Have you experienced something that left you wondering about your place in the world? Do you have memories of something that makes you ask how you survived? Did you live through something you just can’t cope with? This is trauma and it can take over your life, resulting in addiction and mental illness, complicating an already complex illness. While trauma does not cause addiction, it is a contributing factor.
· Sources estimate that 25 and 75 percent of people who survive abuse and/or violent trauma develop issues related to alcohol abuse.
· Accidents, illness or natural disasters translate to between 10 to 33 percent of survivors reporting alcohol abuse.
· A diagnosis of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) increases the risk of developing alcohol abuse.
· Female trauma survivors who do not struggle with PTSD face an increased risk for an alcohol use disorder.
· Male and female sexual abuse survivors experience a higher rate of alcohol and drug use disorders compared to those who have not survived such abuse.
How Trauma Affects the Brain
After experiencing traumatic events certain things happen in the brain. The amygdala, the emotion center of the brain, can become hyperactive, creating an ongoing sensation of fear and vulnerability. The part of the brain that forms memories becomes functions less effectively so that the memory continues to feel like it is happening right now. When people are frightened, the part of their brain shuts down in order to focus on survival thoughts. For some, this becomes a chronic problem, disrupting their ability to use reason, think logically and control their impulses. It is important to remember that Post Traumatic Stress is a normal response to an abnormal situation.
How Does Addiction “Help” Trauma
Trauma survivors might feel like the only time they can think clearly or the only time they feel safe is when they’re under the influence. Part of being human is to seek situations in which we feel safe and in control. Addiction provides an illusion of these things. It is a bad result of well-intentioned actions.
How to Take Control of Your Life
Trauma pushes people to redefine themselves at a fundamental level. They are no longer the star athlete or the accomplished poet, they become, “the victim.” This is a helpless and frightening feeling. People become their traumas, or they become the addictions they developed in order to deal with the trauma. At Fort Worth Recovery, we use a number of modalities to help people find and address the core reasons for their addiction. Each person receives aN individualized treatment plan that might include Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy or Somatic Experiencing. Whatever the cause of your addiction, we are here for you. Moving past the trauma is possible but it has to start with you making the call. Reach out. You are valuable. Call us today at 817 382 2894 or visit us online.