Traumatic events have a large influence on a person’s psyche. Some events are so significant that they can change a person’s entire outlook on life. Whether it’s the loss of a relationship, the death of a parent or sibling, or abuse a person experienced as a child, these situations can affect your mental health. It’s not uncommon for those who have experienced severe trauma to struggle with drug and alcohol use. Some experts will even say that addiction is often a result of trauma or abuse. However, why is this the case, and what is the connection between addiction and trauma?
If you have struggled all your life with addiction or trauma and want to break free, our mental health professionals at Promont Wellness are ready to guide you. We offer trauma treatment with an emphasis on providing accessible treatment to our community. Our focus on individualized, client-focused, and progressive care gives our clients the best chance of success. When seeking treatment for addiction or mental health issues, it can be difficult to know what to expect. That’s why our admissions team is standing by to answer all your questions. Contact us at 866.939.4243, and we can guide you through your treatment options.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma is not just a bothersome experience; it is any event that has lasting effects on a person’s mental, physical, and emotional health. This event causes a significant amount of stress that makes the body release high quantities of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, the hormones responsible for the body’s fight-or-flight response. In actual emergencies, these hormones are necessary. However, when the body is continually in this heightened state of awareness, it can become very difficult to function in everyday life.
There are many types of trauma, with some of the most common being:
- Physical or emotional abuse
- Bullying or harassment
- Natural disasters
- Terminal illnesses
The Connection Between Addiction and Trauma
Addiction is often not the main problem that needs to be addressed. While substance use disorders introduce additional issues that must be addressed, they may simply be a symptom of the root cause. The thoughts and behaviors that lead to addiction have to be treated as well, not simply the addiction itself. For many clients, drug and alcohol use may have begun as a way to self-medicate. The relief and euphoria that drugs and alcohol can provide is a welcome alternative to the anxiety and stress of untreated trauma. This type of self-medication is often due to a lack of positive coping mechanisms for the trauma a person feels.
Trauma can lead to addiction because it changes the way the brain functions. It alters the brain’s chemistry and makes it difficult to feel pleasure without drugs or alcohol. Addiction, in turn, can cause trauma. The cycle of addiction and trauma can be difficult to break. In severe cases, trauma can cause post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
When someone experiences both addiction and a mental health condition such as PTSD, it is called a dual diagnosis. The treatment for these types of co-occurring disorders is much more complicated than treating either condition on its own. Professional treatment is the first step a client needs to take before getting better. Clients suffering from trauma and addiction will often need both professional addiction treatment and trauma therapy.
Discover Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Promont Wellness in Southampton, PA
If you know someone who has struggled with both trauma and addiction, they may benefit from a comprehensive treatment program at Promont Wellness. Whether it’s trauma treatment or dual diagnosis treatment, our mental health professionals and addiction specialists are ready to guide you toward recovery. We also offer treatment options for a wide range of other concerns, including:
- Anxiety treatment
- Depression treatment
- Family therapy
- Medication-assisted treatment
Contact us at 866.939.4243 or through our online form, and we can walk you through treatment options for your unique situation.