occurred earlier in a person’s life. Examples include:

  • Rape
  • Abuse
  • Witnessing a violent event
  • A serious accident
  • War

People that have gone through these events will develop symptoms including:

  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Avoidance of situations that remind them of the traumatic experience

There are many treatments available for PTSD, but some people are reluctant to get help. They may think that their symptoms aren’t that bad. They may be afraid that people will see them differently if they admit to having a mental disorder. Or they may feel that they lack the time or money to enter treatment.

Instead of getting the help they need, they turn to alcohol. While alcohol may temporarily relieve symptoms of PTSD, it will eventually take the person on a downward spiral. It will make for depressing lows and other difficulties that make matters worse. 

How Altitude Recovery Can Help

If you are dealing with alcohol addiction and PTSD, you need a recovery program that addresses both issues. Altitude Recovery takes a dual diagnosis approach that sets us apart. 

At Altitude Recovery, we thoroughly analyze our patients to work out a customized treatment plan. We look at the addiction and its underlying cause and treat both issues simultaneously. We know this is the only way to produce lasting results. 

All therapy is provided in our inpatient resident luxury facility. Patients enjoy a soothing atmosphere and all the amenities of modern life as they recover. Alcohol addiction and PTSD are challenging to deal with, especially when they occur together. Altitude Recovery will provide you with the help you need. Call us today to get on a path to improving your quality of life.