Women and trauma and alcohol dependency: Connections and the disconnections in alcohol treatment for women

Women, trauma and alcohol dependency: Connections and disconnections in alcohol treatment for women

Deanna L Mulvihill

TLI Foundation, USA


Statement of the Problem: Women who have experienced intimate partner violence (IPV) are at greater risk for physical and mental health problems including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and alcohol dependency. On their own IPV, PTSD and alcohol dependency result   in significant personal, social and economic cost and the impact of all three may compound these costs. Researchers have reported that women with these experiences are more difficult to treat; many do not access treatment and those who do, frequently do not stay because of difficulty

Study is to describe. The experience of seeking help for alcohol dependency by women with maintaining helping relationships. However, these women’s perspective has notbeen previously studied. The purpose of this study is to describe the experience of seeking help for alcohol dependency by women with PTSD.

A disorder characterised by failure to recover after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event.The condition may last months or years, with triggers which will bring back memories of the trauma amid intense emotional and physical reactions. Symptoms may include nightmares or flashbacks, avoidance of situations that bring back the trauma, heightened reactivity to stimuli, anxiety or depressed mood. Treatment includes differing types of psychotherapy also as medications to manage symptoms. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be a psychological state condition that is triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, also as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be a psychiatric disorder, which will occur in people that have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event like a natural disaster, a significant accident, a terrorism, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault. However, PTSD does not just happen to combat veterans. Symptoms usually start within 3 months of a trauma. However, they could not show up until years afterward. They last for a minimum of a month. Without treatment, you will have PTSD for years or maybe the remainder of your life. In conclusion, posttraumatic stress disorder after the extreme stress may be a risk of development enduring personality changes with serious individual and social consequences.PTSD does not always last forever, even without treatment. Sometimes the consequences of PTSD will get away after a couple of months. Sometimes they will last for years – or longer. Most of the people who have PTSD will slowly recover, but many of us will have problems that do not get away .Triggers can include sights, sounds, smells, or thoughts that remind you of the traumatic event in how. Some PTSD triggers are obvious, like seeing a report of an assault. Others are less clear. For instance, if you were attacked on a sunny day, seeing a azure sky might cause you to upset. For those that do accept PTSD, symptoms can interfere with their daily lives. If left untreated, PTSD also can increase chances of developing depression, anxiety, drug abuse, eating disorders, and suicidal thoughts or actions


PTSD and a history of IPV in the context in which it occurs. Methodology & Theoretical Orientation: An inter subjective ethnographic study using hermeneutic dialogue was utilized during participant observation, in- depth interviews and focus groups. An ecological framework was utilizedtofocusontheinteractionbetweenthecounselorsandthestaffto understand this relationships and the context in which it occurs. Findings: The women in this study were very active help seekers. They encountered many gaps in continuity of care including discharge because of relapse. Although the treatment center was a warm, healing and spiritual place, the women left the center without treatment for their trauma needs   and many without any referral to address these outstanding issues. Conclusion & Significance: Women with alcohol dependence and PTSD with a history of IPV want help however; the health and social services do not always recognize their calls for help or their symptoms of distress. Recommendations are made for treatment centers to become trauma- informed that would help this recognition





Author(s): Deanna L Mulvihill TLI Foundation, USA

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