The Link Between PTSD and Addiction

The Link Between PTSD and Addiction

Many people experience traumatic events at some point in their lives, and most eventually overcome any associated agitation, anxiety, depression or other stress-related behaviors. For these people, the symptoms fade over time, but for some, reactions to trauma can linger, disrupting their lives or the lives of those who care about them. These reactions can be due to the development of a psychological disorder known as PTSD. Some people resort to substance abuse in an effort to cope with feelings of anxiety, fear and stress, which can lead to addiction. 

What Is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is a psychological disorder that is generated by either experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It was once called “shell shock” to describe the reaction that combat soldiers experienced due to the intensity of their trauma in World War I; however, not only people who have experienced war can develop PTSD. Anyone who experiences a traumatic experience can be at risk for developing PTSD.

PTSD affects parts of the brain associated with memory and emotions. A healthy brain can differentiate between memories of past and present experiences, but the brain of a person with PTSD struggles to do so. A person with PTSD might react to a present event or environment that reminds them of past trauma and the brain then responds as though the person is still in the past, a traumatic moment, triggering anxiety, stress and fear.

Some symptoms of PTSD include:

  • Intrusive flashbacks and distressing memories
  • Nightmares
  • Reliving the traumatic event in one’s head
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Having a lack of interest in doing things once enjoyed
  • Avoiding anything that reminds one of the situation
  • Getting emotionally distressed when reminded of past a traumatic event
  • Emotions like shame, guilt, anger and mood disorders, including anxiety and depression
  • Feeling detached and/or hopeless
  • Difficulty remembering things

What Is Addiction?

Addiction is described as an excessive, compulsive use of a substance that is unable to be controlled. It is associated with a physical dependence and psychological need for the drug of choice that is revealed through unpleasant withdrawal symptoms if substance use is reduced or ceased. Psychological need or dependence refers to a psychological need to use a substance in order to relieve negative feelings or emotions.

People who battle addiction often face the stigma of being pleasure-seekers or lacking self-control; however, people often resort to substance abuse as a form of self-medication, to relieve other psychological problems, such as PTSD and its intrusive thoughts and feelings. 

The Link Between PTSD and Addiction

Research has found a strong link between PTSD and addiction. Nearly 50 percent of people with PTSD also have a co-occurring substance use disorder.

The connection between PTSD and addiction is based on the use of substances to distract or dampen symptoms of PTSD. One hallmark of PTSD is the great extent that people go to in order to avoid thinking about or feeling emotions related to the traumatic event experienced. Substance use is one way people with the condition are able to temporarily block unwanted feelings.

Aside from the obvious implications on one’s health, resorting to substance use in order to cope with any condition is risky. Substances become less effective over time, causing people to need to use more of the drug to achieve the same effect as before. Painful withdrawal symptoms can occur in addition to worsening symptoms of PTSD, which can lead to use of more of the substance, leading to addiction.

Substance abuse also hinders the treatment for any mental health condition, including PTSD. Treatment for PTSD can be particularly complicated by the use of drugs because recovery from PTSD requires a person to connect with thoughts, feelings and memories that they have tried so hard to avoid or suppress. Drugs can disrupt thinking and memory while numbing emotions, making it harder for people with PTSD to healthily process their trauma when in active addiction.

Many people with PTSD and addiction have not learned how to cope with their symptoms in healthy ways – but help is available.  

How to Get Help for PTSD and Addiction

Many treatments are available for those who suffer from PTSD and addiction. Because prolonged substance use and PTSD each have a complex impact on the brain, getting help for PTSD and addiction is imperative. 

Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT) is one treatment modality that can help people with PTSD to cope with their painful memories in addition to pharmacotherapy, psychotherapy, group therapy and more. 

At Atlanta Recovery Place, we know how important your mental health is and how damaging the effects of PTSD and addiction are on a person’s well-being. If you are ready to start the journey to wellness and recovery from PTSD and substance abuse, contact our drug rehab in Georgia today. We are ready to help you heal.

Are There Mental Health Facilities in Atlanta? | Atlanta Recovery Place

Are There Rehab Centers in Atlanta?

Addiction is a disease that greatly reduces quality of life, and mental health issues are often behind that. Fortunately, there are treatments available. These include inpatient treatments, outpatient treatments and partial hospitalization.  

There are many mental health centers throughout the country, and you can bet you will find a few in a metropolitan city like Atlanta. When it comes to mental health facilities in Atlanta, Atlanta Recovery Place may just be your best choice. Read on to find out what you can expect from the treatment process.

What Is a Mental Health Facility?

Our mental health facility is a treatment center that offers help for people dealing with addiction and mental health issues. There are inpatient and outpatient treatments available. Often, medical professionals will utilize a combination to help patients overcome their dependency issues. 

When checking into a drug rehab and mental health facility in Atlanta, patients are likely to start treatment with detox from any substances they are on. This process involves cleaning the system so it’s free of harmful toxins. Patients experience withdrawal symptoms at this time, but medical professionals are there to assist and keep them as comfortable as possible while reducing the likelihood of relapse

After the patient completes detox, they are taken in for an evaluation. A therapist conducts physical and mental exams to assess their health and underlying causes of addiction. They use their findings to come up with a treatment plan best suited to the patient’s needs. 

Treatment plans may vary, but most are designed to target addiction at its root and come up with healthy coping mechanisms that reduce the urge to use. 

If treatment is administered in an inpatient setting, the patient is then enrolled in an outpatient program. During this phase, they integrate back to their normal lives while continuing therapy. This provides them the support they need to maintain sobriety. 

In some cases, patients may choose to go through outpatient treatment only. Plans include the following:

  • Partial hospitalization, an inpatient style type treatment that takes place during daytimes only.
  • Intensive outpatient which requires up to 30 hours a week of therapy as patients adjust to sober living.
  • Outpatient therapy which involves regular therapy sessions as needed.

Once outpatient treatment is completed, patients transfer to a sober living facility where they learn the skills they need to be successful. Group therapy sessions are provided to residents.

Are There Mental Health Facilities in Atlanta?

Patients who opt for outpatient recovery will want to find rehab centers near them. That way, they can continue working and seeing their families while they undergo treatment. If they live in Atlanta, they are in luck. There are many mental health facilities in Atlanta to choose from. 

It’s good that Atlanta offers a variety of recovery options, but patients must be careful to find the facility that’s right for them. They should look for a treatment center with a skilled staff that offers a variety of customized therapy options. They should find a clinic that will see them through every step of the way, from detox to treatment to an outpatient program. 

Why You Should Go to Atlanta Recovery Place

If you are looking for rehab centers in Atlanta, look no farther than Atlanta Recovery Place. We take an individualized approach designing a customized treatment plan for each patient. Our staff members are experienced in helping patients get sober and stay sober. We take a family-oriented approach helping to build and maintain strong relationships. 

Patients can choose from a variety of programs including partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient and outpatient program options. After treatment is completed, individuals are transferred to a sober living facility. 

Don’t let addiction rob you of your ability to enjoy life. Call Atlanta Recovery Place today. We will give you the tools you need to break ties from dependence and live a happy life. 

Is Clinical Depression Hereditary?

Is Clinical Depression Hereditary?

Clinical depression is the most common form of depression. Also known as major depressive disorder, it is estimated to affect 10% of Americans at some point in their lives. It is characterized by changes in mood and behavior, feelings of sadness and an inability to enjoy the things you love. 

Scientists have spent years studying the causes of depression in hopes of gaining a deeper understanding that will help them develop innovative treatments. One question they have asked themselves is, is clinical depression hereditary? Read on to find the answer. 

Is Clinical Depression Hereditary?

Researchers have found that clinical depression is hereditary. Studies show that an individual that has a relative with depression is five times more likely to develop the disorder as compared to those who have no family history of depression. 

One study revealed that there may be a depressive gene responsible for passing the condition from generation to generation. The chromosome 3p25-26 was found in more than 800 hundred families dealing with clinical depression. 

However, depression may also be inherited from environmental factors. For example, if a child sees a parent acting depressed, they will be likely to mimic their behavior. Scientists believe that 40% of depression is caused by an inherited gene while 60% is due to the environment the person is raised in and exposed to. 

Are Depression and Addiction Connected?

It is not easy for people dealing with depression to come forward and say they need help. They may be dealing with social stigmas, or they may not want to admit they have a problem. 

People that are reluctant to get help often self-medicate. They use drugs and alcohol to make themselves feel better. While these toxic substances can temporarily relieve symptoms, they end up doing more harm than good in the long run. 

Alcohol and several other drugs are classified as depressants. Even though they may produce feelings of euphoria, ultimately, they will bring on depressive symptoms. Stimulants may bring on a temporary high, but this will be followed by an excruciating down that will make the individual feel worse in the long run. 

What’s more, if a user forms an addiction, it can result in financial and legal difficulties, health issues and the destruction of beneficial relationships. 

How to Get Help With Clinical Depression and Addiction Today

Depression is difficult to deal with and those that don’t get help may find themselves in a downward spiral that leads to addiction. Fortunately, both addiction and depression are treatable. 

The best course of action is to check yourself into an inpatient rehab facility. The medical experts at the facility will put you through an assisted detox to eliminate harmful toxins from the body. 

Once detox is completed, they will follow up with a customized therapy program. The therapist will target the underlying cause of addiction, which may be depression or another issue, and suggest methods to replace dependent behavior with healthy coping mechanisms. 

After the patient graduates from inpatient treatment, they will move onto an outpatient program. During this phase, they will adjust to sober living while getting the support they need to maintain sobriety. 

There are several rehab facilities available, but Atlanta Recovery Place offers an approach that makes us stand out from the pack. We create a customized strategy that is best suited for each patient. Our trained healthcare experts use their experience to ensure success and reduce chances of relapse. We bring in the family to see to it that everyone is on the same page when it comes to achieving and maintaining sobriety. Is clinical depression heredity? The answer is yes. But fortunately, there are ways to beat the odds. Call Atlanta Recovery Place or send us a message to go against the grain and find the healing help you need.

Why You Should Pursue a PHP Recovery Program

Why You Should Pursue a PHP Recovery Program

Outpatient programming is an option for those who wish to remain at home during their substance abuse treatment rather than living on campus 24/7. Outpatient treatment enables those who desire the flexibility to continue their commitment to work, school and/or home to continue fulfilling obligations while receiving treatment. 

What Is a PHP Recovery Program?

A partial hospitalization program, or PHP, is the most intensive form of outpatient treatment available. A partial hospitalization program is often referred to as day treatment and offers a comprehensive treatment approach with the intent of helping patients to overcome a substance use disorder. 

The majority of PHP programs require between 25 to 35 hours of program participation every week, which makes it the next step down in terms of treatment, following a residential or inpatient treatment program. 

A PHP recovery program involves daily participation in a number of evidence-based therapies as well as classes, group sessions, and other complementary options such as art therapy and yoga. Many PHPs also offer detox services through a nearby residential treatment or detox center. 

How Does It Differ From Inpatient Treatment?

PHP recovery programs differ from inpatient treatment in several ways. The primary difference, however, is the amount of time spent at the treatment facility. For those who undergo inpatient treatment, they spend the night at the rehab facility each night for a set number of days (often a minimum of 28 days to a maximum of 3 months). A PHP recovery program, on the other hand, allows patients to return home at night but come back to the program the next day. A PHP requires much more time commitment out of each day than a standard outpatient program, making it a sort of middle ground between the two treatment options. 

The Benefits of Going to a PHP Recovery Program

Some of the benefits of going to a partial hospitalization program may include:

  • Individual therapy: Individual therapy allows patients to process progress and any relapses while being educated on solutions. 
  • Group therapy: Group therapy enables patients to connect with individuals who have had similar experiences in a welcoming, safe environment.
  • Medication-assisted therapy: Medication is recommended for many patients who battle addiction. It may be used to help with withdrawal symptoms during detox or to manage any underlying co-occurring disorders a patient may have throughout recovery.

It can be difficult to know whether a PHP recovery program is necessary for you or your loved one. The process of navigating the many different levels of addiction treatment can be overwhelming. The first step is to undergo a formal evaluation from a qualified mental health professional who will help determine the best programs to help. People who are recommended to undergo PHPs are those who meet the following criteria:

  • Medically stable
  • Not at risk of harming others or self
  • Experience difficulty functioning at school, work or other places where participation is required
  • Motivated to participate in treatment
  • Have adequate support at home
  • Experience co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders 

Reach Out to Atlanta Recovery Place for More Information

The treatment professionals at Atlanta Recovery Place engages patients while teaching them to enjoy life free of dependence on substances while facilitating a renewed passion for a life that thrives. We embody a clinical framework to identify behavior change on a continuum with our individualized treatment program, helping patients to move through their treatment programs by assessing any readiness for change and formulating interventions that match each stage for the best chances of lasting recovery. 

If you are ready to start down the road free from the chains of addiction, please do not hesitate to contact us today to learn more about our treatment options.