Prioritizing Mental Health in Tennessee
Chattanooga Recovery Center has worked with countless individuals throughout Tennessee who are struggling with both addiction and mental disorders, including what is known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research has shown that substance abuse and addiction are frequently connected to disorders like PTSD, depression, and anxiety, and people who seek treatment for PTSD are 14 times more likely to also be diagnosed with addiction. Our team has found that this is because people living with day-to-day trauma will self-medicate to repress their memories or overcome panic attacks, and more often than not they’ll turn to alcohol or drugs to relieve them of symptoms. Our holistic approach to addiction allows us to get to the root of your disorders and treat all aspects of your health so you can cope with stressors in healthy ways.
At Chattanooga Recovery Center, we walk alongside you as you work to overcome your addiction to live a sober life.
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
PTSD is a mental disorder that affects individuals who have either witnessed or experienced a traumatic event in their lives. Though it’s perfectly natural to experience anxiety and fear after a traumatic experience, for some people these symptoms never go away and may worsen enough to impact their quality of life. Anyone can develop PTSD – one in 11 people will be diagnosed in their lifetime – though women are twice as likely as men to have PTSD.
Events that have been known to lead to PTSD include:
- Serious accidents and injuries
- War and combat
- Physical or sexual assault
- Childhood abuse or neglect
- Natural disasters
- Witnessing violence or death
- Serious illness or traumatic birth
People with PTSD tend to relive the traumatic experience in their minds again and again, whether in the form of nightmares that prevent them from sleeping or flashbacks that are triggered in certain scenarios. As a result, some signs and symptoms of PTSD include detachment from people, avoidance of places, people, or environments that remind them of their trauma, panic attacks, difficulty sleeping and concentrating, and a loss of interest in hobbies.
How Are PTSD & Addiction Related?
PTSD can change a person’s brain chemistry just like alcohol and drugs can, which is why the same trauma that caused a person’s PTSD can also trigger substance abuse. Research shows that the brain produces fewer endorphins after trauma, which is why many people turn to mood-enhancing drugs to either make them feel happy or suppress their bad memories. Addictions develop quickly in this way, and unfortunately because alcohol and other drugs are depressants, addiction will make PTSD symptoms worse over time. War veterans with PTSD tend to be diagnosed with binge drinking.
Another way that addiction can make PTSD worse is that many of the symptoms of drug withdrawal are the same as PTSD symptoms, such as difficulty concentrating or sleeping, irritability, and detachment from loved ones and activities. Individuals struggling with addiction will then take more of the drug to relieve these symptoms, undergoing a vicious cycle that can be challenging to break without professional health.
If you or a loved one are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may have an addiction in addition to your mental disorder and should consider getting help:
- Immediately turning to drugs or alcohol after a flashback or uncomfortable situation
- Pushing away closest friends and family or lying about your activities
- Taking risks to obtain drugs or alcohol, such as stealing
- Noticeable weight loss or gain, and changes in appearance
- Exhibiting symptoms of withdrawal like shaking, sweating, nausea, depression, fatigue, anxiety, and more
Why We Treat Both Disorders
Because of the strong link between addiction and PTSD and their impact on the brain, it’s important to treat both disorders at the same time. At Chattanooga Recovery Center, we have unique dual diagnosis programs that work to increase your chances of recovering safely and can be tailored to your unique needs. Our team of professionals address these disorders through trauma intervention, brain mapping, and a variety of therapies. We can walk you through your treatment plan so you understand what to expect and how we help individuals overcome co-occurring disorders.
Call (423) 226-5331 today if you need help for your addiction and mental disorder in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Our PTSD treatment can be tailored to your unique needs.