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

Therapy for co-occuring disorders

Therapy for Co-occuring disorders
Therapy for Co-occuring disorders

Overcoming a drug and alcohol addiction is challenging enough as it is alone but having to do so while also struggling with a mental illness can make the process much more difficult. The condition of having two disorders or substance abuse plus a mental illness is known as co-occurring disorder or dual diagnoses. Co-occurring disorders are complex and the more information you have on them, the better you will be able to help yourself, or someone you know, to get the proper therapy for co-occurring disorders.

There are multiple things you should know about therapy for co-occurring disorders. Here we are going to go through the top ten things you should know about the therapy for co-occurring disorders:

  • Traditional therapy or therapy for addiction won’t do it. Most drug rehab centers are not equipped to handle the psychiatric element of a co-occurring disorder and traditional therapy is not equipped to handle drug addiction. Finding a drug rehab center that specializes in co-occurring disorders would be ideal although most drug rehab centers focus on the drug addiction element of the problem.
  • Therapy for co-occurring disorders must realize that those individuals suffering with dual diagnoses are high-risk individuals. Studies have found that those with a dual diagnosis are more prone to violence and have a high suicide rate.
  • A co-occurring disorder can be made up of a variety of things so the therapy for co-occurring disorders must be able to treat them all. For instance to be classified as having a co-occurring disorder, the individual must have an addiction (alcohol, cocaine, heroin, prescription drugs, etc.) and a mental illness (schizophrenia, anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression etc.) The combinations of these co-occurring disorders are nearly endless.
  • Therapy for co-occurring disorders is important because mental illness often leads into the drug addiction. Those who suffer from bipolar disorder, anxiety or depression often turn to drugs and alcohol to “self-medicate” as a means of dealing with their symptoms.
  • Therapy for co-occurring disorders is more common than you might think. Recent studies have shown that 1 out of every 2 individuals with a mental disorder are also suffering with drug addiction. Integrated therapy for co-occurring disorders is the answer. There is a much
  • Therapy for co-occurring disorders is the answer. There is a much higher success rate for those individuals who receive therapy for co-occurring disorders, as opposed to treating each issue individually.
  • Family members can play an important role in therapy for co-occurring disorders. Those dealing with co-occurring disorders need their family for love and support. By reading all the available information on the subject, and attending support groups and workshops, families will be helping the individual, and themselves, get through this very difficult process.
  • Therapy for co-occurring disorders may take time. Because of the multi-layered nature of co-occurring disorders, recovery may take longer than standard therapy. Individuals and their families need to be patient, and move at their own pace, even if that means taking part in a program lasting several months or a year.
  • Dual Diagnosis drug rehabs have therapy for co-occurring disorders and have specialists in dual diagnosis. So if you’re looking for a drug rehab that has therapy for co-occurring disorders look for one that specializes in dual diagnosis

Group Therapy

Group therapy is an effective type of treatment offered by drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in order for each individual to create a connection with someone like them, gain insight from their peers, and also get feedback from someone who is going through the same thing they are going through.

Group therapy offers connection between addicts allowing to truly support each other, see and believe in recovery. Group therapy has the ability to change someone’s perspective on life for the rest of his or her lives. The strong connection and knowledge that someone has gone through the same thing you have is something that most people don’t get to experience. Experiencing a common peril and overcoming it together creates a bond that most other types of therapies do not offer.

Group therapy also gives alcoholics and addicts insight into the stories and struggles of their fellow peers as they talk in a group with one another. When an alcoholic or addict gives feedback in group therapy it not only helps the person they are giving feedback too, but it also causes them to look inside of themselves and realize the self-reflection gained from sharing with others. This is what makes group therapy so effective. The ability to see something in another person and relate it back to yourself -not only gives another person insight but also gives you clarity.

Group therapy also gives hope to each individual as the people who are farther along continue to do well and stay sober. The newer clients gain something from the more veteran clients. They see that the ability to get sobriety and hang onto it is possible. Group therapy allows each individual to see what the right thing or wrong to do in their sobriety is so they can choose what path they want to take in order to stay sober.

Group therapy gives someone the ability to learn from someone else’s experiences so they don’t have to make the mistakes themselves. This keeps everyone moving forward with progression instead of sliding backwards. Group therapy is one of the most effective therapies in treatment because of all the reasons mentioned above. Group therapy provides that “insider” connection from one addict or alcoholic to the next. This gives the ability to not only create help within treatment but also to create a bond that will last outside of treatment. Group therapy is the therapy of like- minded people helping one another and in turn helping themselves. This is something for the addict or alcoholic that is priceless.

Group therapy is where true change happens and true insight is gained thanks to the other people in treatment. It’s a fundamental part of recovery and something that an addict or alcoholic takes with them through out their entire journey into lifetime sobriety.  In fact, that’s what 12-step programs and working with other alcoholics is all about. It is the connection of one alcoholic helping another.