Trauma Recovery: Why This Is An Essential Step To Overcome Addiction
In numerous cases, it has been discovered that alcohol and substance abuse addiction often comes from deep and unresolved trauma. As such, trauma recovery is a key step to ensure a successful rehabilitation since it means being able to target the issue at its root cause. Some may feel like uncovering such dark pasts may be risky during recovery especially since the patients are at their most vulnerable and volatile. However, it is still very much possible provided that the patient is in the care of experts dealing with such matters.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma is characterized as a person’s psychological response to a specific event. This is the way a person responds to a negative experience. Traumatic events are very formative since they influence a person’s thoughts, feelings, and coping mechanisms. It also affects a person’s emotional, physical, social, spiritual, and mental well-being.
Genetic research on alcoholism also revealed that people with long lines of alcoholics in their families eventually translate into inheritable DNA. This means that the genetic trait can be passed to their offspring and makes them react differently to alcohol. The alcoholic gene may make you have a higher tolerance for alcohol or experience more cravings than any normal person would.
Types of Trauma
There are numerous types of trauma. The most common types include the following:
· Physical assault
· Domestic violence
· Sexual assault
· Terminal illness
· Accidents such as fire or car crash
· Parental neglect
· Bullying or persistent harassment
· Natural disasters
· Verbal abuse
· Emotional abuse
Trauma is not limited to the occurrences listed above. Traumatic events often lead to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Signs of Trauma
People who underwent traumatic experiences will be negatively impacted mentally, socially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Here are some signs of trauma:
· Intense mood swings
· Unpredictable behavior
· Inappropriate or excessive display of emotions
· Chronic anxiety, fear, or nervousness
· Prolonged agitation
· Timidity due to lack of confidence
· Eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, binge-eating
· Constant avoidance of matters that may trigger memories from the traumatic experience
· Constantly reliving the traumatic experience
· Negative effects on relationships with friends, loved ones, and acquaintances
· Failure to uphold professionalism in the work environment
· Romantic issues
How Does Trauma Lead To Addictions?
Human brains have a trait called plasticity which is when it automatically responds and adapts to any experience to ensure survival. As such, the brain is malleable by events and it will undoubtedly be affected by traumatic experiences.
A person’s trauma response can be described as the brain’s attempt to keep the person safe and at a good distance from anything that may resemble the said traumatic experience. Trauma causes the person to change in which the neurons grow or even break just so the person is kept safe. It rewires a person into something more sheltered which explains their tendency to isolate themselves or avoid circumstances that will put them back in the place of trauma.
Traumatic experiences may also cause brain abnormalities, especially if these occurred during a person’s formative years. These abnormalities may manifest in the form of cognitive or behavioral problems. People with childhood trauma also have higher levels of cortisol and stress hormones which may further damage the brain or impede its development.
As such, this ultimately leads to the formation of PTSD and other chronic mental illnesses. Consequently, this triggers the patient to find ways to self-medicate just so they can cope for the short-term. It is reported that 65% of patients diagnosed with PTSD develop an addiction to drugs and alcohol. They become overly dependent on drugs and alcohol to mask their pain or numb their thoughts. PTSD is a risk factor that must be remedied for effective eradication of addiction.
How To Treat Trauma For Successful Addiction Recovery
A person with PTSD and addiction is known to have a dual diagnosis or co-occurring disorder. The patient may use alcohol and drugs to handle their PTSD triggers and symptoms which include insomnia, hypersensitivity, agitation, social isolation, and depression. They will turn to these addictive substances whenever they wish to feel better. This then increases their tolerance which makes them seek more of the product, and then the cycle continues. It can only be broken if the addiction and the PTSD are treated simultaneously.
Co-occurring disorders can be treated for as long as the patient is working with rehab centers that have experience with dual diagnosis cases. First, the patient will be assessed so that a comprehensive addiction treatment plan that suits their needs may be formulated. Next, the patient will have to go through detoxification. This eliminates the addictive substances from their system to stop their dependency from worsening. Detox will result in withdrawal symptoms that depend on the severity of the addiction. As such, it is helpful to have the patient checked into rehab so that they will be surrounded by trained medical workers to help alleviate their withdrawal symptoms.
After detox, the patient shall proceed with the treatment plan that is recommended for them. This may include cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and more. RnR Recovery specializes in dual diagnosis cases so that the toxic cycle may be put to an end. We prioritize freeing our patients from both types of shackles so that long-term recovery and sobriety will be achieved. Contact us today for more information.