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.

Online therapist for alcohol addiction

Online therapist for alcohol addiction

An online therapist for alcohol addiction sounds like a great idea, but is it really? Yes, an online therapist may be convenient and in some instances cheap, but are you really getting the quality of therapy you may need to treat something as serious as an alcohol addiction. It all really depends on how much therapy is needed and the severity of your alcohol addiction. An evaluation of your alcohol addiction will definitely need to be done in order to determine if this very light level of care will work for you. Such an evaluation can be done online, leading to recommendations for the appropriate treatment.

So who can use or benefit from an online therapist for alcohol addiction help?

People who are already involved in any stage (intensive outpatient, continuing care, aftercare) of traditional treatment program or have completed any stage of a traditional treatment program can use online therapy as a way supplement their treatment.

So what is wrong with an online therapist for alcohol addiction?

1. By its nature, online therapy can be interrupted by technological difficulties beyond the control of either the counselor or the client, for instance, a storm or just a random modem problem. Is your mental health really going to rely on an internet connection? Before services are provided, the client will be given suggestions for alternative methods for contacting the online therapist should disruptions in the client’s service occur (for ex., a public library). The online therapist should pledge that should technical difficulties result from his/her personal computer or other internet access the online therapist will have alternative internet access readily available.

2. The visual and auditory cues available during face-to-face online therapy are, of course, not available in internet counseling. Therefore, it is vital that both the client and the online therapist be diligent in seeking clarification of any communications, as needed. And making sure that everything is well understood and talked about.

3. The online therapist for alcohol addictions must at the outset of the online therapeutic relationship help the client to identify local therapists and other treatment providers, including crisis services in the event of an emergency. Most of the time therapists give their phone number to clients or clients can rush to see them should something happen. With an online therapist for alcohol addiction there is no personal connection like that in the event something goes wrong in the client’s life.

4. The online therapist for alcohol addiction must include safeguards to keep client information confidential and protected from unauthorized access. This is always an unknown when using the Internet. Client information, including history, diagnosis, treatment recommendations, and progress notes, should be for the online therapist’s eyes only. No one else must have access to this information. The information should be retained on a safeguarded CD for one year after the online therapy relationship has ended, or for a longer or shorter period of time dictated by the client.

Therapy is very much a relationship between the therapist and client. With an online therapist for alcohol addiction that relationship is not nearly as strong or as helpful for either one. You would never have a romantic relationship entirely based online for years or even months. So why do the same with a therapist? Online therapists for alcohol addiction may be a great last resort for those who just need a little extra advice here and there but for someone who is really depending on therapy this sounds like a terrible idea