Many people may need to find a trauma therapy program at least once in their life. Traumatic events shape your thought patterns, behaviors, and your life as a whole. Whether the trauma is part of your childhood or something you faced as an adult, it changes how you view yourself and the world around you. Trauma also often leads to substance abuse. However, that doesn’t have to be the end of your story. Through a trauma therapy program, it is possible to heal. If you’re looking for a trauma and addiction treatment program in Maryland, please contact Baltimore Detox Center’s team online or call 833.714.1575.
What Are the Effects of Trauma?
The effects of trauma, including one-time, multiple, or long-lasting repetitive situations, are different for everyone. The results of trauma depend on many factors, including a person’s characteristics, the characteristics of the traumatic event and its meaning to the person, and sociocultural factors.
Some people can display symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, more people exhibit responses or brief consequences that fall outside of diagnostic criteria. The impact of trauma can range from being subtle to insidious or even outright destructive. The effects of trauma in people range in severity. However, even the most acute symptoms are natural responses to manage trauma; they are often not signs of psychopathology.
Coping styles vary from emotionally expressive to reticent and from action-oriented to reflective. Initial effects of trauma can include:
- Anxiety or agitation
- Physical arousal
Most responses are normal in that they affect most trauma survivors and are socially acceptable, psychologically effective, and self-limited.
Indicators of more severe trauma responses include continuous distress without periods of relative calm or rest. They may also experience intense intrusive recollections and pronounced dissociation symptoms. Delayed responses to trauma can include anxiety focused on flashbacks, depression, fear of recurrence, nightmares, persistent fatigue, or sleep disorders. They may also avoid activities, emotions, and sensations that they associate with the traumatic situation.
Overall, the effects of trauma can affect someone’s beliefs about the future. They may lose hope, have limited life expectations, or fear that life will end abruptly. In addition, they may believe that normal life events won’t occur, such as access to education, the ability to have a committed relationship, or good work opportunities.
What Is the Link Between Trauma and Addiction?
Thanks to a trait known as plasticity, your brain can adapt to anything that you experience during your life, even traumatic situations. This ability allows you to learn new skills and make memories as you age and move through the world.
Everything you do causes your brain’s neurons to grow, change or even break, depending on the necessary adjustments to keep you functioning. This brain attribute is called plasticity, which allows patients with traumatic brain injuries to relearn skills like speaking or walking. Essentially, the brain can rewire itself to allow you to continue functioning. Plasticity is also why traumatic experiences follow you after they happen. They shape how you think, behave and react to life situations. There is a clear connection between trauma, especially traumatic situations from childhood, and the development of addiction.
Trauma and maltreatment may be the cause behind brain structure abnormalities, which can cause various problems with cognition and behavior. High levels of cortisol and other stress hormones impede normal brain development, leading to long-term mental health issues such as PTSD.
The Complications of PTSD and Addiction
If you have PTSD and an addiction, you have a dual diagnosis, meaning you have two co-occurring disorders. People with PTSD often use addictive substances to manage their symptoms or handle their triggers, which may include:
- Social withdrawal
As many as two-thirds of all people with addictions experienced some form of trauma during their childhood. These people may also model their substance abuse on behaviors they observed in loved ones while growing up. Trauma and behaviors observed in childhood lead many to self-medicate, which provides the foundation for the link between trauma and addiction.
Self-medication happens when someone tries to treat themselves or feel better through addictive substance doses. This method doesn’t work, and eventually, they’ll develop a tolerance to the substance and end up addicted and feeling worse than they did before.
Learn More About Trauma Therapy at Baltimore Detox Center
Anyone with a mental health condition and a substance use disorder has a dual diagnosis. In order to treat a dual diagnosis, an addiction treatment facility must address both the substance use disorder and the underlying trauma that caused the addiction. If the patient only receives treatment for one of their conditions, they’re less likely to make a full recovery.
Simultaneously treating these two things is essential in the case of a dual diagnosis. However, getting to the underlying trauma or triggers is nearly impossible while the patient is still using addictive substances. As a result, detox is often the first step to overall recovery from both addiction and PTSD or any other trauma-related diagnosis.
If you’re looking for a trauma and addiction treatment program in Maryland, contact Baltimore Detox Center’s team online or call 833.714.1575.