The majority of mental health professionals and theorists in their writings separate and differentiate between addiction and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder clients. All professionals on both sides express how addicts and survivors should be treated separately.
Addiction clients are considered to have a disease and PTSD clients are theorized as having a psychological anomaly of the mind in their writings, research and practice.
Surprisingly these two groups are more similar in their symptoms and needs than not
Both viewpoints omit the similarities in both which they have in common which may lead to improved integrated programs, better mindful recovery methods and enhanced success rates as well as lower relapse rates.
Maybe there are alternative ways to view post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction recovery together by looking at the similarities of both.
1. Symptoms of the process of addiction and PTSD formation are comparable:
- Loss of connection with self, partners, family, and community
- Feeling of emptiness
- Strong feeling of fear, unsafe and insecurities
- Lowered self-worth, esteem, and confidence
- Negative beliefs of not being good enough, lacking, weak, diseased, damaged
- Formation of inappropriate and unhealthy connections
- Denial, anxiety, stress, panic and worry
- Constant flow of negative thoughts and self-talk
- Strong desire to be loyal to what is destructive and toxic
2. Habitual involvement in toxic relationships whether with a person, a group or inanimate object (thought, emotion,
behavior or substance) are accompanied by an
unwillingness to stop no matter what the cost.
3. Addictions and PTSD are considered long-term conditions.
4. Triggers in survivors are equal to cravings in addicts.
5. Living and holding secrets. Survivors hold and live the secret
of what happened and who did it. Addicts keep secrets of
their use and how much they use and the frequency.
6. Widely known and proved that exposure to primary or
secondary abusive, traumatic and combat situations can
cause Post-traumatic stress and its symptoms. What is not
known is the creation and process of the formation of
addiction is an abusive, traumatic and toxic experience,
and causes Post-traumatic stress and related symptoms
in the user.
7. Exposure to primary or secondary abusive, traumatic and
combat situations alters how a person’s brain and body
functions and reacts. The same is true about addictions.
Addictions also alters how a person’s brain and body
functions and reacts.
The present traditional mode of treating both is not working. Something has to change.
1. Unite the treatment of both addicts and survivors in the same environment.
2. Unify both professional fields would allow the development innovative and customized programs targeted at decreasing the relapse rate and increasing the success rate.
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