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Residential Treatment Programs for Trauma and Substance Abuse

C-PTSD Treatment in Colorado

What is the connection between trauma and addiction?

The most common causes of complex trauma are profound neglect and physical, sexual, and mental abuse. Although most complex trauma happens during childhood, the effects often carry over into adulthood.

Unfortunately, one of the most common effects—typically used to cope with the emotional impact caused by personal trauma—is alcohol or drug misuse, which can quickly lead to a substance use disorder.

If you or a loved one have turned to drugs or alcohol to cope with the effects of trauma, our expert and compassionate team at our innovative residential trauma treatment center is here to help.

Continue reading to learn more about CPTSD, including what it is, its symptoms, and effective treatment options for you. 

What Is Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) is a psychological condition that stems from experiencing prolonged and repeated traumatic events, often within relationships where the victim feels trapped or powerless.

C-PTSD is characterized by a wide range of symptoms that can affect various aspects of a person’s life, including their emotional, psychological, and interpersonal functioning.

C-PTSD Symptoms

complex trauma

Some symptoms you or a loved one may experience due to complex PTSD include:

  • Anger, irritability, or mood swings
  • Guilt, shame, or self-blame
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Severe fear, anxiety, or depression
  • Inability to form close, satisfying relationships

If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms regularly, especially after prolonged trauma, we recommend a comprehensive diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.

Our plans meet you where you are and address your current health and wellness needs.

Important Disclaimer: The following quiz includes some of the most common symptoms associated with people diagnosed with Complex PTSD. If you answer yes to most of these questions, please contact us to speak with a representative at The Raleigh House.

The Role of C-PTSD in Addiction

C-PTSD can play a significant role in developing and perpetuating substance use disorders.

The relationship between C-PTSD and addiction is complex and often intertwined, as individuals may turn to substances to cope with the overwhelming symptoms and distress caused by their traumatic experiences.

C-PTSD can contribute to addiction through:

  • Self-Medication: Individuals with C-PTSD often struggle with intense emotional pain, anxiety, depression, and distressing memories. They may turn to drugs or alcohol to temporarily escape and self-medicate.
  • Coping Mechanism: Substances can provide a way for individuals to cope with the hypervigilance, emotional dysregulation, and other distressing symptoms of C-PTSD.
  • Avoidance: C-PTSD can lead to a strong desire to avoid triggers associated with traumatic memories. Substances can offer a way to avoid facing these triggers or numb the associated emotional reactions.
  • Self-Worth: C-PTSD often leads to low self-esteem and feelings of worthlessness. Substance use might provide a false sense of confidence or temporary relief from negative self-esteem.
  • Disruption in Interpersonal Relationships: People with C-PTSD often struggle with forming and maintaining healthy relationships due to trust issues and difficulties with intimacy. Substance use might serve as a social lubricant or a way to feel more at ease in social settings.
  • Escapism: Addiction can provide an escape from the distressing memories, thoughts, and emotions associated with C-PTSD.

Unfortunately, substance use can lead to its own set of problems, including addiction. Over time, the need to use substances to cope can spiral into a cycle of dependency and addiction.

Addressing both C-PTSD and addiction requires a comprehensive and integrated approach. Effective treatment should address the underlying trauma and its associated symptoms while also addressing addictive behaviors.

C-PTSD vs PTSD: What Is the Difference?

C-PTSD is considered a more severe and long-lasting form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The main difference between PTSD and C-PTSD is that PTSD typically results from a single traumatic event. Conversely, C-PTSD develops from enduring ongoing trauma, such as childhood abuse, domestic violence, human trafficking, long-term captivity, or living in war zones for long periods.

Treatment for Complex Trauma and Addiction

Our comprehensive treatment programs provide therapies and support to help you recover from addiction and C-PTSD. At The Raleigh House, our trauma treatment center includes:

  • Multiple levels of care – clients heal at their own pace
  • High staff-to-client ratio – clients receive greater care and attention
  • Strong recovery community – clients have frequent one-on-one therapy and group therapy within a strong cultural and social environment
  • Structured Recreation – clients participate in yoga, rock climbing, swimming, and hiking
  • Experiential work – clients engage in expressive art therapy, trauma release therapy, and cooking lessons

Along with addiction, co-occurring mental health conditions, like anxiety or depression, are likely to accompany a C-PTSD diagnosis. At The Raleigh House, we take a full-body approach to your treatment plan, offering care for a full spectrum of mental health disorders alongside your C-PTSD treatment.

Contact Our Residential Trauma Treatment Center

More than 1 in 7 Americans will experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder at least once in their life. Of that, thousands will experience C-PTSD. Although connecting the dots between addiction and trauma can be challenging, the ties may be more distinct than you believe.

If you or a loved one are suffering from alcohol or substance use disorder due to complex trauma, call The Raleigh House today at 720-891-4657 or contact us online to learn how our residential trauma treatment center can help you or someone you love feel better sooner.

Frequently Asked Questions About C-PTSD

C-PTSD is a complex psychological condition that can significantly impact individuals who have experienced traumatic events. Here are some common questions and answers to help you better understand this condition and its effects.

What kind of medication is prescribed for CPTSD?

Medication may be part of the comprehensive treatment plan for C-PTSD, targeting specific symptoms.

The most prescribed medication includes:

  • Antidepressants: Helps to manage depression, anxiety, and mood swings.
  • Anti-Anxiety Medications: Offers short-term relief from severe anxiety or panic attacks.
  • Sleep Aids: Improves sleep quality for those with insomnia or nightmares.
  • Mood Stabilizers: Manages emotional dysregulation and mood swings.
  • Beta-Blockers: Addresses symptoms of hyperarousal, like rapid heartbeat and trembling.

How does C-PTSD impact relationships?

C-PTSD can deeply impact relationships, often creating complex challenges for individuals striving to connect with others.

The most common aspects impacted by C-PTSD in a relationship include:

  • Trust: Trust can be challenging to establish due to past betrayals and abuse.
  • Emotional Regulation: Mood swings and emotional instability can strain interactions.
  • Connection: Past trauma triggers avoidance of situations and people.
  • Healthy Attachment: Forming healthy attachments might be difficult due to disrupted early bonds.
  • Communication: Expressing feelings and needs can be a struggle.
  • Boundaries: Difficulty setting boundaries and potential codependency.
  • Self-Esteem: Low self-esteem can affect self-perception within relationships.

While C-PTSD does pose considerable obstacles in relationships, it’s crucial to understand that healing is possible. With appropriate therapeutic approaches, individuals can learn to navigate these challenges, develop healthier communication patterns, and rebuild trust and relationships with those they love.

What’s the life expectancy of a person with C-PTSD?

C-PTSD itself doesn’t have a direct impact on life expectancy. However, the long-term effects of C-PTSD and how individuals cope with its symptoms can indirectly influence overall health and well-being, potentially impacting life expectancy.

Is complex PTSD a disability?

C-PTSD is not generally classified as a disability. However, it can profoundly impact an individual’s ability to function in various areas of life. In some rare cases, it may meet the criteria for being considered a disability.

C-PTSD could qualify as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) if it substantially limits one or more major life activities, such as working, interacting with others, sleeping, concentrating, and more.

It’s important to note that determining whether C-PTSD qualifies as a disability can be complex and will require legal and medical evaluation before complete determination.

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