Mental Health Disorders

About Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

If you are engaged in addiction recovery, and you think you may be experiencing unresolved trauma (PTSD), please let us know, because we can help.

Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event. When that trauma leads to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), damage may involve physical changes inside the brain and to brain chemistry, which changes the person’s response to future stress. The results can be debilitating for the person suffering from the effects. Many people use substances as a way of managing the symptoms related to trauma, often referred to as “self-medicating”.

There are four general symptoms of PTSD:

  • Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms).
    You may have bad memories or nightmares. You even may feel like you’re going through the event again. This is called a flashback.
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the event.
    You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.
  • Feeling numb.
    You may find it hard to express your feelings. Or, you may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy. This is another way to avoid memories.
  • Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal).
    You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. This is known as hyperarousal.

PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than 4 weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you might have PTSD.

Many recovering people may not even realize they are experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Dissorder. Anyone can get PTSD, and at any age. This includes war veterans and survivors of physical and sexual assault, abuse, accidents, disasters, and many other serious events. Sometimes people suffer from a multitude of traumatic events called complex trauma.


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