Understanding the Connection Between PTSD and Anxiety

In any PTSD program in Northern, IL there are many cases of people who are also dealing with anxiety. Both are also prevalent in drug and alcohol rehab services throughout the world. Why is there such a strong connection? Help in understanding the connection between PTSD and anxiety will make it clear why many people gain a dual-diagnosis when entering rehab. Let’s take a closer look at this connection.

What is PTSD?

In understanding the connection between PTSD and anxiety, we must first understand what PTSD is. Trauma comes in many forms. It can be a physical thing such as an injury during battle or childhood abuse. It can be emotional, such as comes with psychological abuse. It can also be a result of a natural disaster like an earthquake or flood. The thing that sets trauma apart from a simple bad event is that it is something that causes a person to fear for their life or health. For some people, just witnessing the event happening to someone else, like if you witnessed a bombing of a building or a robbery that ends up in someone dying. It is not clear yet why some people experience these events and somehow manage to move forward while others find themselves haunted by it for a long time.

PTSD is considered to be a type of anxiety disorder.

Types of Anxiety Disorders

In addition to PTSD, individuals can also find themselves with one or more related anxiety disorders including:

  • GAD (generalized anxiety disorder)
  • OCD (Between 4 and 22 percent of those with PTSD also have OCD)
  • Social Anxiety (This is experienced by as many as 28% of those with PTSD).
  • Panic Disorder

In understanding the connection between PTSD and anxiety you can see that both share some of the same symptoms. These symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • *Restlessness
  • Easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • *Excessive worry
  • Difficulty falling/staying asleep
  • Sudden attacks of fear
  • Feelings of panic

Why is there such a strong connection between these two things?

Understanding the Connection Between PTSD and Anxiety

When you understand that PTSD also includes things like flashbacks when the person relives the triggering incident, it is easy to see where panic attacks, sudden attacks of fear, and general anxiety comes into play. The majority of co-existing anxiety disorders, however, are OCD and Social anxiety. The person with PTSD is often hyper-vigilant. They are on guard, waiting for the next bad thing to happen. This makes going out into public difficult. For this individual, the more people they have to face, the greater the risk of danger.

Many people with social anxiety also experience agoraphobia, which is the avoidance of any place where escape may not be readily available. In extreme cases, the person may not even be able to leave their home.

There is an even greater understanding of how PTSD and OCD are related. The individual with PTSD feels out of control over what happened, and what may happen. OCD gives the appearance of having some type of control. In some way, the person may feel they can prevent a similar event by following a ritual of some sort.

Understanding the connection between PTSD and anxiety also explains why a person may try to dull the feelings with drugs or alcohol.

Contact Northern Illinois Recovery Center Today

Understanding the connection between PTSD and anxiety allows you to begin breaking the bond. You don’t have to let PTSD, anxiety, or addiction rule the rest of your life. Call Northern Illinois Recovery today at 855.786.1978 and talk with an experienced representative today. We understand how hard it can be to deal with any of these alone. Trying to deal with more than one can seem daunting. We are here to help you see your way through.