It's no secret that individuals who struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are prone to living with intense symptoms of anxiety. I am no exception. Throughout my whole life, I just assumed I worried too much and I was insane. Prior to my PTSD diagnosis, I had no idea that I was struggling with a mental illness. I truly believed that I was the only person in the entire world that could not make it through one day without crippling anxiety and irrational fears. As my symptoms of PTSD increased, the only way I knew how to mitigate them was through the unhealthy method of self-medicating. I began coping with drugs and alcohol, unhealthy relationships, and utter avoidance. Over time, my unhealthy coping skills got the best of me and it wasn't long before I was exasperating the symptoms of my PTSD. My addiction affected my mental health in all the worst ways by inflaming the symptoms of my anxiety and PTSD. Once I was finally properly diagnosed and educated on post-traumatic stress disorder and I began to seek therapy, I learned that there are a number of healthy ways of coping with the symptoms of this mental health disorder. Here are a few of the coping skills I have learned in my recovery.
The first and most important relationship in recovery must be developing a relationship with yourself. Through self-discovery in sobriety, you will begin to accept a new identity and an entirely new way of living. Addiction is a family disease and you may find many of your relationships to be in complete disarray and chaos. As you take inventory of past behaviors, resentments, and defects of character, you will begin to practice forgiveness, change, and hopefully make way for the development of healthy relationships throughout the process.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event—either experiencing it or witnessing it. It is no secret that many individuals struggling with untreated PTSD find themselves self-medicating with other substances. Some common symptoms of PTSD are: nightmares, lack of sleep, irritability, loss of appetite, flashbacks, emotional distress, hopelessness, loss of focus, feelings of rage/resentments, suicidal thoughts, memory loss, feelings of guilt/shame, easily alarmed, hyper-vigilance, loss of memory, and even utter avoidance or dissociation.
Employment is a necessity for most people and can also be very challenging. For individuals in recovery, it can be difficult to maintain sobriety in the workplace.
Racing thoughts, pounding heart, sweaty palms, blood pressure is rising, and you could cut the tension with a knife—this is anxiety.
Medicinal use of marijuana is on the rise, and, for those of us in recovery, there are a thousand forms of fear that follow. I got sober in a 12-step fellowship, one that is set firmly upon a foundation of total abstinence. It's no surprise that the legalization of such a substance has sparked up quite the controversy. Is CBD medicinal or recreational? Most importantly, is it safe to use CBD products if you are an addict?