Symptoms of PTSD – Substance Abuse
Having PTSD especially if it is left untreated can bring about extreme feelings of fear, anxiety, isolation and anger. Additionally, symptoms of the disorder including intrusive and vivid flashbacks and memories of the traumatic event that forces a person to re-experience the emotions, sensations and sometimes actions of the event can be extremely frightening.
Some individuals may choose to self-medicate with alochol and drugs in order to numb the emotional impact of their traumatic experience.
Substance abuse is a large problem particularly amongst ex-military personnel who turn to alcohol and drugs upon returning from combat tours to help them forget their experiences and help them cope with symptoms of PTSD. Although it may suppress some symptoms if nothing is done to address the root cause of the problem, symptoms will become worse and it has been found that there is a greater risk of violence, criminal activity and suicide.
There is a high frequency of PTSD cases that are left undetected and suppressed by alcohol and drugs but there are specific treatments that can be adopted that can help reduce symptoms of PTSD and substance use.