Managing PTSD While in Sober Living

ptsd and sober livingAfter even a mild trauma, it’s not uncommon for people to attempt to deal with the emotion of the situation by drinking or using drugs. With time, the mental distress that results from the experience can dissipate, but when the trauma is serious – a natural disaster, wartime experiences, attack or assault, physical or sexual abuse – it can lead to the diagnosis of a post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

It’s not uncommon for patients who struggle with PTSD to attempt to medicate the symptoms with drugs and alcohol. When symptoms are extreme, this can lead to ongoing abuse of illicit substances that in turn can result in an addiction. When both disorders are in evidence, Dual Diagnosis treatment is necessary.

But what happens when drug rehab is over? With a solid foundation in recovery from both addiction and PTSD, patients are encouraged to enroll in a sober living program that provides them with round-the-clock support for continued recovery from both disorders.

PTSD: Moving Forward

A number of medications, including antidepressants, have been identified as effective treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder. Additionally, regular therapy that directly addresses the trauma and symptoms related to the disorder are necessary for continued recovery. Patients can augment their treatment during their stay at a sober living home and improve their ability to move forward after trauma by:

  • Attending all therapy sessions
  • Maintaining their medication schedule
  • Addressing continued symptoms with a psychiatrist whenever they become intrusive or unmanageable
  • Continue to focus on addiction treatment and recovery
  • Improve prospects in life by being proactive in addressing other matters related to a successful recovery including family issues, legal problems, job prospects and more

Mending Mistakes

For patients living with PTSD, the symptoms often wreak havoc with their ability to function in their lives and, as a result, there is often no part of their life that is unharmed by the disorder. When PTSD symptoms are compounded by the issue of addiction, this increased damage can be exponential. Though it is not possible to undo the past, patients are encouraged to make amends and address those issues as much as possible. This can begin during a sober living stay through:

  • Family therapy. Loved ones are often deeply confused and hurt by the behavior and erratic moods of their family member living with PTSD and addiction. Regular family therapy sessions can help to mend relationships and move forward.
  • Keep up with court mandates. If PTSD or addiction led to arrest for any reason, maintain court and other legal commitments.
  • Handling financial issues. Bankruptcy, foreclosure, high debt – all these are common for families of patients in recovery. Sober living residents can begin the process of addressing these issues by working, learning how to budget, and dealing with creditors directly to create a repayment plan that will help them re-establish themselves on financial solid ground.
  • Increasing job prospects. Life coaching, job skills training, interview and resume assistance, educational assistance – all these and more can help residents to rebuild their careers.

Sober Living: The First Step to a Life of Balance

Mental health disorders like PTSD and addiction can be overcome when patients take advantage of all the resources available to help them in recovery. Sober living is an excellent place to continue that journey after treatment. Call now for more information.