ptsd awareness
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Post-traumatic stress disorder can affect anyone after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. PTSD Awareness Month this June gives us a chance to spotlight this disorder’s various triggers and symptoms and its frequent overlap with substance abuse. At Hope by the Sea, we recognize the complexity of PTSD and offer tailored treatments to address dual diagnoses of mental health issues and addiction.

What Are PTSD Triggers?

PTSD triggers are specific stimuli that remind you of something frightening or life-threatening you went through, potentially causing intense emotional and physical reactions. Identifying these is critical for managing PTSD.

  • Sounds: Loud noises or unexpected bangs can remind people of gunfire or explosions, particularly after returning home from serving in combat.
  • Sights: Images, environments or even colors associated with the trauma can evoke a strong response.
  • Smells: Specific scents can be powerful triggers, such as the smell of smoke or a particular perfume.
  • Touch: Physical sensations, including pain, can remind someone of going through a traumatic incident.
  • Anniversaries: Dates marking significant events related to the trauma can often lead to heightened stress and anxiety.
  • Media: News reports, movies or television shows depicting similar experiences can trigger symptoms.

Leading PTSD Symptoms

Recognizing the symptoms of PTSD is essential for timely and effective intervention. These characteristics typically fall into four categories.

  1. Reliving: You may have vivid flashbacks, nightmares and severe emotional distress or physical reactions.
  2. Avoidance: Many people steer clear of places, activities or people that remind them of the trauma, or are unwilling to talk about what happened.
  3. Negative changes in thinking and mood: Feelings of hopelessness, memory problems and difficulty maintaining close relationships are common.
  4. Changes in physical and emotional reactions: Having an overactive startle reflex and inability to relax may cause chronic stress that disrupts your quality of life.

Hope by the Sea’s Approach to Co-Occurring PTSD and Addiction

PTSD can be challenging to live with. The unpredictability of triggers can make you want to hide from the world or self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. Attempting to control your symptoms without professional help can lead to a substance use disorder, creating a complex cycle of dependency and worsening PTSD symptoms. The co-occurrence of PTSD and addiction requires integrated treatment that addresses both conditions simultaneously.

At Hope by the Sea, we understand the intricacies of treating co-occurring disorders. Our approach includes the following methods.

  • Integrated treatment: We will work with you to develop a plan that treats both components of your dual diagnosis, never ignoring one condition at the other’s expense.
  • Trauma-informed care: Our trained therapists provide trauma-informed care, acknowledging trauma’s role in addiction and ensuring a safe, supportive recovery environment.
  • Evidence-based therapies: We use methods that have proven effective for PTSD and addiction, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing.

Understanding your PTSD symptoms and what triggers them is crucial for learning to manage this condition, particularly in conjunction with addiction. At our family-owned addiction treatment facility, we provide compassionate care that addresses the unique needs of clients facing these challenges. During PTSD Awareness Month, being honest about your challenges can pave the way to finding effective help. Contact Hope by the Sea today to learn more about admissions and verify your insurance coverage.