The Relationship Between Addiction and Trauma
Past traumatic incidents are incredibly difficult to work through even for those with a strong support system. Someone who has experienced trauma is at higher risk of developing a substance abuse disorder. Addiction is not only more common in those with past trauma, but it’s also more difficult to overcome.
It’s possible to break free from both addiction and the impact trauma has had on your life. To do so, you’ll need to heal your mind and body from both conditions, which is best done with the help of a licensed therapist. No matter where you are right now, you can feel better.
Why Does Trauma Damage More Than the Body?
Perhaps you’ve been the victim of domestic violence. Perhaps you’ve suffered through physical pain and emotional destruction. When trauma happens, it damages your body but also your mind. Sometimes, the impact on the mind doesn’t seem as significant. You may feel okay most of the time. But if you find that you have to stay busy or distracted in order to feel okay, that may be a sign that you’ve repressed your feelings instead of dealing with them.
Other times, the trauma impacts every facet of your life and is very much on the surface. Some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of traumatic events. When you have PTSD, you may feel as though you are reliving the trauma over and over again, feeling the same stress and pain you felt during that initial incident.
When trauma occurs, it exposes vulnerabilities. You may feel as though you’ve lost control. You may have lost hope. You may feel anxious about being in certain areas or around certain people. You may have clinical depression as well. Trauma can also lead to confusion, nightmares, fatigue, and a change in personality. The longer the trauma goes on, the more likely it is you’ll develop these difficult physical and mental symptoms.
Using Substances to Handle Trauma
For those facing trauma, there doesn’t always seem to be a way to fix it. You can’t turn off your mind. You may not want to talk about the trauma because you don’t want to relive it. Or, you may still be living with trauma day to day. In these situations, you may turn to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with the fear, stress, and pain.
Substance abuse is very common in people who suffer from traumatic experiences. A study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine found that 59 percent of young people who developed PTSD as a result of childhood trauma later developed a substance abuse disorder. It doesn’t matter what type of trauma a person faces – emotional, physical, or sexual. There’s a high risk of turning to drugs or alcohol to help manage the situation.
Self-medicating like this may be what you’ve done to make it through the last few years. It’s hard to see how you could have gotten through it in any other way. That’s okay. Now, though, it’s time to deal with both the addiction and the trauma that brought it on.
How Can Addiction Be Treated in a Person Battling Trauma?
At our drug and alcohol treatment center in Lafayette, LA, our caring, supportive staff provide dual diagnosis care for those suffering from both trauma and addiction. Our wide range of holistic treatment options include cognitive therapy, group therapy, family counseling, meditation groups, and physical training.
Residential and outpatient treatment may be beneficial to you. You may also benefit from aftercare to support you as you move back into your life. Victory Addiction Recovery Center provides you with the tools and resources you need to recover from both trauma and addiction.
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