In some cases, it is possible to think you have dealt with your addiction. In reality, however, you may have just transferred your emotional baggage to a new negative coping mechanism. While it is not the only cause of addiction or substance use disorder (SUD), the inability to cope with pressures, stress, or trauma in a healthy way can substantially contribute to the likelihood of developing an addiction, SUD, or other co-occurring mental illnesses.
In combination with biological and environmental factors, an inability to handle or channel life stressors in a healthy, productive way can lead you to seek other ways to numb your pain or avoid it entirely. Keep in mind that this method is counterproductive. Although you may feel better in the moment, you are feeding into a whole other world of problems and putting yourself and others at a greater risk.
Maybe you have spent the majority of your life trying to handle the pain of past stress and traumas and developed an addiction as a result. Seeking treatment may be the best option for you for two main reasons; one, you will be able to find a life free of addiction, and two, you can receive therapeutic relief to heal the scars inflicted by traumas of the past.
Trauma and Addiction
There is a strong connection between addiction and trauma, and how you can experience traumatic events is endless. Some experience traumatic childhood events that can affect you well into adulthood. You may experience severe trauma later on in life that can have unforeseen and detrimental repercussions on your future.
Without knowledge of healthy ways to cope with these traumas, you may turn to alcohol, drugs, or any other addictive substance or behavior to cope with the emotional effects of trauma. This correlation between addiction and trauma can be even more severe when other co-occurring mental illnesses are involved, including mental illnesses such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When these occur in tandem, the addiction is often heavily fueled and, if untreated, will ultimately spiral out of control.
In addition to the connection between initial traumatic events and struggles with addiction, some may find themselves in a toxic cycle in which their addiction causes them to experience more traumatic events. Say, for example, you have developed an addiction to alcohol due to a childhood trauma you experienced decades ago.
Additionally, you also currently find yourself part of an extremely unhealthy relationship. The stresses of that toxic relationship will cause even more trauma and psychological distress, leading you even deeper into your struggle with dependency. Trauma-related disorders and substance use disorders will more often than not go hand in hand, which is why it is important to seek treatment for both.
Dangers of Untreated Trauma and Addiction
It is possible to think you have healed or dealt with your past traumas when in actuality, you have just suppressed them. The same often goes for addiction. Sometimes you may stop using certain addictive substances but continue to use others.
For example, someone with an opioid addiction might become free of opioid use and think they are okay to use other less harmful drugs or substances. However, this is an example of unhealthy addictive thinking, as the next drug only serves as a replacement. Instead of dealing with the core problem, the issue left unresolved merely is transferred to another, and no real healing occurs.
There are a few ways that you can ensure that you are making a recovery and not just substituting one issue for another. That may involve entering into a trauma-informed treatment program. They can help you accept and recognize your traumatic experiences, create a safe environment free of triggers, support you in understanding the core of your suffering, and learn the skills necessary to heal from those traumatic events. If untreated, you may find yourself spiraling from one substance to another, and you risk not making a full recovery successfully.
Psychological Treatment in Addiction Recovery
Psychological treatment is essential in addiction recovery. For starters, addiction is a mental health disorder. When help is sought, you can receive support regarding other ways your mental health may be suffering. Even if facilities do not focus on treating mental illness, all treatment centers should be treating co-occurring mental illnesses in your plans of care.
You may be in a situation currently where you feel like you are in recovery, on top of the world, and on your way to a better life. However, you may still be using substances or coping with harmful addictive behaviors, preventing you from fully recovering. To make a full recovery and heal from the core of what has led you down this road of addiction, consider entering into a treatment program or seeking therapy right away. At the Lakehouse Recovery Center, we offer a program that will focus on your addiction and mental health, providing a well-rounded, holistic approach to your recovery. Let us help you start your path to recovery today.
Due in part to particular life experiences, many of us have developed negative coping techniques to deal with the everyday pressures of our lives. For some, this poses little to no problem, but these negative habits are detrimental to overall well-being for many. When these habits lead to a downward spiral into addiction, it often puts your life and the lives of those closest to you in jeopardy. When people half-fast their recovery and continue to utilize less dangerous substances, the core of their problem still poses a threat. For this reason, it’s crucial to enter into a facility center that will treat not only your addiction but the other co-occurring mental illnesses and trauma that you may be experiencing. If you or someone you love is looking for recovery, call (877) 762-3707 to learn more about our treatment programs and how we can help guide you to recovery today.