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.

5 Signs You Are Codependent

5 Signs You Are Codependent

Are you a Codependent?

•             Do you keep quiet to avoid arguments?

•             Are you always worried about others’ opinions of you?

•             Have you ever lived with someone with an alcohol or drug problem?

•             Have you ever lived with someone who hits or belittles you?

•             Are the opinions of others more important than your own?

•             Do you feel rejected when significant others spend time with friends?

•             Do you doubt your ability to be who you want to be?

•             Are you uncomfortable expressing your true feelings to others?

•             Do you feel like a “bad person” when you make a mistake?

•             Do you have difficulty taking compliments or gifts?

•             Do you think people in your life would go downhill without your constant efforts?

•             Do you frequently wish someone could help you get things done?

•             Are you confused about who you are or where you are going with your life?

•             Do you have trouble saying “no” when asked for help?

•             Do you have trouble asking for help?

 

What is Codependency?

Codependency is defined as a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (typically narcissism or drug addiction); and in broader terms, it refers to the dependence on the needs of, or control of, another. It also often involves placing a lower priority on one’s own needs, while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others. Codependency can occur in any type of relationship, including family, work, friendship, and also romantic, peer or community relationships. Codependency often affects a spouse, a parent, sibling, friend, or co-worker of a person afflicted with alcohol or drug dependence.

Harmful Effects of Being Codependent

Unresolved patterns of codependency can lead to more serious problems like alcoholism, drug addiction, eating disorders, sex addiction, and other self-destructive or self-defeating behaviors. People with codependency are also more likely to attract further abuse from aggressive individuals, more likely to stay in stressful jobs or relationships, less likely to seek medical attention when needed and are also less likely to get promotions and tend to earn less money than those without codependency patterns.

For some, the social insecurity caused by codependency can progress into full-blown social anxiety disorders like social phobia, avoidant personality disorder or painful shyness. Other stress-related disorders like panic disorder, depression or PTSD may also be present.

Characteristics of Co-dependent People Are:

•             An exaggerated sense of responsibility for the actions of others

•             A tendency to confuse love and pity, with the tendency to “love” people they can pity and rescue

•             A tendency to do more than their share, all of the time

•             A tendency to become hurt when people don’t recognize their efforts

•             An unhealthy dependence on relationships. The co-dependent will do anything to hold on to a   relationship; to avoid the feeling of abandonment

•             An extreme need for approval and recognition

•             A sense of guilt when asserting themselves

•             A compelling need to control others

•             Lack of trust in self and/or others

•             Fear of being abandoned or alone

•             Difficulty identifying feelings

•             Rigidity/difficulty adjusting to change

•             Problems with intimacy/boundaries

•             Chronic anger

•             Lying/dishonesty

•             Poor communications

•             Difficulty making decisions

 

5 Signs of Codependency

#1. The codependent makes excuses for the other person’s behavior.

 

#2. The codependent enables the person with the problem to keep going down the wrong path and is in denial that the other person has a problem. Likewise, the opposite is also true: the codependent doesn’t realize that they have a problem and thinks that they are helping the troubled person when they are really not.

 

#3. The codependent takes care of everything such as money, the household, etc.

 

#4. The codependent acts like the main person in order to keep a good family image.

 

#5. The codependent withdraws from others and acts like he/she doesn’t care what others have to say.

 

Sources:

http://voices.yahoo.com/

www.wikipedia.org

http://www.webmd.com

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net

 

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment

Exposure therapy is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy technique that is often used in the treatment of PTSD and phobias, but exposure therapy is also used in addiction treatment. Exposure therapy in addiction treatment works the same way it does when it is used to treat PTSD and phobias.

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment, just like when it is used for patients with PTSD, is intended to help the patient face and gain control of their addiction. The way exposure therapy in addiction treatment does this is by literally exposing the addict or alcoholic to certain fears, triggers, traumas and stressors. Exposure therapy is done carefully so as not to flood the patient but rather build up to the most severe stressors. The point of this exposure therapy is to desensitize the addict or alcoholic to potential stressors and triggers.

There are many studies that point towards alcoholics and addicts having automatic responses to cues such as seeing as alcohol or places they may have used. Much like when someone who is hungry sees food wants to eat they believe that the alcoholic responds to alcohol in the same way. So in order to combat this exposure therapy in addiction treatment, literally exposes the alcoholic to cues that would normally create a response or want to drink in the alcoholic and gives the alcoholic or addict coping methods or techniques to use to combat and eventually no longer respond in the old way they used to.

Exposure therapy in addiction treatment is a very new concept that doesn’t have a lot of proof of effectiveness to back it up. The rates of relapse after someone has been through exposure therapy have not been studied. While exposure therapy for PTSD has been effective for the treatment of trauma and stress there has been no proof that it will work in addiction treatment. In fact, exposure therapy in addiction treatment could end up having the opposite effect, instead of helping actually hurting the alcoholic.

In one study this is what they had to say about exposure therapy in addiction treatment:

“There continues to be little evidence for the superior efficacy of Cue Exposure Therapy (CET) over other forms of substance abuse treatment. However, it should be emphasized that the efficacy trials did not find CET to be ineffective; indeed CET subjects improved significantly from baseline, though these improvements did not differ from the other active treatment conditions.”

And of course there are all the other problems that anyone who is in the addiction treatment field knows: “Studies investigating Cue Exposure Therapy continue to be challenged by a number of methodological problems, including small sample sizes, high dropout rates, lack of objective measures of substance use and lack of procedures for preventing substance use between extinction sessions.”

The truth about addiction and alcoholism most likely is that any kind of addiction treatment is better than no treatment at all. But when it comes to treating alcoholism and addiction, in my opinion, how can you possibly expect an alcoholic to want to stop drinking by exposing them to things that make them want to drink; even with the better tools to cope with it etc.

http://www.benthamscience.com/open/toaddj/articles/V003/SI0055TOADDJ/92TOADDJ.pdf

 

Individual Therapy for Addiction

Individual Therapy for Addiction

Individual Therapy for Addiction

Treatment for addiction and alcoholism uses many different therapeutic approaches in order to achieve lasting sobriety for any and all people wanting to get sober. The therapies used in the treatment of addiction and alcoholism should cover two of the most important issues for an individual in recovery, post-acute withdrawal syndrome and denial. One of the most common therapies used for addiction is Individual Therapy. Individual therapy for addiction is said to give an individual the best change at staying sober one day at a time. Individual therapy allows a person to discuss, internalize, and develop critical skills that will be required to maintain sobriety for the rest of their life.

Individual therapy for addiction helps the individual work on skills such as:

Avoidance Skills – Individual therapy for addiction helps the addict or alcohol begin to understand what types of people, places and things to avoid as a part of relapse prevention. Avoiding anything that triggers them is vital to them staying sober.

Refusal Skills -Individual therapy for addiction helps the addict or alcoholic begin to develop the ability to say no to any situation that makes them feel uncomfortable. This is because individual therapy helps alcoholics and addicts develop confidence within themselves.

Coping Skills – Individual therapy for addiction helps the addict and alcoholic find new coping skills to stressful situations. Human beings are under constant stress and for newly recovering alcoholics and addicts this can be doubly so. Individual therapy for addiction helps the addict and alcoholic learn how to deal with daily stress without using.

Assertive Skills – Individual therapy for addiction teaches an addict and alcoholic to ask for what they need. Asking for help and making their voice heard is imperative to staying sober. This can be hard for addicts and alcoholics who have little to no self-esteem initially. Individual therapy helps them to find their worth and develop a better sense of self-esteem so they can ask for what they need.

Individual therapy for addiction really helps a person change negative thoughts and behaviors by exploring them and then individual therapy for addiction also helps change the underlying concepts that cause those thoughts and behaviors. For those with a dual diagnosis, for instance, depression as well as substance abuse, individual therapy for addiction may be used in accordance with a medication. Individual therapy is a way for addicts and alcoholics to lay out all their negative stuff and find newer and more positive ways of dealing with everything from the past, present to the future. Individual therapy for addiction works well for addicts and alcoholics because what is done is specific to each individual person and is not a broad therapy that encompasses general aspects. Individual therapy for addiction works on each unique person’s needs and goals so they can accomplish what they truly want more than anything else and that is long term sobriety.

By utilizing the tools given in individual therapy for addiction an addict and alcoholic will be on much better footing to not only recognize their relapse warning signs, move past post-acute withdrawal but also to step out of the fog of denial about their disease.

Sources: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/counseling-and-addiction-how-therapy-can-help