PTSD Treatment in Memphis

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder & Addiction

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that may develop after an individual witnesses or experiences certain types of traumas. In any given year, roughly 8 million people in the United States are diagnosed with PTSD, and an estimated 8% of American adults will develop PTSD at some point during their lives. Many of these individuals with PTSD will also suffer from a substance addiction. This is because PTSD and addiction often correlate.

If you or someone you love is struggling with PTSD and a substance use disorder, Grace Land Recovery can help. At our dual-diagnosis facility, we offer comprehensive treatment for alcohol and drug addiction, as well as co-occurring mental and behavioral health disorders. We recognize the complex relationship between mental health and substance abuse, and we know how to help you address the underlying issues that so commonly occur with these conditions. Our integrated approach focuses on healing the whole person from the inside out.

Give us a call at (901) 519-2655 or contact us online today to learn more.

We Believe in Treating the Individual, Not Just the Addiction

PTSD & Substance Abuse

PTSD tends to be more common in women. In fact, 10% of American women will be diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetimes. Approximately 4% of American men will receive a diagnosis of PTSD during their lives.

PTSD often occurs in conjunction with other conditions. In fact, between 50% to 66% of individuals with PTSD also have substance use disorders involving drugs or alcohol. Having PTSD can more than double the risk of developing a substance use disorder, such as alcoholism or drug addiction.

Even with treatment, patients with substance use disorders have a relapse rate of up to 60%. In addition, patients with PTSD have a higher risk of experiencing eating disorders, suicidal thoughts or actions, depression, and anxiety.

This guide will help you understand the causes, symptoms, and complications associated with PTSD. It will provide information on diagnosis and treatment options, including dual-diagnosis and treatment for patients who have PTSD and addiction. If you would like to learn more, or if you are interested in speaking directly to a member of our professional addiction treatment team, please contact Grace Land Recovery today. We answer our phones 24/7.

What Causes PTSD?

PTSD may develop after the patient learns about, witnesses, or directly experiences a traumatic event, such as assault, sexual assault, rape, bodily injury, or death. The exact cause of PTSD is unknown, but clinicians believe that it may arise in certain individuals due to a combination of inherited mental health risk factors and personality traits (temperament). The amount and severity of witnessed or experienced trauma and the regulation of stress-related chemicals and hormones in the brain may also play a role.

Individuals who experience trauma at a young age are more likely to develop PTSD. Military personnel and emergency responders are also at an increased risk of developing PTSD.

Anxiety, depression, and substance use disorders all increase the likelihood of developing PTSD, as well. Patients who have a family history of mental health conditions and/or a lack of support system at home have an elevated risk of PTSD.

What Type of Trauma Can Lead to PTSD?

The most common types of traumas that are associated with the development of PTSD include:

  • Accidents, such as car accidents
  • Sexual violence
  • Childhood physical abuse
  • Physical assault
  • Exposure to combat
  • Being threatened with a weapon

However, it is possible to develop PTSD after many different types of traumas. Examples of other traumatic events that could potentially result in PTSD include:

  • Natural disasters
  • Fires
  • Robberies
  • Plane crashes
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Torture
  • Kidnapping

Categories of PTSD Symptoms

Currently, doctors group PTSD symptoms into four major categories. Symptoms in each category tend to begin around one month after the traumatic event, but some individuals with PTSD may not show symptoms until several years have passed.

The four categories of PTSD symptoms include:

  • Intrusive Memories Category: In the “intrusive memories” category of PTSD symptoms, patients may experience nightmares about a past traumatic event. Individuals with this category of PTSD symptoms may also experience flashbacks that feel as though they are reliving their past trauma. When exposed to something that reminds individuals of intrusive memories, individuals with PTSD may display severe emotional distress or severe physical reactions. Intrusive memories could also take the form of unwanted, recurrent memories of the event.
  • Avoidance: The next category of symptoms, avoidance, causes individuals with PTSD to avoid people, places, and activities that remind them of the type of trauma that they experienced. Individuals who experience these symptoms might try to avoid thinking of past traumatic events. They may also go to great lengths to avoid talking about past trauma.
  • Negative Thinking and Mood: Potential negative thinking and mood PTSD symptoms include negative thoughts about oneself and others, difficulty remembering details of past traumatic events, and a feeling of hopelessness about the future. Patients that experience negative thinking and mood may also feel emotionally numb and detached from family and friends.It might be difficult for individuals with these PTSD symptoms to maintain close relationships. Individuals who experience negative thinking and mood PTSD symptoms also struggle to maintain interest in activities they once enjoyed.
  • Alterations in a Person’s Physical and Emotional Reactions: The last of the four major categories involves alterations in the patient’s physical and emotional reactions. For example, individuals with PTSD who experience changes in the way they physically respond to situations may struggle sleeping and concentrating.Emotionally, such individuals might be easily frightened or display irritability, aggression, or feelings of anger. Feelings of overwhelming guilt or shame may be present, and patients could engage in self-destructive behavior. This includes excessive alcohol consumption, substance use, or reckless driving.

What Symptoms Occur in Individuals with PTSD & Addiction?

Individuals who struggle with PTSD and addiction may display additional symptoms associated with substance use issues. For example, some people with PTSD and addiction experience intense cravings for substances. Often, these cravings are so intense that they block out all other thoughts.

Individuals with PTSD and addiction will also spend more money than they can afford to maintain a steady supply of substances. These individuals may even engage in risky activities to obtain more substances. Such individuals will often have conflicts at work and in relationships.

Withdrawal symptoms will occur in individuals with PTSD and addiction if they try to minimize or discontinue their use of substances. Withdrawal occurs whenever a person who is dependent on a substance stops using or decreases their use of the substance.

How Are PTSD & Substance Use Conditions Diagnosed?

To diagnose PTSD, patients may need to have a medical exam to rule out all other physical health issues that could be causing similar symptoms. Psychological evaluations are necessary to diagnose both PTSD and substance use disorders. These evaluations are completed by a psychiatrist, a psychologist, or a licensed alcohol and drug counselor.

First, clinicians will perform blood and urine tests to monitor a patient’s substance use.

Dual-Diagnosis Treatment for Individuals with PTSD & Addiction

Dual diagnosis treats both PTSD and substance addictions. Until the 1990s, clinicians treated PTSD and addiction separately. Patients were sometimes required to successfully recover from their substance use disorder before they could be offered treatment for PTSD. This approach resulted in delayed care, and the treatment was often less effective.

Dual-diagnosis treatment approaches the treatment of PTSD and addiction simultaneously. At dual-diagnosis treatment centers, the patient receives holistic evaluation and treatment. Other substance use specialists can then identify any overlooked issues and contributing factors.

For example, substance use specialists and therapists at dual-diagnosis treatment programs are often able to identify instability in the patients’ living situations. This includes anxiety, depression, chronic pain, underlying health issues, and other concerns that may be contributing to the patient’s conditions. Dual-diagnosis treatment provides integrated care to individuals with PTSD and addiction so that they can successfully recover from their addictions.

Types of PTSD & Addiction Treatments

In general, treatment for PTSD and addiction involves a combination of medication and counseling. Treatment for severe co-occurring disorders, such as PTSD and addiction, usually occurs at residential treatment centers.

Dual-diagnosis treatment patients who experience withdrawal symptoms associated with substance use cam receive medications to ease anxiety, nausea, and other symptoms that occur during the detox process. The exact medications the patient receives will vary depending on the substance they are using.

While undergoing withdrawal, patients are closely monitored by medical staff. Anti-addiction medicines can also be administered to help prevent patients from returning to substance use. Anti-anxiety medicines and antidepressants may also be used to help treat PTSD at this time.

Several different types of therapy are used to treat substance use disorders and co-occurring PTSD. Typically, individuals in treatment for PTSD and addiction receive intensive individual therapy and regular group therapy sessions with other patients. Couples therapy and family therapy help to build or rebuild relationships. In addition, some patients might opt to participate in a 12-step program to enhance their support system.

What Therapies Are Used to Treat Different Types of Traumas?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a major psychotherapy method that can be beneficial for PTSD and addiction. This type of therapy helps patients learn healthy coping mechanisms. CBT patients also learn to identify limiting beliefs and thought distortions so that they can replace them with positive thoughts that are more optimistic and realistic.

For the treatment of PTSD, patients may experience exposure therapy. This type of therapy gradually exposes patients to images and sensations associated with the types of traumas they witnessed. The therapy takes place in a safe, medically supervised environment so that patients are able to learn to confront their triggers. Exposure therapy for some types of traumas may use virtual reality to allow the patient to safely re-enter the environment where the trauma took place. Exposure therapy is particularly helpful for individuals who have experienced combat exposure, accidents, and other types of traumas that cause nightmares and flashbacks.

Therapists may use eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy when assisting patients who have experienced trauma that has been particularly severe or prolonged. EMDR therapy uses guided eye movements to help with processing traumatic events. The therapy helps the patient change how he or she reacts to memories of the events.

Receive Help for PTSD & Substance Abuse at Grace Land Recovery

Here At Grace Land Recovery, we provide comprehensive dual-diagnosis treatment for PTSD and substance use disorders in Memphis, TN. We assist individuals suffering from PTSD caused by all types of traumas. We also treat all kinds of substance abuse, addiction, and related conditions.

Our experienced team offers personalized, compassionate, and holistic care from diagnosis through recovery. Please contact us to find out more about how we can help you; call (901) 519-2655.

Find Your Recovery

Our mission is to help individuals achieve sobriety by getting to the root of their addiction issues. We also aim to treat the minds, bodies, and souls of our patients.

Don't Fight This Battle Alone Get the Help You Need & Deserve