If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, PLEASE call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
Those of us living with addiction are also often struggling with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). What is PTSD and how does it affect us? Our mental illnesses affect each of us differently, and we all will experience them differently, but there are some common symptoms that many of us with PTSD suffer from.
Many PTSD sufferers have a relationship with their traumatic experiences that causes them to replay and relive the painful event, over and over again. We will visualize the event repeatedly. We might obsess about it. We might have nightmares and intense flashbacks. When we’re triggered or somehow reminded of the event, we can experience intense feelings of anxiety, sadness and fear. We can have panic attacks and even feel like we’re having a nervous breakdown or heart attack. We can even suffer from suicidal thoughts, thinking that ending our lives will bring us the relief we need from our recurring emotional pain.
Because we’re experiencing the traumatic event repeatedly in our minds, we’re constantly on the alert for it, trying desperately to avoid being retriggered. As a result, we’ll avoid situations that remind us of the trauma. We’ll avoid people who might say something that triggers us or bring up an issue that is sensitive for us. We might isolate ourselves completely, hoping to avoid being triggered altogether.
Those of us with PTSD find that our condition can affect every part of our lives. We might miss work, school and other obligations. We might have problems with our performance, timeliness or meeting deadlines. We might have relationship problems, where we take our pain and turmoil out on the people closest to us, people who often don’t know what we’re going through and aren’t aware of our condition. Relationship problems are a major contributor to both addictions and mental health issues, and we can find our mental and emotional health declining as a result.
Learning more about our mental health issues can help us connect with ourselves more deeply so that we can heal holistically. When we avoid learning about our conditions, we keep ourselves in the dark, uninformed and confused. Being informed about our health issues can help us feel less alone, less lost and overwhelmed. We are not alone in our struggles, and knowing more about the causes and symptoms of our illnesses can help us to come out of our shell so that we can better connect with the people who can help us.
Corner Canyon Recovery’s depression and anxiety treatment center treats mental health issues to facilitate complete recovery. Our treatment methods include therapy, medication if clinically indicated, healthy food, exercise, family communication, and recreational therapy. Call 1-866-399-3469 today for more information.