PTSD Symptoms in Women

PTSD symptoms in women

PTSD symptoms in women

 

PTSD symptoms in women can look different than how they manifest in men. These differences aren’t just actual post-traumatic stress disorder. Across the board, women may experience the symptoms of mental disorders differently than men. Understanding these sex differences is essential in diagnosis and treatment.

We delve into how you experience PTSD symptoms as a woman can differ and its role in addiction and substance abuse.

 

What is PTSD?

Posttraumatic stress disorder, more commonly known as PTSD, develops following exposure to a scary, dangerous or shocking event. If you’re in a traumatic situation, it’s not abnormal to feel fear, anxiety, and even a sense of terror. Your body will launch a fight-or-flight response. The response is your body’s natural way of protecting you from harm and danger. Sometimes this initial response is called acute stress disorder. 

Most people will then recover from those initial fight-or-flight symptoms after the immediate threat of danger passes following exposure to trauma. When those symptoms don’t go away or maybe even worsen, you could have PTSD. If you believe you have symptoms, you should speak to a mental health professional. 

Possible risk factors include:

  • Living through something dangerous or traumatic such as sexual or physical abuse
  • Being physically hurt
  • Seeing someone else getting hurt
  • Seeing a dead body
  • Trauma during childhood
  • Feeling extreme fear or helplessness
  • Having little social support after the traumatic event
  • Dealing with additional stress after the event like losing your home or job
  • Having a history of drug or alcohol abuse 
  • A history of mental disorders 

According to mental health care providers, general symptoms of PTSD that we see in both men and women fall into one of four categories. 

 

Re-Experiencing Symptoms

These symptoms might include flashbacks, where you constantly relieve the traumatic event. Re-experiencing symptoms can also be physical. For example, you might have a racing heart. Bad dreams and ongoing scary thoughts fall into this category. We often talk about flashbacks in the context of combat veterans, but they can occur in anyone who’s gone through trauma. 

Your re-experiencing symptoms can create problems in your daily life. You may also feel like certain situations, words, objects, or even people remind you of the trauma, leading to re-experiencing symptoms.

 

Avoidance Symptoms

After you go through a traumatic event, if you have PTSD, you may develop avoidance symptoms. You might avoid the events, objects, and places that remind you of the event. You may prevent feelings or thoughts that relate to the trauma. Out of a desire to avoid reminders or triggers, you could completely change your daily routine.

 

Arousal and Reactivity

These physical symptoms can lead you to feel edgy or tense and have angry outbursts consistently. You might have physical health symptoms like problems sleeping, and you could startle easily. These symptoms are different from the other types because they’re constant and not usually triggered by anything.

 

Cognition and Mood Symptoms

These symptoms can lead you to feel alienated or withdrawn from your loved ones. You might have trouble remembering key facts of the traumatic event. These symptoms could lead you to negatively view yourself or the world, and you could have guilt or blame yourself. 

Cognition and mood symptoms also include a loss of interest in things you once found enjoyable. While it’s relatively normal to experience some or all of these symptoms as part of your reactions to trauma, if they last for more than a month, it might indicate you have PTSD.

 

Are PTSD Symptoms in Women Different?

PTSD symptoms in women may be different from what men experience. For example, PTSD symptoms in women are more likely to include being easily startled and feeling numb. You may have a hard time experiencing emotions. Avoidance is more common in women than men, and women with a history of PTSD are more likely to experience depression and anxiety than men.

The symptoms may last longer in women than men. For example, women have symptoms on average for four years, while men, on average, experience symptoms for a year. If you’re a woman with PTSD, you are less likely to have a drug abuse problem after the trauma compared to a man.

 

Is PTSD More Common in Males or Females?

There are gender differences in the prevalence of PTSD. Healthcare providers estimate that one in 10 women will develop symptoms of PTSD during their lifetime. As a woman, you are around twice as likely as a man to develop PTSD. The most common type of trauma women experience is sexual assault, and the rates are higher than in men. Women are also more likely to experience childhood abuse or domestic violence in their life, which can lead to PTSD.

 

Effective Treatments 

If you believe you have symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, reach out and get help. There are excellent treatment options available, and they tend to be highly effective.

For example, the primary treatments are talk therapy and medication.

  • Medications include antidepressants to help with symptoms like worry, numbness, and sadness.
  • Talk therapy for PTSD usually lasts anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks. You can work one-on-one with a therapist or participate in group therapy.
  • The goals of talk therapy include learning about symptoms, beginning to identify triggers, and developing skills that help you manage your symptoms.
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a specific type of talk therapy that we often use for PTSD. When you participate in CBT, you may go through exposure therapy. 
  • Exposure therapy will introduce you to the trauma in a prolonged, safe, and managed way. Then, from there, you can start to cope with your feelings more effectively.
  • Goals of any type of talk therapy include learning about the effects of trauma, developing relaxation skills, and dealing with feelings like guilt or shame.

 

What Happens when PTSD Is Not Treated?

We want to emphasize the risks of untreated PTSD. When you have untreated post-traumatic stress disorder, it’s doubtful symptoms will just go away. Instead, what happens without treatment is that more complications and comorbidities can develop.

For example, not getting proper treatment and mental health care can make you susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse, sleep problems, and depression. There are also links between not getting treatment and then developing chronic pain. Other long-term effects of PTSD that goes without treatment include:

  • Anger management issues—you may start to have angry outbursts. These anger problems can lead to violence in your life or the breakdown of relationships.
  • Loneliness—you may end up withdrawing from the people who care about you, leading to isolation.
  • Comorbid depression—this is a considerable risk of untreated posttraumatic stress disorder. Major depression can cause suicidal thoughts and behaviors.
  • Substance abuse—the potential for substance misuse to occur is mentioned above, and we can’t overstate the risk of this. When you have any mental health condition for which you’re not getting treatment, it increases your risk of developing a drug or alcohol problem. The increased risk could be due to multiple factors. For example, if you’re not getting professional treatment, you might attempt to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol. Also, the areas of the brain playing a role in mental disorders contribute to addiction.

The most powerful message we want you to take away from this is that you don’t have to suffer alone; if you’re a woman with posttraumatic stress disorder, Anchored Tides Recovery can help. Whether it’s stemming from sexual violence, military combat, substance abuse, or another traumatic event, we are here for you. Treatments are available to help improve your quality of life and relationships and lower your risk of developing complications like an addiction to drugs or alcohol. Contact us at 866-600-7709 to learn more.

What Never Leaving Your Hometown Does To Your Brain

what never leaving your hometown does to your brain

what never leaving your hometown does to your brain

 

Have you ever felt stuck in any way? If so, does it at least partially stem from where you live? So many people who stay in their hometowns throughout their lives do feel that it negatively affects them. This can be especially true if you’re struggling with a substance use disorder. What never leaving your hometown does to your brain and life can be striking and negative.

Does that mean that leaving your hometown is going to automatically cure your substance use disorder or fix problems in your life? Of course not, but a change of scenery can have pretty significant benefits, even for a short time.

 

What Never Leaving Your Hometown Does to Your Brain In General

Before we go specifically into how staying in your hometown can affect you when dealing with addiction, what about in general.

Things never leaving your hometown does to your brain and life include:

  • You may be less independent. When you’re geographically close to your family, you may be less likely to do things like buying a home or starting a career. You have a safety net close by, and while that can be a good thing, it can also hold you back. When you handle something stressful like moving away and being on your own, it can help you learn how to manage other difficult situations in your life and build confidence.
  • It’s easy to feel like you’re stuck being the person you were known as in your hometown, even if that’s not who you indeed are. If you live in the same town where you grew up, it’s very easy to feel like you’re stuck in a particular identity. That can limit your future growth. Leaving your town gives you the chance to recreate your identity based on who you want to be, rather than who other people think you are. If you’re overwhelmed by your past mistakes, moving can help you get “unstuck.”
  • When you never leave your town, you may not expand your social circle. Having lifelong relationships can be valuable, but not always, especially if you don’t feel like the people you know are a good influence on you.
  • It’s tough to learn new skills when you’re in a stagnant environment, and not ever learning new things will have an impact on your brain. When you move away, you may learn new skills because you’re forced to or because you choose to.
  • Not leaving where you grew up is going to limit your perspective of the world and other people. If you come from a small town primarily, you might not interact with people from different backgrounds or people with unique opinions.
  • Your career options could be somewhat limited if you stay in your hometown, and that can limit overall opportunities in your life.
  • When you force yourself outside of your comfort zone, you can then be more welcoming of change in general.
  • If you never leave your comfort zone, then fear can become part of who you are. Your goal should always be to view fear as an emotion but not part of your identity.
  • When you’re not with them every day, it can be easier to strengthen your relationship with your loved ones. You’re likely to be more present when you’re talking with them or visiting them because it’s something you don’t get to do all the time.

 

 

What Never Leaving Your Hometown Does to Your Brain When You Have an Addiction

Above, we’re just talking generally about what never leaving your hometown does to your brain and your life, but what about when you have a substance use disorder? These effects can be even more significant.

When you have an addiction, triggers are people, places, and things. When you stay in your hometown, you’re probably spending time with people who are also trapped in the same cycles. It becomes more challenging to break out of the cycle of addiction or find the motivation to go to treatment because you’re always in your old patterns. That’s why a lot of people opt to travel for rehab.

When you travel for rehab, you take yourself outside of those triggers and old ways of doing things. You’re no longer trapped in a cycle of your environment. That change in scenery and perspective can go a long way in helping your treatment and addiction recovery.  Specific benefits of leaving your hometown for treatment include:

  • It can deepen your commitment to your addiction recovery. You are packing up and leaving home, and that’s symbolic in a lot of ways. You’re not going to be in your comfort zone, which shows other people but also yourself that you are serious about treatment and recovery. Taking a big first step helps strengthen your resolve.
  • When you’re outside of your environment, you can focus only on yourself. It’s not selfish when you’re in those challenging early days of treatment and recovery. You don’t have to think about anything but your recovery, which is valuable.
  • Traveling away from your home for treatment or during addiction recovery allows you to reflect and take on a new perspective that you might not otherwise have.
  •  If you leave your town for treatment, it’s not as easy for you to leave treatment early. You’re putting physical distance between treatment and your home, and that can help you stay dedicated when you want to go.
  • You have more privacy in an out-of-town treatment center. If you’re going to treatment in your small town, you may feel like everyone will know, and you might feel ashamed or embarrassed. That’s the last thing you should think about when you’re in treatment.

Overall, when you leave for rehab or to start over in your sobriety, you’re getting the benefit of leaving the place that you associate with your addiction. This includes your self-identity during that time, the people you spent time with, and the situations and locations where you might have used drugs or alcohol.

If you’re planning to relocate following treatment and early in your addiction recovery, you do want to be aware that it can be stressful. Before you move, line up resources that will help you manage your stress in healthy ways. For example, find a 12-step program or support group in the new city or town where you’ll be living. If you go to treatment somewhere else and then plan to return home, your treatment center should provide you with an aftercare plan and connect you with resources in your hometown.

 

Final Thoughts

We don’t always associate our location with addiction, but there are strong ties in many cases. What never leaving your hometown does to your brain can affect your efforts to get sober, which is why going to rehab in another city or even state might be beneficial.

We encourage you to call 866-600-7709 and contact Anchored Tides Recovery’s team of addiction treatment specialists if you’d like to learn more about the treatment options available to you. Our team can go over different program options and help you take the steps to begin a new life in recovery for yourself or your loved one.

Careers that Go Well with Being In-Recovery

addiction recovery

addiction recovery

 

The most significant transition for adults who have recovered from addiction lies in one of those four words: “after” addiction. So many people relapse or never fully recover because they return to the same environment that caused their addiction in the first place. 

People just out of a treatment program are often left to fend for themselves. Many former addicts get trapped in the cycle of poverty and compromise their sobriety when they do not have the support and resources they need to find employment. One of the best ways to regain stability after completing your drug addiction treatment program is finding and keeping a job. 

Down the road, you might feel like you’re at a crossroads. You know who you are and what you want, but how will you handle the challenges along the way? It’s essential to always keep in mind that no matter where life takes you or what curveballs it throws your way, you’ll be stronger because of all your past experiences. That’s why starting with a simple job search is so important.

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past or where you are now; what matters is that you never give up and continue to learn, grow, and develop new skills. If you’re willing to approach your job search strategically, you can take your career wherever you want to go. If you’re hoping to recover and find a new job after your addiction, there are things you can do to make it easier. Find out how to have a successful career after addiction recovery.

 

Decide What You Want to Do

After completing rehab, many people are confused about what career they want to pursue and how they will get there. Are you wondering what you should do? Do your research ahead of time and determine your options.

Once you have completed your recovery program, it is time to determine where you want to go. Do you want to stay in the same line of work? Do you want a new career path? There is never just one correct answer to these questions either way – only the answer that feels best for you, given your circumstances. You may be feeling anxious about your future or confused about what steps to take next, and we can help you move forward and feel good about moving on.

 

Update Your Resume

Your resume is the first form of contact for potential employers, so it is vital that it stands out and tells your story. Suppose you are applying for a position you previously held or closely resembles the one you have held. In that case, you can also save time and effort by updating your resume after recovery. Since the basics of your career are still the same, not much needs to be added or altered from how it was before your addiction.

 

Explore Job Options for Recovering Addicts

People in recovery can find job opportunities in a wide variety of fields, from retail to technology. Some career paths may require some extra work to take, but those willing to work hard will reap the rewards. You can also do an online job search on sites such as Indeed, Monster, Career Builder, or ZipRecruiter, as well as LinkedIn and Facebook job pages.

Additionally, most states offer assistance (and sometimes priority) for people who are recovering and looking for work. You can find resources online, like this service for people in California.

 

 

Where Can I Work While in Addiction Recovery?

After getting sober, recovery can be frustrating. Worrying about where to find a job and how to keep it after finishing treatment are a few of the most common concerns among people who have just completed or are about to begin addiction recovery. Many fear that the lack of employment on their résumé will prevent them from finding work, but working for several years while in active addiction is not uncommon.

If you’re recovering from an addiction, don’t panic about where you’ll be working. Some companies offer special assistance to employees undergoing treatment, and others may provide support if you’re looking for work. 

If you are a recovering addict, your experience and first-hand knowledge of addiction can be an asset in helping others overcome their struggles with addiction. As an Addictions Specialist, you will provide coaching, consulting, and therapy to individuals with substance use disorders and their families. Your work could help them reach recovery and live full, meaningful lives.

 

Social Worker

Addiction social work is a growing profession that provides treatment and support to people with addiction problems. It also looks to recognize the need for family members of people with an addiction to receive support. These workers are employed by several different organizations, including residential facilities, outpatient clinics, community services programs, hospitals, and government agencies.

 

Substance Abuse Counselor

A substance abuse counselor is a professional who works to help those who are abusing substances or alcohol. This person counsels, educates and treats those within an organization or community struggling with addiction and substance abuse problems to reduce alcoholism or other substance abuse symptoms. Substance abuse counselors work in hospitals, treatment centers, neighborhoods, schools, and many different settings.

 

Addiction Rehabilitation Assistant

An addiction rehabilitation assistant is a job that provides client support to a substance abuse rehabilitation facility. This includes various responsibilities such as maintaining the facility, coordinating client activities and clinical needs, and working with the clinical staff members. 

To become an addiction rehabilitation assistant, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent, be 18 years old, and complete an inpatient drug treatment program. If you are interested in becoming an addiction rehabilitation assistant, talk to the administration office of the rehabilitation facility regarding requirements for employment.

 

Find your Dream Job Online

It’s hard to stay sober when you’re losing your home, family, and friends. While in recovery, the internet can be a powerful tool to help you get back on track. Sites like Craigslist and eBay offer opportunities to find gainful employment and even employment related to your addiction, for example, webmaster. Hundreds of sites out there can help you regain control of your life via the internet while recovering. You can also opt for a part-time job while focusing on long-term sobriety at a treatment facility.

Find jobs online, fulfill your life while getting clean with a position in a real company, find your new purpose, and learn what recovery is all about while making money and building new meaningful relationships. Suppose the whole process of admitting your drug and alcohol addiction problem and finding a job seems overwhelming. In that case, you can contact Anchored Tides Recovery and have a care coordinator guide you through the process. Give us a call today at 866-600-7709.

Creating an Alternative Identity to Being an Addict

alternative identity to being an addict

alternative identity to being an addict

 

When you struggle with drug abuse, it can feel like you lose your identity, and the world just views you as “an addict;” you may even view yourself this way. However, you are more than the mistakes you have made; that’s why when you’re in recovery, building an alternative identity to being an addict is so essential.

You are more than your addiction, and when you’re in recovery, you can start to find who you are once again. You might have lost your sense of self along the way, but it’s exciting to get to know who you are without the stigma of addiction.

 

What is Your Identity?

We all have questions about who we are. For example, you may question what you are presently and who you’d like to see yourself as in the future. Our identity is incredibly complex.

Our identity includes our relationships, who we were as a child, as a parent, and who we are as a partner. It can also involve those characteristics we can’t control, such as our appearance. For many people, identity encompasses religious beliefs, moral attitudes, and political beliefs as well.

 

How Drugs Affects Your Identity

Our identity is already complicated; adding a drug habit to that makes it even more so. There are several key ways addiction can affect your identity. 

  • First are the short-term effects drugs or alcohol have on your feelings, actions, memories, and behavior. 
  • Over time with drug and alcohol use, you may also start to experience declines in your self-worth because you’re not moving forward or progressing in your life the way you’d like to or the way you expected to. 
  • When you have a substance use disorder, you may start to internalize your symptoms. Those become who you are, in your mind. Rather than identifying yourself as a complex person, you might only see yourself as a drug abuser. 
  • Self-identifying only or primarily as a drug user is going to make you fall deeper into your addiction. You may not believe you’re worth anything more because you believe that is just who you are, and that can serve as an excuse for you to keep using substances even with increasing negative consequences.

Your addiction may be part of your self-identification for years because everything in your life eventually revolves around the substance or substances in which you’re addicted. As you work to get treatment and overcome your disorder, what can actually happen is that you feel like you’ve lost part of yourself because of how many substances were your identity.

Some of the beliefs that could come along with your disorder include:

  • The idea that sober people are boring
  • The priority is getting high or drunk
  • You’re more creative when you use substances
  • Some types of music may be associated with the use of substances
  • You don’t trust health care or mental health professionals
  • You celebrate with substance use
  • People often hold an “us against them” mentality with substance use disorders
  • Not comforting to society or even criminal behavior are something to be admired in this mindset

 

 

Why You Need an Alternative Identity to Being an Addict

When you stop using drugs or alcohol, you may go through what’s sometimes described as a grieving process. That’s because you feel as if you’ve lost part of yourself, which was the drugs.

A big part of your recovery depends on rebuilding a new identity and letting go of that identity. You may have a hard time finding who you are again. It can make you feel vulnerable, especially when the people around you seem to have a clear sense of identity. It’s okay to acknowledge that you feel confusion or even embarrassment or shame. That’s a good starting point that you can use to start rebuilding who you are. When you’re honest with yourself about what you’re feeling, it gives you the chance to start making decisions about what you want to become. It’s also okay to feel like there’s a void in your life when you’re in recovery, at least initially.

 

How to Create an Alternative Identity to Being an Addict

While everyone’s journey is going to be unique, some of the things that you might keep in mind as you leave behind your “addict” identity and explore who you truly are, including:

  • Consider who you surround yourself with. You might meet new people who are also sober when you’re in treatment or through a support group. The people that we surround ourselves with make a significant impact on our lives and who we are. Our self-identity, in some ways, comes from the people we’re around. This is why when you’re in recovery, you may have to find a completely new social circle. You want to spend time with people who will be a healthy influence on you and begin defining your identity. 
  • Along with social relationships, particularly with sober people, maybe you want to think about how you can rebuild relationships with your partner, your children, or your family. For example, you might begin to focus your identity on being a caretaker to your children. 
  • What is your career field? Is it time to think about making a change? When you come out of a treatment program, you might work with career counselors who can help you get on a path toward a career that’s more fulfilling for you and that can very much become part of your identity. 
  • It’s likely that after you go to treatment and you begin your life of recovery, you find you have a lot of time on your hands. That’s that that was probably before focused on using substances and recovering from their effects. Now, you can start to redefine how you use that time. You can begin to explore hobbies, interests, and passions. The things we’re interested in are part of what makes us unique individuals. 
  • Volunteering is a great way to define your identity and move toward a more positive path in your life. When you volunteer, you’re not just helping other people. You’re helping yourself, and you’re giving yourself a sense of purpose. 
  • Try to practice self-love and self-care every day. Substance abuse creates such a sense of shame, and you have to re-learn how to love yourself and care for yourself.

What’s the biggest takeaway we hope you get from this? No matter where you are in your journey, you are more than your addiction. You’ll have to learn more about yourself and who you are without the influence of substances, but that’s such an enriching part of the addiction recovery process. While at first, you may mourn what you feel like you’ve lost, you’ll eventually start to celebrate what you gain as you become the person you envision, rather than someone trapped in a specific identity by an addiction.

 

 

Shedding the Stigma of “Being an Addict”

Getting back to living a normal life when you are in recovery is a process. There are aspects like feeling judged or not being able to live down your past that can make sobriety even harder. Anchored Tides Recovery believes you are not your mistakes; you are who you are, and for any woman looking for help shedding the identity of “being an addict,” we encourage you to reach out to us for help at  866-600-7709.

Does Having an Addictive Personality Lead to Addiction?

addictive personality

When a person displays dependence on things like nothing else matters, begins to seem more anxious, distressed, and irritable, will do whatever they can to get drugs or alcohol at any cost? These are some of the signs of an addictive personality type. People with other mental health disorders also have addictive behavior. 

Addictions are defined as behaviors highly likely to result in negative consequences for the individual. Addictive personality traits manifest as compulsions that interfere with one’s relationships, work, and health. A person with an addictive personality has a compulsion to use alcohol, drugs, or other substances or pursue a particular activity to exclude all else. The traits of an addictive personality include:

  • Impulsiveness
  • A need for instant gratification
  • A disregard for consequences when seeking one’s desires
  • The tendency to find more joy in serving self than in helping others

 

What is an Addictive Personality?

Addiction is a progressive disease that often requires intervention to break its hold on an individual. Behavior (process) addictions include a wide range of activities and substances to which people compulsively engage, despite the negative consequences; some examples are:

  • Gambling 
  • Drugs 
  • Shopping
  • Sex 
  • Food 
  • Gaming 
  • Porn

The concept of an “addictive personality” stems from the difference between these sorts of process addictions and substance abuse. There is an external addictive property for some substances; for instance, cigarettes have addictive ingredients, and some drugs cause physical dependence. Process addiction is more about getting addicted to a feeling or concept. This compulsion is where “addictive personalities” stem from.

 

Do I Have an Addictive Personality?

Do you constantly crave something, have a history of failed relationships, or are secretive about your behavior? If you answer yes to any of these questions, you could be hiding an addictive personality.

With drug and alcohol addiction, common environmental factors are stress and the availability of addictive substances. When a person has three or more of the following symptoms and problems for at least a year, they may have an addictive behavior – powerlessness to control and continuing desire/unsuccessful attempts to cut down, despite harmful consequences:

 

Compulsion

Compulsion means someone has an irresistible urge or an uncontrollable desire to perform a specific action. This type of behavior is described as compulsive drug-seeking. Addiction is a compulsion and dependency on a behavior or substance that can harm the addict or others. This condition involves the body, brain, and behavior and can lead to physical dependence and tolerance. 

 

Cravings

The development of addictions can change the brain, affecting your ability to evaluate risk. It robs you of your decision-making mechanisms and has an enormous impact on your ability to resist drug abuse and stay clean from the seemingly enjoyable activity. Why? Because cravings cause intense physical and psychological urges, and even when you understand the consequences of taking that first drug, having cravings makes it challenging to resist.

 

Consequences

Drug abuse can lead to severe consequences for the addict and those around them. It can also cause serious side effects such as lung cancer, obesity, and depression. One who is addicted to illicit drugs will continue their habit despite the adverse effects and painful feelings. A person may lose interest in other parts of life because they are focused on getting or using their drug of choice, and that is where problems begin.

 

Control

People with addictions realize that their substance use is spiraling out of control initially, and they try to stop. But, for many people, stopping isn’t that easy. The physical cravings for drugs or alcohol are overwhelming. They may even force themselves to stop using the substance, but eventually, they start using it again.

 

 

Some things to look out for include:

  • Difficulty with impulse control
  • Lack of personal goals
  • Susceptibility to risky, impulsive, or thrill-seeking behaviors
  • Failure to take responsibility for actions
  • Low self-esteem
  • Intense mood swings or irritability
  • Isolation or a lack of solid friendships
  • A close relative who struggles with addiction
  • Mental health conditions 

 

What are the Most Common Addictions?

When we talk about addiction, tobacco, alcohol, and drug addiction tend to come to mind. It’s not unusual for coffee-lovers to describe themselves as caffeine addicts. Chemical dependence is when people with addictions become physiologically dependent and psychologically addicted to a substance. 

Addiction has many faces. Being addicted to certain things can prevent you from having the life you always wanted. According to addiction experts and psychologists, the following are six of the most common habits that affect people today.

 

Drug Addiction

Drug addiction is a pattern of substance use that becomes compulsive and interferes with daily life. Some of the more commonly abused drugs are: 

  • Alcohol 
  • Marijuana 
  • Prescription Medications 
  • Cocaine 
  • Other Stimulants 

 

The three main drugs that can cause the risk of addiction are: 

  • Stimulants 
  • Opioids 
  • Sedatives 

 

The drugs in Opioids are usually used as legal treatments for chronic pains, but more often than not end up being addictive substances and cause significant bodily harm. These drugs use so many effects on the brain that they interfere instead of help.

 

Alcohol

Daily alcohol consumption is socially acceptable, even expected, but it can be the beginning of a dangerous addiction. Alcohol addiction can be difficult to determine because of the way that our society accepts social drinking. Even though alcohol is legal, the potential abuse and addiction can expose users to numerous health risks

Alcohol addiction is one of the most common addictions, and it is a compulsive need to drink alcohol constantly. The body becomes dependent on alcohol, requiring more significant amounts to feel “normal.” Alcohol addiction can be due to genetic factors, and it can be common among people with mental issues such as psychiatric diagnosis, depression, or anxiety.

 

Gambling

Gambling Addiction is a behavior that takes place inside the casinos, and casinos are, in general, closed places. It is hard for people around the individual suffering from gambling addiction to notice or even suspect that they are having some problems with gambling addiction.

Gambling Addiction can cause serious trouble to the person suffering from it. The people around them – their friends, family, or colleagues – might have no clue about this “hidden” addiction.

 

Sex

Sex addiction is a compulsive need to engage in sexual activity, despite negative consequences. Sex addiction may present in various ways, including sexual thoughts or fantasies, excessive masturbation, frequent (and often risky) sexual encounters, multiple affairs, exhibitionism/voyeurism, and more.

Many men and women grapple with out-of-control sexual behaviors and find themselves unable to stop despite the severe toll it takes on every area of their lives. Typically those affected by sex-related problems are people we know—friends, spouses, family members, or co-workers. 

 

Social Media

Social Media Addiction is a term used to describe a person’s uncontrollable need to engage in social media sites. Often, people who suffer from addiction to social media have no interest in leaving their virtual life for the real one. Studies have found that people who use Facebook or Twitter regularly are three times more likely than average to develop a screen addiction and addiction to social media.

They’ll continue to use social media or messages at work (and get sacked), they’ll neglect partners or children to spend more time online. Withdrawal symptoms can include complete lethargy, depression, anxiety, and fear of being alone.

 

Relationships / Love

The term love addiction usually refers to a person’s excessive emotional need to be in a relationship. In any relationship, love addicts depend on their partners for happiness, fulfillment, and security. While healthy relationships can be nurturing, a person with an addictive personality requires more from a relationship than most people can provide. 

Love addicts will use manipulation, games, and tantrums when their partner is unavailable or does not meet expectations. Both partners become addicted because the unhealthy relationship becomes the center of each partner’s life.

 

 

What Next?

Does this sound like you? Addiction comes in many forms, and many times people who suffer from these compulsions have a high chance of getting involved in substance abuse. If you or someone you love has an addictive personality or drug addiction, call Anchored Tides Recovery. We provide rehabilitative services and life coaching to women of all ages and backgrounds who have developed an addiction. 

Alcoholism: Gender and the Rate of Addiction in Women

addiction in women

addiction in women

 

Until the late 1990s, almost all clinical studies on drug addiction in the United States were only done on men; no consideration was given to the differences between gender or how drugs may affect each differently. Advanced research in recent years shows that addiction in women has different, and often far worse, effects than in men. These consequences are much more exaggerated for women who are pregnant and the developing child. 

Science didn’t discover most of the gender-based differences in addiction’s impacts on the body until recent decades. Advanced research shows that addiction affects women differently and often far worse than men. These consequences are much more significant for women who are pregnant and the effects on the developing child.

 

Addiction in Women

Addiction to substances such as heroin and alcohol affects women differently than men. Men and women respond differently to addiction and drug abuse. The differences between addiction in women suffering from addiction arise from biological and sociological differences. Many researchers now explain gender differences between the two due to society’s impact (such as child care responsibilities, addiction stigma, relationship dynamics, etc.).

There are also biological differences between men and women, revolving primarily around testosterone and estrogen production and average body size and composition, which cause substances to affect the body adversely.

 

Does Alcohol Affect Men and Women Differently?

According to the National Institute of Alcohol Addiction, “Women are more vulnerable than men to alcohol-related organ damage and trauma, and tend to develop alcohol addiction in much less time.”

In today’s age of stress and anxiety, people often tend to self-medicate with drugs and alcohol for their mental disorders to find an escape from reality. Research shows that women’s addiction is often related to controlling emotional pain. Feeling stressed and fed up with the grind of daily life grind, some women resort to binge drinking to forget about their worries for a period of time. 

 

girl holding a bottle of alcohol

 

Consequences of Alcohol Addiction in Women

Women report unique reasons for using drugs, including controlling weight, battling fatigue, coping with pain, and attempts to self-treat mental health problems. Scientists who study substance abuse have found that women may experience issues related to hormones, menstrual cycle, fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. 

At every stage of life, women quickly become dependent on Alcohol and drugs and suffer the consequences, including mental issues, damage to the brain and other organs, and fatal accidents. What’s most dangerous is the severe attack of alcohol addiction on pregnant women. The fetus suffers the tension created by Alcohol in the woman’s body and may permanently damage or have limited growth.  

Women are more prone to the physical and emotional damages caused by addiction. Women addicts are more likely than men to develop liver infection and get addiction-related brain changes. Women addicts are also likely to get heart disease and strokes more than men. Besides, women are more likely than men to develop addictive hepatitis and to die from cirrhosis.

 

What is the Effective Treatment Strategies for Women?

With so many differences between how men and women experience and deal with addiction, it’s a wonder that so many treatment facilities aren’t gender-specific. Yet, it only makes sense that treating a disease that is so different for men and women that the treatment options aren’t different. 

Unfortunately, people may feel ashamed of having an addiction because they have been told that it’s just something you need to get over, so they see themselves as unique and less than human when they can’t. This isn’t true. 

Just as is the case with any other mental health issue, it takes much more than lectures, willpower, and other platitudes to conquer an addiction. When it comes to addiction in women, proper health care takes a professional treatment program and support groups of other women who can empathize with your experience. 

 

girl standing in the wind with a mask on

 

Substance Abuse Treatment

If you have substance use disorders that affect your daily life, short or long term, consult one of our care coordinators.  

Anchored Tides Recovery is a comprehensive dual-diagnosis enhanced Huntington Beach rehab program explicitly designed to treat addiction in women. Contact us today, and we can help you recover from alcohol addiction if you’re ready.