Traumatic experiences can shape how your life turns out. Whether it’s troubling childhood experiences or difficult experiences you’ve undergone as an adult, these situations impact your self-image and your worldview.
People who’ve suffered traumatic experiences are much more vulnerable to health conditions like diabetes, obesity, stroke, cancer, and heart attack. Besides, exposure to traumata is linked to substance use disorders like dependence and abuse.
However, the trauma you have gone through in the past doesn’t have to define your future. If you or your loved one is struggling with alcohol or drug abuse, there is a way out. At Infinite Recovery, an alcohol rehab facility in Austin, you’ll get to explore and resolve your past traumas, craft a recovery plan that suits your lifestyle, and flourish at your own pace.
Types of Trauma
Trauma isn’t just an unpleasant experience. It’s an occurrence or a constellation of circumstances that leave a lasting impact on your mental, physical, spiritual, and social well-being.
Traumatic events trigger immense stress because they make you believe that you’re about to be seriously injured or lose your life. Your body and mind, therefore, respond by releasing fight-or-flight hormones like adrenaline and cortisol.
These bodily chemicals are vital in emergencies, but when you produce them in sustained and high concentrations, they can harm you. You may even lose your ability to distinguish between a recollection of a past traumatic event and actual dangerous situations that require a flight-or-flight response.
Those who have experienced trauma can sometimes get into a vicious loop where they can’t process or move past their distress. This then can lead to PSTD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), a severe mental condition that’s associated with combatants returning from the battlefield.
You, however, don’t have to experience literal war for you to develop PSTD; any kind of traumatic event, for instance, childhood trauma, can lead to PSTD. Here are some of the common types of trauma:
- Sexual abuse: this includes rape or any kind of sexual misconduct.
- Harassment: this includes emotional, verbal, and physical bullying or constant undermining treatment
- Domestic violence: this includes both physical and emotional abuse.
- Discrimination: which may be based on gender, age, race, creed, and more.
- Poverty or limited access to resources
- Natural disasters like wildfires, hurricanes, earthquakes, or any other natural phenomenon that causes devastation.
- Parental neglect
- Terminal illness
- Accidents, like fire or car crashes
- Death, especially sudden deaths of loved ones
- Career collapse, especially for those whose lives are centered on their careers
The Link Between Trauma and Substance Use Disorders
Traumatized people often cope by self-medicating with substances that make the user feel calm, empowered, or numbed. Trauma causes great distress, the sensation alcohol and other drugs create can feel like a relief.
For instance, a person may abuse benzodiazepines to alleviate ongoing anxiety. Stimulants can offer focus and energy that users feel they can’t attain without the drugs. Some users may take opioids to experience the euphoria that’s unavailable when they are sober. Some may consider psychedelics for self-discovery. Some take alcohol to bolster their ability to communicate and function in social settings, and marijuana to help them relax. This story plays out over and over with users and the substances they abuse.
Unfortunately, when you rely on substances, in time, you end up addicted. And for you to fully resolve the underlying trauma, you should address the addiction.
The first step of addiction treatment is getting rid of the substance from your through detox and with the help of medical professionals. A team of mental health and addiction professionals will provide you with personalized behavioural rehabilitation.
As you acquire healthy coping mechanisms, you won’t need to self-medicate anymore; you’ll be strong and empowered. Your past trauma doesn’t have to define your future.