When people hear of PTSD it oftentimes relates to veterans, as this is what many of them experience post-war. But even so, PTSD－also known as post-traumatic stress disorder－can affect anyone who has experienced something horrific. In fact, it is defined as “a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault.” That’s why it is quite difficult for those who are faced with such to go through day-to-day life like everyone else, and as a result, some turn to addiction in an attempt to cope with their disorder.
First and foremost, certain signs－and/or symptoms－that one might experience as a victim of PTSD are “irritability, re-experiencing the trauma through flashbacks, severe anxiety, and distrust.” However, these are only some (to name a few) as each person’s experience may differ. In turn, to release such tension these individuals may turn to drugs which “increase pleasure, decrease anxiety, and provide a distraction from difficult emotions.” Yet consequently, even though the substance may pose as beneficial in the moment it does more harm than help. The same goes for alcohol as well－not just drugs.
Fortunately, there are better ways (for those who are faced with PTSD) to overcome－that don’t involve the unhealthy aid of addiction. Treatment can come in many forms such as medication or therapy. When receiving counseling－and/or talking to a medical expert－the individual can then take the next step towards living a happier and healthier life. Through doing so they will no longer have to feel imprisoned by their disorder and addiction, but can instead start working their way towards freedom from both. The health professional can then offer a personalized－and/or individualized style－of care to better fit the individual’s needs, based on whether he/she is amid his/her addiction.
In conclusion, the traumatic memories that the individual was faced with won’t go away because he/she won’t be able to change what has already happened－and/or change the past－but what he/she can do is move forward from it. Getting treatment as soon as possible, when symptoms of addiction are first present, can allow one to find himself/herself on a much faster road to recovery. It is then that he/she can defeat the root of the problem right at its source, rather than to numb it with substance abuse.