Alcohol and PTSD

Alcohol and PTSD

Alcohol and PTSD are often found together. And the combination or pairing of alcohol and PTSD can cause a lot of problems for the trauma survivor and their family. Alcohol and PTSD go hand in hand, with PTSD are more likely than others with the same sort of background to have drinking problems. And on the other hand, people with drinking problems often will have PTSD. Those with PTSD have more problems with alcohol both before and after getting PTSD. And then PTSD also increases the risk that someone could develop a drinking problem. Alcohol and PTSD really come together and make a vicious cycle.

Alcohol and PTSD: Women

Women who go through trauma have more risk for alcohol abuse. They are at risk for alcohol abuse even if they do not have PTSD from their trauma. Women that have problems with alcohol abuse are more likely than other women to have been sexually abused at some time in their lives. This could apply to both men and women though. Both men and women who have been sexually abuse have higher rates of alcohol and drug use problems than others.

Nearly three quarters of people who survived abusive or violent trauma report having alcohol problems. Up to a third of those who survive traumatic accidents, illness, or disasters report alcohol problems and alcohol problems are more common for survivors who have ongoing health issues or are dealing with pain.

Alcohol and PTSD: Vets

Sixty to eighty percent of Vietnam Veterans that are searching for PTSD treatment have alcohol use problems. War veterans with PTSD and alcohol issues tend to be huge binge drinkers. Binges may be in response to memories of trauma. Veterans over the age of 65 with PTSD are at a high risk for suicide or suicide attempts and also suffer alcohol problems or depression.

Alcohol makes PTSD symptoms worse

Someone who has alcohol and PTSD may drink alcohol to distract themselves from their problems for a short amount of time. Even though alcohol only makes it harder in the long run.

Someone with PTSD may drink to concentrate, be productive, and enjoy parts of their life.

Using too much alcohol makes it harder for someone with PTSD to cope with stress and trauma memories. Alcohol use and getting drunk can make some PTSD symptoms increase. For instance symptoms of PTSD that can get worse are feelings of being cut off from others, anger and irritability, depression and the feeling of being on guard.

Some people with PTSD have trouble falling asleep. If this is the case they may medicate themselves with alcohol to try and get a good night’s rest. This is also very true if the person with PTSD has bad nightmares. They may drink so they have fewer dreams and can avoid the bad memories. All of this just prolongs the PTSD.

Having both alcohol and PTSD problems can compound the two. For this reason alone, the alcohol use and PTSD must be treated together. If an individual has PTSD they should try to find a place they can go that specializes in both.

Therapy to Combat PTSD in Children

Therapy to combat PTSD in Children

Therapy to Combat PTSD in Children

PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. All human beings somehow develop PTSD even children. Children and teens could have PTSD if they have lived through an event that was severely traumatic. For instance, children could have PTSD due to an event that caused them or someone else to be killed or badly hurt. Events like this usually are sexual or physical abuse or other violent crimes. Other things like disasters; floods, school shootings, car crashes, or fires may cause PTSD in children. Other PTSD triggers are war, a friend’s suicide, or seeing violence in the area they live.

The symptoms of PTSD in children vary. It differs slightly from the symptoms of PTSD in adults. For instance children with PTSD may not have flashbacks and they may have problems remembering parts of the trauma they experienced. Children who have PTSD though, if they can remember will put events of the trauma in the wrong order, or think there were signs that trauma was going to happen. Children with PTSD who are young might repeat the trauma again and again in the way they play. These games don’t make their worry or stress go away. A perfect example is a child may want to play shooting games after seeing a school shooting. That’s the way a child often shows symptoms of PTSD.

So since it is quite apparent that PTSD is in children just as it is in adults how do you combat it? Usually different therapies are used to combat PTSD in children although for many children, PTSD symptoms will just go away on their own after a few months. For those that have PTSD symptoms for years there are different therapies available. For instance,

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy to combat PTSD in children

This is one type of therapy to combat PTSD in children. Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT is the most well-known and most effective approach for combating PTSD in children. There is a type of CBT called Trauma-Focused CBT. This kind of therapy to combat PTSD in children allows the child to talk about his or her memory of the trauma. Therapy to combat PTSD in children, such as trauma-focused CBT also uses techniques to reduce worry and stress. Not only that, but a child can learn how to assert him or herself. Through TF-CBT the child can learn how to change thoughts and beliefs about the trauma that are not correct or are untrue.

EMDR or Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy to combat PTSD in children

EMDR combines both cognitive-therapies with directed eye movements. EMDR is effective in treating PTSD in children although it is said eye movements aren’t needed to make it work.

Play therapy to combat PTSD in children

Play therapy is used to combat PTSD in very young children who may not be able to deal with the trauma in a direct way. The therapist will use games, drawings, and other methods to help the child process their traumatic memories without taking them head on.

The effects of PTSD in children can be significant. Luckily there are multiple therapies to combat PTSD in children today. There are even special treatments for children who show extreme symptoms of PTSD. PTSD does not have to be lived with but can be dealt with due to the right therapy.