How to Identify and Cope With Your PTSD Triggers

internal and external triggers

Individuals who stay in addiction treatment for a longer period of time (90 days or more) are more likely to maintain their sobriety in the long run. Physical pain, whether it be chronic pain or pain from an injury or physical illness, can be a powerful relapse trigger if you’re not adequately prepared to manage it. Whether your triggers are emotional distress or a specific situation, it is essential that you know what compels you to use when trying to lead a life of sobriety. Understanding what triggers you to relapse and having a plan in place for these triggers are your first steps toward prevention.

Nurture a Sober Support Network

A post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) trigger can include any sound, sight, smell, thought, or another reminder of a traumatic event. Such triggers are sometimes apparent, but they can also be subtle and more challenging to identify. However, it is essential to seek specialized care from our addiction treatment center promptly to avert the relapse from becoming a full-blown return to active addiction. By developing a toolkit of healthy coping mechanisms, individuals can better navigate the challenges of recovery and build a more fulfilling life in sobriety.

Psychologist-Recommended Strategies

They can also build up their coping skills to help them better handle difficult situations. Finally, they can reduce their risk of relapse by understanding their triggers and cravings and having a plan in place. Journaling and self-reflection internal and external triggers are essential tools for identifying and managing addiction triggers. Keeping a regular record of your experiences with triggers can help you learn from past instances and build more robust strategies for future recovery efforts.

Seeking Help In Recovery

  • Developing healthy coping mechanisms is the key to effectively managing stress and anxiety.
  • If you don’t already have a trusted therapist, you may want to meet with several before finding one you feel comfortable with who meets your needs.
  • The negative side effects of relapsing after enrolling in drug and alcohol recovery programs is another concern.

An easy way to deal with the gas station or corner store trigger is to avoid that location, if possible. If there are many alternative routes to get around that do not take you past a location that triggers you, you should avoid those locations. It not only reminds you to appreciate the good in others but also helps inspire future positive experiences. When stress levels rise, the brain’s prefrontal cortex, responsible for cognitive control and stress regulation, is inhibited, making it harder to manage impulses and make informed decisions. Drug addiction led to nearly 92,000 fatal overdoses in the U.S. in 2020. We believe it is fair to say that most of them desperately wanted to get sober.

internal and external triggers

In addition to the mindfulness practices outlined above, apply what you learned in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which teaches people how to identify and process triggering situations or events. Friends who express harsh or judgmental attitudes toward past substance use can bring up feelings of shame and loss of self-esteem. It may seem obvious to point out that drug and alcohol cravings can trigger a relapse, but it is worth discussing so that you can develop a plan for dealing with these triggers. A trigger is something that calls up a memory of drug and alcohol use or that causes a craving or desire for substance abuse. Identifying your triggers is one of the most effective steps you can take in managing them.

internal and external triggers

When a dual diagnosis is apparent, mental health and addiction specialists must address both the addiction and mental illness in order to ensure a long, healthy and happy recovery. Here are the top 10 common relapse triggers you might encounter during your recovery journey. Understanding these triggers can help you stay motivated and on track with your recovery goals, ultimately leading to a healthier, happier life. For those struggling with substance abuse and addiction, it isn’t uncommon for the affected person to return to alcohol or drug use. About 40-60% of those struggling with addiction relapse following treatment. During treatment, relapse prevention programs may be incorporated as part of the overall treatment plan.

What to Do After Identifying your Triggers in Addiction?

As a recovering addict or alcoholic, identifying what some of your triggers are and preparing to deal with them can help maintain long-term sobriety. Engaging in activities that bring you joy is an excellent way to cope with triggers when they arise. Sometimes, it’s necessary to distance yourself from friends who still engage in substance use to avoid being tempted or triggered by their behaviors. Additionally, setting boundaries with individuals who may enable or have codependent relationships can protect your sobriety and promote a positive support system. By focusing on improving your overall health, not just your addiction, you can further enhance your chances of a successful and lasting recovery. The best way to avoid environmental addiction triggers is to become aware of your surroundings and the people around you.

  • Internal triggers are emotions, feelings, thoughts, and memories that make the person want to use alcohol or drugs.
  • It is more difficult to deal with internal triggers than with external ones.
  • Mindfulness is a practice that encourages focus on the present moment and can help to reduce stress, improve concentration and increase emotional regulation.
  • Other triggers are more overt, like seeing a specific landmark or recalling a traumatic event.
  • External triggers often happen in situations you can remove yourself from, but that doesn’t make them any less difficult to deal with, nor is it always the case.

internal and external triggers