Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTS) is a serious mental health issue that can impact the sufferer and those around them. It can also lead to substance abuse and addiction as a person denies the effects of a trauma they lived through. PTS treatment is essential for a patient to cope with their disorder, and this is especially so if they want to overcome any co-occurring substance abuse disorder.
What is PTS?
PTS or Post-traumatic stress, is a type of anxiety disorder brought about by a traumatic event. Experiencing or even witnessing an event, such as war, natural disasters, physical or sexual violence, or unexpected death, could potentially cause PTS. The term has its origins in war, where it was initially termed ‘shell shock’ and then ‘battle fatigue.’
Even though the term has origins in battles, PTS can occur to anyone, from children to adults. The causes of PTS are not limited to any one demographic. However, there are factors that may impact whether suffering from a traumatic event develops into a condition that requires PTS treatment. This can include gender, age, and personal experience, as well as support systems available after the trauma to help cope.
There are different types of PTS, including:
Do not let the term “uncomplicated” diminish the severity of this form of PTS. It just means that a single traumatic event, without any underlying mental health disorder, is the cause, such as a severe car collision.
Complex PTS is when a person lives through a series of traumatic experiences, often starting in childhood, but usually occurring over an extended period. This includes childhood abuse, domestic violence, and human trafficking.
Comorbid PTS describes cases where a person suffers from PTS along with other disorders, such as substance abuse, depression, various phobias, or other anxiety disorders.
What are the symptoms of PTS?
PTS can manifest right after a traumatic event, but there are cases where a patient does not exhibit symptoms until months or even years later. Generally, there are symptoms can be categorised into 4 types:
1. Reliving the trauma
This is when memories come back unexpectedly, creating the same fear and terror. This could be a vivid nightmare as you sleep or a flashback that makes you feel like the trauma is happening all over again. Something you see, hear, or smell could trigger a memory or flashback.
2. Avoiding the trauma
This is when you do whatever you can to avoid situations that could trigger memories of the trauma. You may avoid crowds or other situations that make you feel like you are in danger. You may even avoid movies, songs, or images that depict things that are reminders of your trauma. You might avoid activities that are similar to your trauma, such as driving a car if the trauma was a car collision.
3. Increased negativity
You may find yourself feeling more negatively about yourself and the world around you due to your trauma. This could become guilt or shame about yourself because you feel that you could have avoided the trauma somehow. You may become numb and reject relationships and other things that bring you joy. You may also lose the ability to trust and form bonds, as you become convinced that the world around you is dangerous.
This may also be called hypervigilance. It can affect your mood because you have a hard time sleeping or concentrating. You get easily startled by noises or people approaching you. This may turn into irritability and anger that persists.
If these types of symptoms persist for more than a month, it is very likely you are suffering and should consider PTS treatment. This may also be the case if these symptoms often occur enough or are strong enough to disrupt your life.
PTS & Addiction
Those suffering from PTS may be more susceptible to addiction. There is research indicating that those with PTS are 14 times more likely to succumb to substance abuse. This could stem from the person’s unwillingness to accept that they have PTS or that it is a sign of weakness to seek help. In these cases, they will self-medicate to numb themselves from their symptoms. This is often the case with alcohol, especially binge drinking, but they could also seek solace with drugs as well.
Let The Cabin help with PTS Treatment
At The Cabin Rehab in Thailand, we understand that apart from trauma, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, and all other forms of addiction may be deeply interconnected with other conditions that need treatment, such as PTS and anxiety disorders.
Our team of trained healthcare professionals are experts in not only treating PTS symptoms but also in helping patients with co-occurring disorders through targeted mental health and trauma treatments.
Get help now at The Cabin. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ready to listen with compassion as we help you determine the best course of action.
Call us today, we are here to listen.
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