Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a type of mental health disorder. In it, a person experiences flashbacks, intense memories, and anxiety related to a past trauma. Some people use alcohol to manage these intrusive symptoms. Alcoholism can develop from this type of self-medicating strategy. If that occurs, treatment for both conditions is essential. At Northern Illinois Recovery, we offer dual diagnosis treatment to manage PTSD and alcohol addiction simultaneously.
How Does PTSD Lead to Alcoholism?
PTSD is a serious mental health disorder. It’s brought on by previous trauma that’s not properly processed by the brain. This may include physical, emotional, or sexual trauma. It may also include wartime experiences, natural disasters, or watching a loved one die. Some level of trauma occurred that the brain tucks away. However, without dealing with it, PTSD leads to symptoms such as:
- Flashbacks or seeing the events happening numerous times
- Intense anxiety related to the trauma
- Inability to maintain relationships
- Difficulty with trust or communication
- Experiencing panic in situations that are similar to the previous trauma
Alcoholism is one of the signs of PTSD, along with other drug use. That’s because to manage these symptoms, many people use alcohol. It works to slow down the central nervous system’s function. In doing so, it can help to make negative thoughts and images go away. Typically, this only lasts for a short amount of time, leading to more alcohol use. Alcohol addiction can form as a result.
The Effects of PTSD and Alcohol Addiction
When both are present, a person may struggle with daily life. They may not be able to make decisions or communicate their needs or problems. It is common for a person to have intense relationships or outbursts. PTSD can lead to mental health breakdowns and crises. Alcoholism can lead to health complications, including liver and kidney damage.
Without treatment, alcohol addiction can spiral out of control. This can lead to a shortened lifespan for many people.
How to Get Help for PTSD and Alcohol Addiction
Dual diagnosis treatment is critical for those with both conditions. Treating one without the other doesn’t resolve symptoms and leads to relapse. In dual diagnosis treatment, therapists work closely to address the underlying cause of the addiction and PTSD.
To treat PTSD, master-level therapists at Northern Illinois Recovery work to break the association of that past trauma to current lifestyle and needs. They work through individual therapy to help limit the impact of that pain on life today. It’s not necessary to relive it or even to fully understand what’s happened to you. Treatment can still be effective.
To treat alcoholism, medication may help minimize cravings that are so common with this condition. Then, talk therapy and education help a person feel more in control over their negative thoughts, triggers, and needs. Education is also an important part of the treatment process. Learning how to control the symptoms of addiction ensures the best possible outcome for some.
At Northern Illinois Recovery, we provide a range of supportive treatment programs for PTSD and alcoholism through our dual diagnosis treatment. Learn more about each of our treatment options and how they can help you, including:
- Women’s addiction treatment
- Men’s addiction treatment
- Intensive outpatient program
- Partial hospitalization program
- Sober living programs
- Telehealth treatment programs
Get Treatment by Calling Northern Illinois Recovery
PTSD and alcoholism can be treated effectively through a comprehensive dual diagnosis treatment program. At Northern Illinois Recovery, we provide a stable program to help with mental health disorders and alcohol addiction together, enabling people to get back their life and their future. To learn more about our program, call us at 855.786.1978 or connect with us online.