Mental health conditions and substance abuse disorders can negatively impact your physical health, cognition, and relationships. Mental health disorders and addiction are both chronic and progressive diseases that change your brain chemistry and impair your judgment. EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a highly effective treatment for PTSD. But how can EMDR therapy help with trauma and substance abuse?
Conditions like PTSD can increase your chances of developing a substance abuse disorder. Overall, half of all people with a substance abuse disorder have PTSD, which means that those suffering from addiction are five times as likely to have PTSD. Drugs and alcohol can immediately alleviate acute PTSD symptoms; however, long term drug and alcohol use can aggravate your PTSD.
Both mental health disorders and substance misuse disorders are common. In fact, many people suffer from co-occurring conditions, which occur when you have both a mental health condition and a substance abuse disorder. An EMDR therapy program in NJ can help you recover from PTSD and addiction. EMDR therapy can help you improve self-awareness, confidence, and communication skills. Below we will help you understand the question of how can EMDR therapy help with trauma and substance abuse.
Trauma and Addiction
How can EMDR therapy help with trauma and substance abuse? When you experience or witness a traumatic event, you can develop PTSD. PTSD symptoms include:
- Reliving the traumatizing event
- Having nightmares about the traumatizing event
- Avoiding people, places, and things that remind you of the trauma
- Depression, anxiety, and anger
PTSD symptoms can cause you to constantly worry about experiencing another trauma, which leads to hypervigilance. Reminders of the traumatizing event can lead to you having anxiety attacks or avoiding certain stimuli altogether. PTSD can also cause severe insomnia, as nightmares can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
PTSD symptoms, especially when left untreated, can interfere with your daily life. Symptoms can also feel overwhelming and unmanageable, which can cause you to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol. Substances like alcohol seem to provide temporary relief from symptoms but will ultimately create significant neurotransmitter imbalances that aggravate your PTSD.
If you suffer from PTSD and a substance abuse disorder, it is important to treat both conditions in order to fully recover. Treatments like our cognitive behavioral therapy and EMDR can help you cope with symptoms and triggers.
How Can EMDR Therapy Help with Trauma and Substance Abuse
So, how can EMDR therapy help with trauma and substance abuse? If you have both PTSD and a substance abuse disorder, it is more likely than not that your trauma is an underlying cause of your drug and alcohol use.
Another benefit of EMDR therapy is that it is a highly personalized and interactive psychotherapy treatment for those struggling with behavioral health and addiction.
EMDR therapy can be used in combination with other treatments, such as medications, cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy, and exposure therapy. Before you begin EMDR therapy, your provider will work with you to develop goals to ensure that you are on the same page.
Finding Help Today
If you are asking yourself how can EMDR therapy help with trauma and substance abuse, chances are you or a loved one is struggling with PTSD and addiction. Co-occurring conditions are highly treatable and finding help is the first step in your recovery. Call us today at 855.259.1624 to find out more about our services and your treatment options.