PTSD and Alcohol Use Disorder
Whether it’s an event or a series of events, going through trauma leaves its mark on people in various ways. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is one outcome for people who have experienced trauma. Studies show that PTSD and alcohol use disorder are closely related. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, nearly one-third of those who survive traumatic events such as accidents, violent crimes, or near-death experiences reported drinking problems.
Why Do People With PTSD Drink?
Many people who struggle with PTSD have struggled to control their drinking or substance use. Often, they are self-medicating. Symptoms of the disorder can involve anxiety, depression, and trouble sleeping. It’s not surprising that alcohol may feel like it can offer a reprieve from symptoms. But often, self-medicating ultimately fails, causing more problems than it solves. People with PTSD are more likely to have an alcohol use disorder than the general population.
People with PTSD can suffer from symptoms of addiction, such as withdrawal symptoms, money trouble, or legal trouble. People with substance use/mental health disorders are also more likely to experience trauma and be a victim of violence. This is a painful cycle that many people go through as they try to survive. It’s not a fulfilling way of life; it is isolating and often full of risks.
Symptoms of Alcohol Use Disorder
People with alcohol use disorder often drink heavily regularly. But they don’t always have the same drinking patterns. While some people may binge for 2-3 days, others may start drinking in the day and drink into the evening. Alcohol use disorder can present itself in many ways.
Drinking every day, regularly drinking to excess, blacking out, and passing out are all unhealthy and dangerous drinking patterns. One of the main criteria for the disorder is being unable to control how much you drink when you do drink. A person with alcohol use disorder will probably continue to drink despite negative consequences such as a DUI or being late to work every day. They may also have to drink more and get the desired effects of alcohol and have withdrawal symptoms when they try to quit.
Getting Help for Your Alcohol Use
Do you or somebody you love struggle with drinking? Alcohol abuse can alienate relationships, cause damage to your quality of life, and kill your sense of self-worth.
People with PTSD can find real healing, but getting sober is important to start that journey.
We can help you learn more about your disorder, get sober, and begin to reclaim your life. Get in touch at 619-363-4767 for more information about our programs.