The role of trauma when it comes to addiction cannot be understated. It’s one of the main causes of addiction, as well as other serious mental health disorders. When women feel like they are trapped in their trauma, they will seek to deal with it in the only way they know how. This often results in substance use, which can and will eventually become an addiction. Women are more likely than men to develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). With how much trauma women routinely have to deal with, it’s no wonder why addiction rates are so high.
That is why addiction treatment for women focuses not just on the addiction but the underlying trauma that caused it. At Painted Desert Recovery, we offer trauma-based therapy alongside regular addiction treatment. Trauma, however, can be tricky, and it can manifest in different ways. It takes skilled and qualified mental health care professionals to untangle the trauma from someone and treat it effectively. Why is trauma so devastating, and why does it cause addiction? To understand that, we must understand the role trauma plays in both addiction and its treatment.
The Role of Trauma in Addiction
Trauma is the result of someone experiencing a frightening and dangerous event. It causes symptoms that persist long after the event has concluded. Trauma can come from anywhere. Commonly, people experience trauma when living through a natural disaster, where victims of a crime or experienced abuse in some form.
For women, most trauma comes from sexual and physical violence. According to the World Health Organization, one in three women worldwide has been subject to either physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime. That is 30% of women in the whole world who have been traumatized, many of whom never get help to heal from it.
Trauma can cause several mental health disorders, the most commonly known one being PTSD. However, trauma can also cause depression, other anxiety disorders, and suicidal ideation. The role of trauma in addiction leads people to attempt to soothe or mask the pain they are feeling. To do so, they may engage in self-medication. Self-medication is when someone consumes a substance or drug without the oversight of a doctor to treat a symptom, real or perceived. This self-medication can quickly turn into substance abuse, which then becomes an addiction.
It may not always be the direct cause of each addiction, but the role of trauma is obvious when looking at the national rate of addiction, especially among women.
The Role of Trauma in Treatment Methods
When observing the role of trauma in addiction, the effects are obvious. Addiction cannot be fully treated without addressing the underlying cause of said addiction. If this trauma is not addressed, the person will continue to be re-traumatized, which can cause a relapse. Because of the role of trauma in addiction, it’s treated at the same time as the addiction. This is known as a dual diagnosis or co-occurring mental health disorder when there is both an addiction and a mental health disorder. Trauma isn’t always a co-occurring disorder, but it’s common enough that most addiction treatment facilities have specialized programs to treat it.
Mental health care professionals are well aware of the role of trauma and addiction, so care is taken to treat it. The goal is to allow their client to accept and overcome their trauma so they can live a normal life. This is often done through psychotherapy or talk therapy to let people talk through their experiences. The role of trauma can be so severe, however, that care has to be taken to avoid re-traumatizing the client. This is usually addressed in experiential therapy, which allows women to address their past while learning to cope with their experiences. The role of trauma makes addiction treatment trickier, but it’s not impossible.
Can Someone Heal From Both Trauma and Addiction?
Anyone can heal from both trauma and addiction. The role of trauma in addiction can make the process more time-consuming and careful, but never impossible. There is no trauma or addiction so severe that a person cannot be helped. Again, it can take time, and sometimes it can take several mental health care professionals working together, but healing is possible as long as the client wants to heal. People cannot be forced into treatment; they have to have the personal drive to improve their lives and overcome their struggles. They don’t have to do so alone and can count on professional help when needed.
This is especially true at Painted Desert Recovery. We understand the role of trauma in addiction and provide comprehensive and quality treatment to all our clients. When women can confront their trauma, they can confront their addiction, and become happy, sober people. To learn more about trauma and addiction treatment, anyone is welcome to contact Painted Desert Recovery. Remember, anyone can recover from addiction and trauma. All it takes is for someone to begin their recovery journey by reaching out for help.
Trauma can play a serious role in addiction, especially for women. Addiction is often the result of someone attempting to soothe or numb their trauma. When people cannot get treatment for their trauma, they will often attempt to treat it themselves. With how often women are dismissed when it comes to mental health, it’s no wonder why addiction rates are so high. Here at Painted Desert Recovery in New Harmony, Utah, we don’t just help our clients overcome their addiction. We also help them overcome their traumas, which may have led to their addiction. If you or a loved one is struggling with trauma and addiction, there is hope for a better future. To learn more, call (844) 540-0353 today.