Although many people believe that addiction is a choice, often it’s much more than that. Those who turn to drugs and alcohol are often trying to survive their own psyche. Trauma and addiction are things that often go together because trauma makes it difficult to function in life. The problem is that substances only offer a temporary solution for trauma and typically make things worse.
Why Trauma and Addiction are a Problem
While picking up a drink or a drug is a choice, it’s often a choice people make after experiencing something deeply disturbing. It’s also important to understand that trauma is a very subjective experience as well. Common forms of trauma are going to war or being the victim of physical or sexual assault. For some people, trauma stems from being the child of substance abusing or neglectful parents.
When you experience trauma, your brain wants you to find a way to avert the emotional pain. Your brain does this as a way to try to help you avoid more emotional pain in the future. The problem is that trauma and addiction develop into a larger issue where you never learn to process the pain properly. This is why trauma focused cognitive behavioral therapy in treatment helps so much.
The Brain and Trauma
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based treatment method that the best rehabs use. Evidence-based treatment means that the process has many scientific and clinical studies to support its effectiveness. CBT works by disrupting the way your neural pathways are wired and helping you learn new ways of thinking and processing.
To understand CBT, it’s helpful to understand the habit loop:
When you experience a traumatic experience, you may develop triggers that remind you of the incident. When you encounter a trigger, your brain floods with painful memories and emotions. When you turned to drugs or alcohol to deal with the pain in the past, it makes your brain believe this is the only solution.
CBT is about noticing when your triggers arise so you can begin replacing bad behaviors with good ones. CBT is also helpful for replacing toxic thinking with more thoughts that can help you progress rather than living in the past.
Talk Therapy for Trauma and Addiction
For many people who are the victim of trauma, it’s something they’ve never talked about with anyone. Therapy provides you with a safe, non-judgmental place where you can open up about your traumatic experience. This can seem scary at first, but you’d be amazed at how helpful this can be. Talking through your trauma helps your brain heal and move forward.
Crestview Recovery is here to help you if you’re ready to quit being held back by your trauma and addictions. Our facility offers men and women hope that they can live a better life free from addiction. Some of the services we offer here include:
To find out more about how we can help you recover, call us today at 866.262.0531.