N. California Veteran PTSD Dual Diagnosis Treatment
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There is clearly a correlation between trauma (including individual, group, or mass trauma) and substance use. There is also a correlation in the presence of posttraumatic stress (and other trauma-related disorders) and substance use disorders. Alcohol and drug use can be, for some, an effort to manage traumatic stress and specific PTSD symptoms.Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services, Chapter 3 Understanding the Impact of Trauma
What is PTSD?
Emotional and psychological trauma occurs when extraordinarily stressful events shatter an individual’s usual sense of security. As a result, there is a feeling of being temporarily helpless in a dangerous world.
Most people who experience traumatic events have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping. If trauma symptoms get worse – or last more than 3 months and interfere with day-to-day functioning – you may have PTSD.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition triggered by witnessing or experiencing traumatic or terrifying events.
Veterans often use alcohol or drugs to self-medicate PTSD symptoms. This does nothing to resolve the underlying trauma – and usually makes it much worse.
PTSD symptoms can include flashbacks, hypervigilance, avoidance, nightmares and severe anxiety; as well as uncontrollable or intrusive thoughts about the event.
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Veteran PTSD Dual Diagnosis Treatment Centers
Each individual experiences trauma and PTSD in a unique way. In general, individuals experience PTSD in several stages.
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms can start immediately or within one month of a traumatic event. Sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. And, PTSD symptoms can vary over time. Symptoms will vary from person to person.
Stages of PTSD Healing
If you or a friend or loved one are experiencing PTSD – it is helpful to understand the stages of development and healing.
- Shock Stage
“Did this really happen?” Withdrawal, hypervigilance and easily startled are common reactions in the shock stage. Some are able to recognize PTSD symptoms immediately. For others, it may take some time.
- Denial Stage
“I am fine!” Many individuals do not accept any limitation easily. They experience strong feelings brought on by memories of the traumatic event, but will attempt to avoid the difficult emotions. Often, avoidance is done unconsciously. This is an especially vulnerable time when many begin to use use alcohol or other substances to numb difficult emotions or memories.
- Short Term Recovery Stage
An adjustment to everyday life and return to a sense of normalcy is achieved. However, the underlying trauma is not resolved. Nightmares and intrusive thoughts continue to make life difficult. Alcohol and substance abuse may be present.
- Long Term Recovery Stage
Individuals will continue to deal with the after-effects of trauma; including anxiety and nightmares. However with treatment, these symptoms can be reduced and eventually resolve. With treatment and support from professionals, family, and friends – those with PTSD can return to a calmer and sober life. Life can be good again!
New Start Recovery Solutions is an approved VA Community Care provider for military and veteran
residential and outpatient Dual Diagnosis Treatment. Call 866-303-6275 for confidential questions and assistance.
PTSD Recurrence Triggers and Treatment
When Veterans followed news closely they reported that media coverage of war brought back thoughts and feelings of their own military experiences … When PTSD symptoms got worse for some Veterans, it may have been related to how closely what they were seeing on the news reflected what they had gone through while serving.https://www.ptsd.va.gov/understand/what/trauma_triggers.asp
Veterans with PTSD may experience a recurrence of PTSD symptoms if exposed to reminders that are similar to their experiences in the military.
It is possible for PTSD to be re-activated by a visual or news media trigger.
The sad and disturbing news from Afghanistan this past week may trigger a PTSD recurrence in those who served in Afghanistan. Retired military personnel with friends still serving could also be triggered.
The Good News: Effective Treatment for PTSD is Available.
We Can Help!
Veteran Readjustment to Civilian Life – Challenging at Best
Returning home is much anticipated by all military personnel. But when soldiers return home – they face many challenges.
Many veterans, especially when returning from a war zone, experience significant difficulty in the transition to civilian life.
For more readjustment information, see:
Veterans Employment Toolkit
Common Challenges During Readjustment To Civilian Life
Transitioning from Service
• Dual Diagnosis means treatment for PTSD, trauma and more – at the same time as drug and alcohol rehab treatment.
• 27% of Veterans in VA care diagnosed with PTSD – also have substance use disorder (SUD).
Northern California Residential PTSD Dual Diagnosis Rehab Centers
New Start Recovery Solutions Bangor, CA
Northern California Outpatient PTSD Dual Diagnosis Treatment
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