Healing From Trauma and Addiction
People who experience trauma in their lives are also often at risk of developing a substance abuse problem. The trigger could be one single traumatic event or many traumatic events that happened over many years. The severe psychological effects caused by trauma can eventually push people to start abusing drugs and alcohol.
It’s best not to try and handle trauma alone, as you run the risk of becoming overwhelmed, especially if you also suffer from substance addiction. A trauma therapy program can help you heal from your trauma and make sense of your experiences in a healthy way.
A rehabilitation facility like Recovery at the Crossroads can help you put the past behind you and start the healing journey.
Therapy can help you heal from trauma.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma can be described as a reaction to an event that your brain was unable to process properly, which left an emotional wound.
Many people who need treatment for substance abuse were exposed to traumatic experiences as children. Unresolved childhood trauma is closely related to addictive behavior, which includes drug and alcohol abuse.
The most traumatic childhood experiences are personal (physical, sexual, and emotional abuse) and household dysfunction (mental illness, divorce, substance abuse).
PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
When someone feels helpless in a shocking situation, they could develop PTSD. Situations that could lead to PTSD include sexual assault, physical abuse, military confrontations, accidents, the death of a loved one, and natural disasters.
If you have been through a horrifying experience, you may have symptoms like nightmares, and flashbacks, as well as fearful thoughts. People who suffer from PTSD could have trouble sleeping and concentrating. Many begin abusing substances to manage their pain.
How Addiction Can Influence Trauma
If an addict continues to abuse substances, they will struggle to resolve their trauma. They may not be motivated to solve their problems, as the focus of their lives will be to obtain alcohol and drugs. Before healing can take place, the patient first needs to go through the detox process.
Substance abuse will reduce the trauma symptoms, so it will be difficult to determine the severity. If they stop the substance abuse, their trauma symptoms may worsen.
When people abuse substances to help them deal with trauma, they are ignoring healthy coping mechanisms that can help them manage their problems in the long term. Some people start abusing substances because they have never learned how to handle anxiety and sadness.
Healing From Trauma
It’s not a good idea to try and manage your trauma and addiction alone. If you don’t get professional help, or you don’t have a strong support network, you might feel yourself turning to alcohol or drugs to cope with hurt, anger, and bad memories.
There are different stages to healing from trauma and recovering from addiction. First, you need to be able to recognize and manage your emotions. When you have a painful flashback, you must be able to understand what you are feeling, and why you’re feeling that way.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help you rectify your distorted thinking, and enables you to recognize damaging and unhelpful thoughts. When you have the tools to cope with your emotions, you have to work through what you’ve experienced. You need to resolve your trauma to overcome your addiction. You also have to mourn what you’ve lost – for example, a happy childhood.
When you reach the final stages of your healing process, you should be free from the negative influences of trauma. It will no longer control your life and, although you will realize the impact of this event, you will understand that it doesn’t have to prevent you from living a happy and fulfilling life.
You can replace your unhealthy coping mechanisms with self-respect and self-care. You will then be able to form healthy relationships with others while dealing with the challenges of daily life. Since you have self-understanding and your self-esteem has increased, you can now look forward to a positive future.
Trauma and addiction don’t have to control your life. You may have been struggling for a long time, but you need to realize if you find the appropriate help and support, it is possible to heal and work towards a more positive life.
It can be a long road, but it’s possible to overcome your past harrowing experiences, and finally live your life as you’ve always wanted.