Mental health disorders play a major role in the world of addiction and only through the last decade or so have people begun to understand this concept. Physical and emotional traumas you may have experienced can affect your mental health and well-being.
What is PTSD and how does it start?
Whether or not you understand what you’re experiencing or have any recollection of past traumas, symptoms of PTSD affect children and adults alike. It is an all too common issue of war veterans suffering the aftereffects of disturbing experiences including death and the destruction of countries, men, women and children. A reaction to the traumatic event is filed away and can randomly affect your state of calm. PTSD is a condition of past trauma that arises from environmental, personal and triggering of sudden flashbacks.
Traumatic events that can cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) include:
- Sexual, emotional and physical abuse
- Witnessing sexual abuse or domestic violence
- Fighting in the war
- Witnessing a murder or knowing a close friend or family member who was murdered
- Serious car wreck or pedestrian death
- Prison experience
- Attack or robbery
- Home invasion
- Medical incidents (surviving heart attack, stroke or suddenly waking up in surgery)
- Child abuse
To numb these internal battles, people suffering from PTSD turn to substances. Another common trait of those afflicted by PTSD to internalize these intense feelings of fear, guilt, anxiety and confusion. Addiction and PTSD are two factors that can not only inhibit your ability to interact with others, but your ability to fully experience your life on your terms. Triggers for PTSD are not focused on internal factors, but also those environmental changes. Weather can bring someone back to a stormy night when something tragic occured and it can cause these memories to flood into their minds. For some it’s the fact that your next door neighbor or clerk at the grocery store resembles an abuser.
There Are Others Experiencing PTSD, Just Like You
There are two types of people who exhibit PTSD symptoms, that deal with trauma by becoming reactive and externalize their fear, and the other is someone who dissociates from their world. Feeling overwhelmed and unable to understand what’s happening internally can wreak havoc on your emotions and internal balance. While you may think you’re the only person who struggles with PTSD, there are many out there in hiding.
If you find yourself lashing out at others because your environment triggers these feelings of anxiety and fear, you may have PTSD. The first step in treating PTSD is to complete an assessment with an addiction and mental health specialist and find a recovery program that will support your needs. Trauma specific treatments are available and are conducted in a safe space so that you can work through these events and eventually find peace.