Can You Die From Alcohol Withdrawal?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nMaking the decision to get help to overcome addiction to alcohol is a positive step. But it is not an easy one to make. And you\u2019re probably wondering what\u2019s in store for you. Before any treatment program can begin, you may first have to undergo detoxification to clear alcohol from your body. Perhaps you think you can detox on your own to save time and money. But this can be dangerous. Just how dangerous is alcohol withdrawal? Can you die from alcohol withdrawal?\r\n\r\nThe short answer is yes, you can die from alcohol withdrawal. The effects of alcohol withdrawal symptoms range from mild to life-threatening. Symptoms begin within two hours of cessation of alcohol use. They can also persist for weeks.\r\nAlcohol Detox Can Be Fatal\r\nThe worst outcome of alcohol detox done improperly is that you can die from alcohol withdrawal. In order to be safe, professionals need to medically monitor your alcohol detox. They will be there to assist in the event of an emergency and to ensure comfort and ease symptoms during withdrawal.\r\n\r\nWhy is alcohol withdrawal so dangerous? How can you die from alcohol withdrawal? An alcoholic relies on alcohol both physically and mentally in order to function. This is a compulsion that becomes an alcoholic\u2019s basic need for survival.\r\n\r\nAlcohol is physically addicting. This means that when your body doesn\u2019t have what years of alcohol abuse have given it, you get sick. And this can kill you. For example, alcohol withdrawal can lead to heart arrhythmias (heart rhythm problems) and kidney or liver dysfunction. Sometimes, this can prove to be fatal.\r\nAlcohol Withdrawal Symptoms\r\nIf you try to detox on your own, without\u00a0medical supervision\u00a0and assistance, it can be very unsafe. Alcohol withdrawal symptoms include both physical and psychological symptoms. The following symptoms are common for those suffering from alcohol withdrawal syndrome:\r\nPhysical Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms\r\n\r\n \tDehydration\r\n \tNausea\r\n \tSweating\r\n \tExcessive vomiting\r\n \tHigh blood pressure\r\n \tTactile, auditory, and visual hallucinations\r\n \tHand tremors (also called \u201cthe shakes\u201d)\r\n \tRepeated seizures, called delirium tremens, or DTs, which can kill you in alcohol withdrawal\r\n\r\nRisk factors for delirium tremens increase with multiple alcohol detox attempts. These risk factors include a history of seizures, older age, liver abnormalities, and functioning, and acute medical illness.\r\n\r\nSymptoms of delirium tremens usually peak at five days and include:\r\n\r\n \tSevere tremors\r\n \tRacing heartbeat\r\n \tHigh blood pressure\r\n \tFever of a low grade\r\n \tExcessive sweating\r\n \tHallucinations\r\n \tSevere anxiety\r\n \tConfusion\r\n \tDisorientation\r\n \tSeizures\r\n\r\nPsychological Alcohol Withdrawal Symptoms\r\n\r\n \tAnxiety\r\n \tIrritability\r\n \tAgitation\r\n \tRestlessness\r\n \tIntense cravings\r\n \tDepression\r\n \tInsomnia\r\n \tDisorientation\r\n\r\nPost-Acute Alcohol Withdrawal Syndrome\r\nIf you have an alcohol addiction, you may experience chronic alcohol\u00a0withdrawal symptoms\u00a0after the initial symptoms have subsided. This is known as post-acute alcohol withdrawal syndrome (PAWS). These withdrawal symptoms can last a few weeks to a year. Symptoms include:\r\n\r\n \tIrritability\r\n \tEmotional outbursts\r\n \tAnxiety\r\n \tLack of energy\r\n \tTrouble sleeping\r\n \tDizziness\r\n \tMemory problems\r\n \tDelayed reflexes\r\n \tBeing more accident-prone\r\n\r\nRecovering From Alcohol Withdrawal the Safe Way\r\nThe important thing to keep in mind is that you want to get clean and sober. This requires eliminating alcohol from your body during detox and overcoming alcohol withdrawal symptoms. But getting sober doesn\u2019t have to be done alone. There are inpatient and outpatient alcohol treatment facilities that can direct you to effective medically monitored detox programs.\r\n\r\nGetting rid of the alcohol in your system is the first step in your overall goal to live clean and sober. You also need to learn coping skills, understand the disease of addiction and start incorporating healthier habits into your life. Participating in 12-step support groups or other self-help groups will also help you maintain your commitment to living in sobriety. The encouragement and support you receive in alcohol rehab and support groups are invaluable in your journey to living free of substance abuse.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTrauma Signs and Symptoms\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nTrauma has profound effects on a person\u2019s well-being. If it isn\u2019t treated, the effects of trauma can last a lifetime and affect every area of a person\u2019s life.\r\n\r\nThe Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines trauma as a response to events you perceive as \u201cphysically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening.\u201d Moreover, trauma causes \u201clasting adverse effects\u201d that make it difficult to function, or impact your \u201cmental, physical, social, emotional, or spiritual well-being.\u201d\r\n\r\nSixty-one percent of men and 51% of women report experiencing a traumatic event at some point in their lives. Sometimes trauma produces signs and symptoms that only last a few days or weeks. Other times it may last longer and turn into something called post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Events that may result in emotional and psychological trauma include:\r\n\r\n \tWar\r\n \tSexual assault\r\n \tNatural disasters\r\n \tSerious car accidents\r\n \tDomestic violence\r\n \tHealth crises\r\n\r\nWhether trauma is severe or mild or results in PTSD or not, it\u2019s important to have support after experiencing it. Treatment for trauma will help you process what happened to you in a safe environment. It will then teach you healthy ways of coping with your trauma symptoms.\r\nSymptoms of Trauma\r\nSymptoms and signs of trauma are broken into four categories: intrusion symptoms, avoidance symptoms, negative changes in mood, and changes in arousal and reactivity. Here are examples of trauma symptoms in each of the categories.\r\nIntrusion Symptoms\r\nIntrusion symptoms refer to how you might remember or re-experience the traumatic event. These symptoms cause the traumatic memory to \u201cintrude\u201d upon you during regular life. That\u2019s why they are called intrusion symptoms. Some possible ways include:\r\n\r\nRecurrent, involuntary and intrusive memories that are particularly distressing\r\nNightmares or upsetting dreams that relate to the traumatic event\r\nDissociative reactions, such as flashbacks. This involves disconnecting from what\u2019s around you and feeling like the event is happening all over again.\r\nIntense or prolonged distress when exposed to reminders of the trauma, such as a specific date\r\nDistinct physical reactions (rapid heart rate, sweaty palms, etc.) when exposed to reminders of the trauma\r\nAvoidance Symptoms\r\nAvoidance symptoms include any effort you make to avoid re-experiencing or remembering the traumatic event such as:\r\n\r\n \tAvoiding activities, places or physical reminders\r\n \tAvoiding people, conversations or other interpersonal situations\r\n\r\nNegative Changes in Mood\r\nA negative shift in thoughts and mood that began\u2014or worsened\u2014after the traumatic event include the following:\r\n\r\n \tLow emotional states, such as fear, guilt, shame or sadness\r\n \tDecreased interest in activities that once brought joy\r\n \tWithdrawal from social interactions\r\n \tEmotional numbing\r\n \tPersistent inability to express positive emotion, such as happiness, love or joy\r\n\r\nAlterations in Arousal and Reactivity\r\nThe traumatic event can cause changes in your emotional reactions. Many trauma symptoms may also resemble symptoms of anxiety and depression. These may look like:\r\n\r\n \tIrritability and\/or angry outbursts\r\n \tMood swings\r\n \tHypervigilance, or feeling as if danger is always lurking\r\n \tAn exaggerated startle response\r\n \tDifficulty concentrating\r\n \tDisturbances in sleep\r\n \tPanic attacks\r\n\r\nComplex Trauma\r\nThere is also a type of trauma called complex trauma. Complex trauma results when people experience severe traumatic events over a prolonged period of time. It often results from childhood traumas. Examples include childhood sexual abuse or severe neglect. In the case of complex trauma, symptoms may include:\r\n\r\n \tDissociationAmnesia, or difficulty remembering the time around the traumatic events\r\n \tExtreme difficulty controlling emotions like anger or anxiety\r\n \tDecreased ability to empathize with others. In children, this may cause conduct disorder. If the trauma isn\u2019t treated, it may progress to antisocial personality disorder in adulthood.\r\n\r\nShort-Term Trauma Symptoms vs. PTSD Symptoms\r\nIt\u2019s possible for someone to experience something traumatizing and not develop PTSD. They might still have intense symptoms that resemble PTSD. However, in normal reactions to stress, these symptoms will stop after a few weeks. This could be diagnosed as an acute stress reaction (or acute stress disorder). Full-blown PTSD will last longer than a month and seriously affect your daily life.\r\n\r\nSymptoms of acute stress reaction and PTSD overlap. The only difference lies in how long they last. However, short-term trauma is more associated with dissociative symptoms. These include:\r\n\r\n \tDifficulty feeling pleasure\r\n \tExtreme emotional disconnection\r\n \tTemporary amnesia\r\n \tDepersonalization (feeling you are watching yourself from outside your body)\r\n \tDerealization (feeling the world around you is unreal)\r\n\r\nAside from this key difference, any of the symptoms listed above in the four categories may present in either short-term trauma or PTSD.\r\nDual Diagnosis of Addiction & PTSD\r\nDealing with untreated trauma is hard. Your loved ones may be fed up with your mood swings, and you may find life spiraling out of control. Unfortunately, one common coping strategy is drinking or substance abuse. If you find yourself falling into this dangerous pattern (or if you see a loved one increase their drinking habits or suspect them of using drugs, including prescription drugs, after a traumatic event), get immediate help.\r\n\r\nIf you have developed an addiction in addition to PTSD, you have what is called a dual diagnosis. This means you have two conditions that need simultaneous treatment. Addictions and PTSD can spiral and feed off each other in dangerous ways, but there are healthier and safer coping strategies that a trained professional can teach you. You can recover from both addiction and PTSD at the right treatment facility.\r\nWhat Is the First Step to Treating Trauma?\r\nThere are many types of treatment available for trauma. They include forms of therapy, medications, and activities like yoga and meditation. To decide which is best for you, you may first want to meet with a behavioral health therapist or doctor. They\u2019ll assess your symptoms and determine whether you suffer from the post-traumatic stress disorder.\r\n\r\nMaking a PTSD diagnosis involves looking at how many trauma symptoms from each category you experience. Health professionals will look at how long they have lasted. They\u2019ll also assess the degree to which they affect functioning in your day-to-day life.\r\n\r\nA PTSD diagnosis will help in determining the level of care you need for treatment. Even if you don\u2019t meet criteria, you should still seek help in processing your trauma and alleviating your trauma symptoms.\r\nWhat Does Treatment for Trauma Look Like?\r\nYou don\u2019t have to live in this state of stress forever. Trauma recovery is possible. The most well-researched and common treatments for trauma are described below. Again, your doctor or therapist will help you determine which evidence-based treatment may be best for you.\r\nCognitive Behavioral Therapy\r\nMost forms of talk therapy for trauma are types of cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT. In CBT you\u2019ll learn how your thoughts influence your feelings, which in turn influence your actions. Through therapy you\u2019ll learn to take control of thoughts and reactions you have to your trauma. This results in healthier actions and behaviors. You\u2019ll also learn to re-conceptualize the trauma, reducing feelings of guilt and shame.\r\nEye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)\r\nEMDR is a treatment that helps you face traumatic memories and target the feelings and cognitions associated with them. Unlike some other forms of therapy, you don\u2019t necessarily have to talk about your trauma. Your therapist will ask you to concentrate on the trauma you experienced. Meanwhile, they do something repetitive like flashing a light or moving their hand. This process allows you to remember traumas without the intense feelings of distress. When the feelings of distress are gone, you\u2019re better able to use positive coping skills.\r\nMedications\r\nMedications can be helpful in managing the effects of trauma. They usually aren\u2019t enough on their own and should be used in conjunction with therapy. Antidepressants like fluoxetine or sertraline help decrease feelings of anxiety and stress. Prazosin is a medication that can help with insomnia and nightmares.\r\nTrauma Treatment at Lucida\r\nLucida treatment center offers the above treatments in a welcoming and trauma-informed setting. We also offer alternative treatments like yoga, fitness, and psychodrama. Our clinicians and medical staff are trained in the effects and symptoms of trauma. Our admissions process begins with a biopsychosocial assessment. This determines what you will work on while attending our inpatient mental health treatment program.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBipolar Symptoms in Women\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nBipolar disorder is a mood disorder affecting both women and men. It is characterized by alternating periods of\u00a0depression\u00a0and mania. However, bipolar disorder in women often looks different than in men\u2014both in terms of symptoms and when it often shows up. For example, women are particularly vulnerable to bipolar episodes certain times of the month and after giving birth.\r\n\r\nLikewise, there are different forms of bipolar disorder, and some forms show up in women more than men. Bipolar I disorder is roughly equally present in men as women. However, multiple studies show that women are more likely to develop bipolar II disorder.\r\n\r\nDifferences in bipolar symptoms in women and men call for modified approaches. It\u2019s also important to be aware of these differences so that you can notice the signs of bipolar disorder in yourself or in a loved one. If you have only ever seen the disorder in a man, you might not recognize it in a woman.\r\n\r\nBut first, let\u2019s take a look at the different types of bipolar disorder.\r\nTypes of Bipolar Disorder\r\nBipolar I disorder: In bipolar I disorder, you experience one or more manic episodes or mixed episodes (symptoms of both mania and depression). One episode lasts at least seven days. Typically, you will also experience periods of depression with symptoms lasting at least two weeks. It is common for episodes to be so severe that a mental health professional will recommend inpatient bipolar treatment. That may mean you stay in a hospital for a time, allowing you to receive round-the-clock care.\r\n\r\nBipolar II disorder: This is characterized by a pattern of one or more major depressive episodes and at least one hypomanic episode. A hypomanic episode is less severe than full-blown mania. Mental health professionals sometimes misdiagnose this condition as major depression. This is especially a risk if they do not witness a hypomanic episode and you do not report hypomanic symptoms.\r\n\r\nCyclothymic disorder: This is a milder type of bipolar disorder, defined by chronic periods of hypomanic or depressive symptoms. If you\u2019re an adult, then the episodes generally last least two years. For children and adolescents, however, they will last for one year. The severity of the cyclothymic disorder may change over time.\r\nBipolar Signs & Symptoms in Women\r\nAs a woman, you may experience bipolar disorder differently from men in a number of ways. In general, women experience:\r\n\r\n \tLater onset than men. This means that you are more likely to develop bipolar disorder at a later age than men.\r\n \tHigher incidence of depressive episodes.\r\n \tHigher likelihood of experiencing simultaneous symptoms of mania and depression (mixed episodes or mixed mania).\r\n \tGreater comorbidity of physical conditions. This means you are more likely to experience a health condition alongside your bipolar disorder. For instance, as a woman with bipolar disorder, you are more likely to also suffer from thyroid disease.\r\n \tGreater comorbidity of other mental illnesses, including eating disorders and anxiety.\r\n \tMore likely to experience rapid cycling. This is characterized by four or more episodes of depression or mania in a year. In fact, you could experience such fast mood swings between mania and depression that you sometimes experience both states in a single day. Rapid cycling bipolar disorder also appears to be more resistant to treatment.\r\n \tMore likely to seek help for treatment of bipolar disorder.\r\n \tMore likely to receive an incorrect diagnosis of depression.\r\n\r\nBipolar Signs & Symptoms in Men\r\nIn contrast, men with bipolar disorder are more likely to experience:\r\n\r\n \tEarlier onset than women\r\n \tMore severe symptoms than women\r\n \tHigher incidence of manic episodes and mixed episodes\r\n \tMore prone to aggressive behavior during manic episodes\r\n \tMore common comorbid\u00a0alcohol and drug abuse\r\n \tLess likely to seek support\r\n\r\nSuicide Risk in Women with Bipolar Disorder\r\nIn a study published in PLOS One, researchers found differences in suicide risk in men and women with bipolar disorder. For instance, a strong predictor of suicide risk in men was substance abuse. The predictors of suicide risk in women, in contrast, were different. They included:\r\n\r\n \tHaving many mixed episodes\r\n \tBipolar symptoms starting earlier in life\r\n \tHaving a co-occurring personality disorder, such as\u00a0borderline personality disorder\u00a0(BPD)\r\n \tProblems in one\u2019s social life\r\n\r\nWomen with bipolar disorder attempt suicide more often than their male counterparts. They also attempt to take their own lives two to three times more often than men in the general population.\r\nPost-Partum Bipolar Disorder\r\nChildbirth can trigger bipolar symptoms in women. When this occurs, it is known as postpartum bipolar disorder. For example, a study published in the journal JAMA found that childbirth increased the risk of a severe bipolar episode. Researchers from the same study noted that fathers did not experience the same risk.\r\n\r\nExperts aren\u2019t exactly sure why pregnancy increases the risk of postpartum episodes in women. Possible causes may include hormonal changes, problems with sleep and other life changes that happen as a result of pregnancy. At an intuitive level, there\u2019s no question that there\u2019s hardly a more demanding life change in a woman\u2019s life than becoming a mother.\r\n\r\nAs a new mother, you might wonder what\u2019s going on with your thoughts. What\u2019s normal to new motherhood? And what is a sign of a postpartum mental health disorder? Moreover, most of the advocacy and awareness efforts have focused on postpartum depression or, to a lesser degree, postpartum anxiety. Postpartum bipolar disorder might not be on your radar.\r\nSymptoms of Postpartum\r\nPostpartum depression and bipolar disorder can look very similar. During a depressive episode of bipolar disorder, you may wonder if you\u2019re experiencing postpartum depression. But postpartum bipolar disorder is different from other postpartum disorders, such as postpartum depression or anxiety. With postpartum bipolar disorder, a new mother will experience extreme up-swings. This mania or hypomania, as discussed earlier, includes symptoms not present in depression, such as:\r\n\r\n \tEuphoria\r\n \tGrandiose self-image\r\n \tHigh irritability\r\n \tAgitation\r\n \tDecreased need to sleep\r\n \tRacing thoughts\r\n \tImpulsive and destructive behavior\r\n\r\nPostpartum bipolar disorder is also distinct from postpartum anxiety. The latter is an anxiety disorder, which means fear, panic and anxiety are the center of the problem. If you have postpartum bipolar disorder, you may not experience the following symptoms of postpartum anxiety:\r\n\r\n \tConstant worrying that your baby is in danger\r\n \tImagining your baby coming to harm\r\n \tConcerns about your baby\u2019s safety affecting your daily life\r\n \tExperiencing panic attacks\r\n \tPalpitations\r\n \tDifficulty breathing\r\n \tShakiness\r\n \tFeeling faint\r\n \tMuscle tension\r\n \tExcess sweating\r\n \tNeeding to go to the toilet more often\r\n \tAvoidance of situations that make you anxious\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s important to remember that symptoms of postpartum bipolar disorder do not always start straight after birth. Sometimes the symptoms of postpartum bipolar disorder develop in the weeks and months after delivery. This can make a diagnosis for you difficult. You may not immediately make the connection between these later symptoms and your birth.\r\nTreatment for Postpartum\r\nMany women with postpartum mood disorders do not seek treatment. It\u2019s hard to prioritize yourself after having a baby, and it can feel selfish. You may not want others to know that you\u2019re struggling as a new mother, or you may feel guilty for some of the darker feelings you have during depressive episodes. However, having a postpartum mood disorder doesn\u2019t make you a bad mom\u2014even if your mind has started thinking about ways of hurting your child.\r\n\r\nIf you feel that your moods are alternating between extreme highs and lows after childbirth, get help. If you\u2019re considering hurting yourself or your child, you can\u2019t wait. There\u2019s no shame. Your body, your hormones, and your life have all changed drastically. Choosing to get help is what makes you a good mom.\r\n\r\nA diagnosis of bipolar disorder (or any other postpartum mental health disorder) may be the first step to taking the best care of both you and your baby.\r\nThe Role of the Menstrual Cycle in Bipolar Symptoms\r\nLiving with bipolar disorder should be enough, but women with bipolar disorder often face the additional challenge of increased struggles with their moods as part of their premenstrual symptoms (PMS). Researchers believe estrogen plays a role in bipolar disorder in women. This is because the menstrual cycle, which results in a drop in estrogen, often leads to a worsening of bipolar symptoms in the premenstrual period. However, the link between menstruation and bipolar disorder is much weaker than it is for childbirth.\r\n\r\nSome scientists speculate that the hormonal changes that take place during menstruation may lessen the effects of lithium. Lithium is a common medication that patients take to reduce the symptoms of bipolar disorder.\r\n\r\nThe drop in estrogen during menopause also means that middle-aged women are more likely to experience depressive episodes as part of bipolar disorder.\r\nTreatment for Women with Bipolar Disorder\r\nDifferences in bipolar symptoms between women and men mean that one size doesn\u2019t fit all. Treatment plans will need to match the unique experiences and symptoms of women. For example, close attention needs to be paid to pregnant women. This is due to the fact that some medication for bipolar disorder present risks to the unborn child. Also, if you\u2019re a woman who has recently given birth, especially if you have a history of bipolar disorder, your doctor should monitor your moods carefully.\r\n\r\nMost importantly, understand that a mental disorder is a health disorder. Getting help is for mental health is no more shameful than getting help for a physical health disorder. If you are swinging between manic or depressed episodes, get help now. Today, therapy and medication are very successful in treating bipolar disorder.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nHow PTSD Affects Your Relationship (and What You Can Do)\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSome people who survive trauma develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research into PTSD and relationships shows that mental health problems, such as trauma, can create problems in intimate relationships and family life. The person with PTSD, or complex PTSD, may have overwhelming symptoms, and friends and family may be frightened and worried. They also may feel shut out of their loved one\u2019s life.\r\n\r\nIf you are in a relationship with someone suffering from PTSD, you are likely suffering too. Relationships can be greatly affected by an anxiety disorder like post-traumatic stress disorder. There may be issues with communication, trust, and intimacy. The things needed to keep a marriage healthy may be hard to achieve if PTSD goes untreated. This is why it is important to treat PTSD and relationships\u00a0before negative consequences pile up.\r\nHow PTSD Strains Relationships\r\nSome of the anxiety symptoms that can make PTSD and relationships a challenge include:\r\n\r\n \tFlashbacks\r\n \tConstantly on edge\r\n \tSocial isolation\r\n \tTrouble in the bedroom\r\n \tIrritability and anxiety\r\n \tAddiction\r\n\r\nThese challenges are explained below with tips on how to cope with these struggles.\r\n\r\nFlashbacks.\u00a0The person with PTSD may be plagued by flashbacks that can be triggered by day and appear in nightmares. Flashbacks can be set off any time by certain images, smells, sounds or feelings. When having a flashback, the emotions related to the trauma flood back. Family and friends of people with PTSD may be alarmed if they witness the results of these flashbacks.\r\n\r\nHow to cope with flashbacks: It can be frightening if your partner awakes in the middle of the night in a state of terror or has a flashback in a public place. The best thing you can do is try to learn the things that trigger these episodes and help your loved one avoid those people, places, and events. It is important not to try and touch them to calm them when they first awake from a night terror. You don\u2019t know what they were experiencing in their dream, and they may try to defend themselves from you. Be patient, and reassure them they are safe. Wait until they appear awake and aware of their present situation before rushing to comfort them physically.\r\n\r\nConstantly on edge. A loved one with PTSD may constantly relive the psychological trauma as if it were happening now. Even in a safe environment, they can feel like they are right back in the traumatic experience. Their nervous system is in a perpetual state of fight, flight or freeze and it is hard for them to relax. Ordinary occurrences such as a car door slamming can cause high anxiety reactions. They startle easily and can be distrustful. All of this can be difficult for people with PTSD and their partners.\r\n\r\nHow to cope with being on edge: It is difficult to live as if you are walking on eggshells, worried about triggering your partner. But empathy will go a long way in understanding some of their reactions to the environment around them. Try to talk to your loved one when you see this behavior coming on and reassure them they are safe.\r\n\r\nSocial isolation.\u00a0To avoid triggers and flashbacks, people with PTSD often avoid social events. They may prefer to stay home rather than socialize. This limited ability to be out in the world can make it difficult to sustain relationships. It may bring added pressure from people who don\u2019t understand that the person suffering from PTSD cannot cope with social activities.\r\n\r\nHow to cope with social isolation:\u00a0It is important that you do not cut yourself off from family and the rest of the world just because your partner is not ready to socialize. Your social and family ties are an important part of your survival and they will help sustain you. At the same time, do your best to schedule alone time with your partner where you enjoy activities together that do not cause stress.\r\n\r\nTrouble in the bedroom. Difficulty sleeping, restlessness and nightmares are often part of post-traumatic stress disorder. The person who is suffering from PTSD symptoms may have a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep, often because they fear the memories that come to them at night. This can cause a great deal of stress in the bedroom when one person is awake, restless or waking with night terrors and the other partner is trying to sleep. In addition, people with PTSD may lose interest in sexual activities or struggle with intimacy. A partner may feel rejected and lonely as a result.\r\n\r\nHow to cope with sleep issues:\u00a0The first tool of survival for a spouse is not to take this personally, as difficult as that may be. The disturbances in your intimate life are part of a larger syndrome. Addressing the larger problem together, in therapy and with support, will help you both deal with, and hopefully heal, the symptoms.\r\n\r\nIrritability and anxiety. The person with PTSD is often tense and uncomfortable in their skin. Relationships are meant to be a balance of give and take. But when it comes to PTSD and relationships, they can become one-sided, with both people living in survival mode rather than sharing life together.\r\n\r\nHow to cope with irritability and anxiety: When you have a partner who is riddled with anxiety, it can begin to erode your self-esteem. You may think it\u2019s your fault they are unhappy. Make sure you strengthen your own emotional and spiritual core. This is will help you develop the strength to deal with your loved one\u2019s thoughts and behaviors in a healthier way. At the same time, your loved one needs professional help and you should encourage them toward it.\r\n\r\nAddiction.\u00a0Research shows that people with PTSD often\u00a0turn to alcohol and drugs to try to quell their anxiety symptoms. Alcohol and drug addiction add new problems to an already compromised relationship. A dual diagnosis like PTSD and substance abuse makes recovery doubly difficult.\r\n\r\nHow to cope with addiction: When your loved one has an addiction, it\u2019s important that you push them toward recovery. While no one can help someone who does not choose to help themselves, a person dealing with addiction may be influenced to get the right help.\r\n\r\nA key to dealing with your partner\u2019s PTSD, as well as maintaining your own peace of mind, is to find the best way to communicate with them. This should always be handled at a peaceful moment, not when they are in a flashback or a moment of crisis. Remember, you share a love that brought you into a relationship. Speak to your partner from the heart, and express your sincere concerns. Also, research the best places to get help for your loved one so that you can make some practical suggestions.\r\n\r\nPTSD can be disruptive to relationships, both old and new. Some people have been together for a long time, and they know their partners well and can see how deeply they are impacted by PTSD. Those who have been in a relationship for a shorter time may not recognize all the ways they are affected. In those cases, you may need help, perhaps from their mom or best friend, to help your partner recognize the problems.\r\nHealing PTSD and Relationships\r\nAccording to the VA, women are more likely to experience\u00a0PTSD due to sexual assault or sexual abuse. Men have more exposure through accidents, physical assault, and combat. They also may be impacted by a disaster or being witness to someone else\u2019s death or injury.\r\n\r\nPsychological trauma is a mental health issue that can also begin early in life. It can have a deep impact, especially when a child is assaulted, sexually abused,\u00a0neglected or witnessed violence in the home. A childhood trauma survivor may be retriggered when confronted by traumatic experiences as an adult. Stress disorders from childhood and adulthood must be treated in order to have a healthy relationship.\r\n\r\nWhen it comes to PTSD and relationships, the person suffering from PTSD may be afraid to reach out for help. They may feel ashamed of what they are experiencing and may not even know what is causing their symptoms. This is why it is so important to get the right diagnosis and treatment.\r\n\r\nThe PTSD sufferer needs compassionate support. They need to explore and come to terms with the trauma they\u2019ve experienced. And they need\u00a0PTSD treatment and therapeutic approaches that will help them cope with trauma and develop communication skills. This will help them heal both PTSD and relationships.