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.
At Fort Behavioral Health, our trauma therapy program simultaneously treats both trauma and addiction. Our team believes that addressing and healing trauma often enhances the effects of addiction treatment. The right combination of therapeutic approaches can give people the tools to find the peace of mind they’ve always wanted. If you are abusing drugs or alcohol as a way to cope with trauma, we can help. Reach out to our team today and learn more about how our trauma therapy program can help you to heal.
Types of Trauma
Generally speaking, there are three main types of trauma.
- Acute trauma – This type of trauma is associated with a single event in someone’s life that harmed the person’s physical or mental well-being. Examples of events that could cause acute trauma include a car accident, a natural disaster, or a violent encounter.
- Chronic trauma – Chronic trauma results from prolonged traumatic events over an extended period of time. This type of trauma may include domestic violence, childhood abuse, or exposure to combat situations in war.
- Complex trauma – Complex trauma results from exposure to varied and multiple traumatic events or experiences, often within the context of an interpersonal relationship. Complex trauma is often planned and results in a more severe impact than the other two types of trauma.
How Trauma Affects the Brain
After experiencing traumatic events, certain things happen in the brain. The amygdala, the brain’s emotion center, 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 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 disorder (PTSD) is a normal response to an abnormal situation.
The Connection of Trauma and Addiction
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.
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 to deal with the trauma.
Heal from Your Past with Fort Behavioral’s Trauma Therapy Program
At Fort Behavioral, we use several modalities to help people find and address the core reasons for their addiction. Each person receives an individualized treatment plan that might include 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. Please remember that you are valuable, and you are worthy of receiving help. Reach out to our friendly team today by calling 844.332.1807 or completing our confidential online form.