Trauma Therapy

Successful addiction treatment seeks to address problems at their core. In order to properly help a person overcome addiction, treatment needs to focus on what makes them want to use substances in the first place. In some cases, the answer to this is trauma.

Sadly, many people who suffer from trauma turn to substances to help alleviate some of the emotional pain they experience every day. This only leads to more problems and the need for more substances to mask the truth.

Thankfully, there is hope for those who suffer from substance abuse in addition to the effects of trauma. Many therapeutic approaches are available during treatment. Through these resources, individuals can gain the support and guidance they need in order to end alcohol and drug abuse and address trauma in their lives.

We Believe in Treating the Individual, Not Just the Addiction

What is Trauma and What are Some of Its Forms?

Trauma refers to the damage done to a person’s brain and emotional state due to a particularly stressful event. The stress is more than the person can handle, so the weight causes negative emotions, thoughts, and behavior. In many cases, this can lead to mental illness and addiction.

Some people mistakenly think that “trauma is trauma”, but that’s not necessarily the case. There are four different forms of trauma:

  • acute trauma
  • chronic trauma
  • complex trauma
  • secondary or vicarious trauma

Acute trauma is trauma derived from one singular event. For example, a person may experience acute trauma from a horrible car accident. Chronic trauma typically develops after prolonged exposure to trauma. An example of chronic trauma is long-term domestic abuse.

Complex trauma is trauma that someone experiences for an extended period of time. However, it also involves vivid, traumatic moments that in themselves would cause trauma. Secondary or vicarious trauma is when someone experiences trauma because of the trauma someone else suffers from. For example, a child watching an abusive relationship even though they were not abused themselves.

Causes of Trauma

A wide number of things can cause trauma. Examples of things that can cause trauma include:

  • Neglect
  • Bullying
  • Harassment
  • Sexual assault
  • Medical trauma
  • Being kidnapped
  • Acts of terrorism
  • Natural disasters
  • Historical trauma
  • Community violence
  • Being robbed or attacked
  • Traumatic grief/separation
  • Witnessing trauma or crime
  • Life-threatening illnesses or events
  • System-induced trauma due to situations like being removed from the home

The cause of the trauma will likely have a strong influence on how it impacts a person later in life. For example, someone who experienced a traumatic car crash may have different triggers and fears than someone who lived through abuse. In many cases, trauma-based therapy will try to identify the cause of the trauma to create the best treatment plan.

Signs and Symptoms of Trauma

If you or someone you know is suffering from trauma, it’s important to get help. However, you need to recognize the symptoms before you know if there is an issue. There are psychological, behavioral, and physical signs of trauma.

Psychological Signs

Psychological signs of trauma are manifestations in a person’s mindset and psyche. Some psychological signs of trauma are:

  • anxiety/fear
  • shame/guilt
  • irritability

Behavioral Signs

Trauma may even affect the way a person behaves and interacts with others. Some behavioral signs of trauma are:

  • withdrawal from friends and family
  • alcohol or drug use to self-medicate
  • failure to perform home and work responsibilities

Physical Signs

Trauma can even take its toll on the body and a person’s appearance. Some physical signs of trauma are:

  • fatigue
  • heart palpitations
  • digestive problems

Trauma Resolution Therapy

If someone has turned to drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with trauma, trauma resolution therapy might be the best option. Trauma-based therapy works to pinpoint the cause of the trauma to cure the addiction. The theory is that when you attack the root of the problem, the results will be more permanent.

Trauma therapy makes a point to care for the patient beyond their addiction while in treatment and after. Contact Grace Land Recovery Center to learn more about trauma therapy and how it can help you or your loved one.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious disorder that develops after serious trauma. Most people associate it with soldiers coming home from war, but it can be tied to a number of trauma causes.

People with PTSD may act especially paranoid, especially when confronted by particular triggers. Triggers can include loud noises, crowds, fast cars, or a specific location (to name a few).

Once triggered, a person with PTSD may act erratically or evasively. They may also have emotional problems, such as an angry attitude or violent tendencies. People who suffer from PTSD will experience various symptoms and challenges, including the following.

Distortion of Beliefs

The world looks different after a seriously traumatic experience. Someone with PTSD may see the world through this new lens for the rest of their lives. They may even apply this new view of the world to situations that don’t apply. It’s hard to trust things when the world you knew has been shattered.

Avoidance

Unfortunately, many people with PTSD feel very alone with their dark thoughts. They may also be afraid of people and the world around them. This can cause them to avoid people most of the time.

Nightmares and Flashbacks

Someone with PTSD may suffer from nightmares and flashbacks that stem from their traumatic experiences. This could lead to difficulty sleeping or concentrating. It may also end in some violent outbursts.

Lack of Interest

It can be difficult for people with PTSD to allow themselves to feel their emotions. If they allow themselves to feel, they will likely feel the sad things they keep replaying in their head. For this reason, they may develop a sense of apathy in life.

Cognitive Challenges

Trauma can affect the brain in serious ways that will show when the person is forced to think. They may not be able to solve problems or approach complex topics like before.

Find Your Recovery

Our mission is to help individuals achieve sobriety by getting to the root of their addiction issues. We also aim to treat the minds, bodies, and souls of our patients.

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