Traumatic experiences come in many different forms and at all different stages of life. Too often, trauma stays with you. It gets stuck in your brain and body and impacts your life on so many levels. Untreated trauma can often be the reason that people begin using substances. That means that they are now battling addiction on top of the trauma. How can you find inner peace after trauma?
What Are the Different Types of Trauma?
Trauma has become far too common in our society. Too many children experience adverse events that they are not emotionally prepared to deal with and are thus traumatized by them. This trauma carries with them and can last throughout their lifetime. Likewise, too many women are the victims of abuse throughout their lives, and that trauma can be fresh, too. Some of the different types of experiences that become trauma include:
- Verbal or emotional abuse
- Betrayal trauma/infidelity
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Natural disasters
- Violence at home, school, or community
- War or terrorism
- Serious medical injury or illness
- Victim of crime
- Loss of loved one
Traumatic experiences impact everyone differently. No one is exactly sure why, but in a natural disaster, for example, some people exhibit resilience and do not show any signs of trauma afterward. Other people exposed to the same situation can become severely traumatized or even develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
When Does Trauma Become PTSD?
Trauma becomes PTSD when the experience gets stuck in the brain. When the mind is overwhelmed and cannot process the emotions and the pain, the brain holds onto the event and plays it over and over again like it is still happening in real-time. This puts the brain into fight or flight mode, releasing cortisol into the body. This process is supposed to help you protect yourself, but your body is not built to have those levels of cortisol all of the time.
Having the brain on hypervigilance mode all the time has many repercussions for your mind, body, and spirit and leads to a state of constant stress. Even the most minor thing can trigger a reaction again because your mind thinks you are constantly in danger. In addition to the unhealed emotions and pain, your mind and body are wearing out because of sleep disturbances, increased anxiety, mood swings, outbursts of anger, and more. These are classic signs of PTSD.
Why Do So Many Women With Trauma Have an Addiction?
Women find it hard to live with PTSD, as it can impact every aspect of their life. They may become disconnected from friends and family, feel loneliness, and more as they suffer from a result of something that happened long ago. This is when many women turn to substances to relieve the pain and self-medicate.
When you use substances regularly, you become addicted. So, women who suffer from unresolved trauma or PTSD are more likely to have an addiction. In fact, in a study published in Frontiers in Psychiatry in 2019, women were up to twice as likely to have PTSD among patients with alcohol dependence, with 26-27% of women showing signs of PTSD, compared to only 14-24% for men. A study published this year in the European Journal of Psychotraumatology pointed out that women are 1.5 to 5 times as likely to have PTSD in the general population, with the average being twice as likely.
Finding Inner Peace After Trauma
Whether your trauma is recent or dating back to childhood, you can heal from it. With therapy and other treatment, you can find inner peace again. The first step is to make an appointment to begin your treatment, followed by a willingness to do whatever it takes to find the pain inside and acknowledge it so that it, and you, can be set free. This can take years for some or can happen quickly with treatments such as eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR.) Regardless of the treatment method or methods you use, healing from trauma and addiction will allow you to feel inner peace again after trauma.
How Trauma Impacts Addiction Recovery
When you receive treatment for addiction and do not treat the trauma, you are almost guaranteeing a relapse. It's especially important if trauma was the reason you started using substances, as ignoring the cause means you are not wholly addressing the situation. On the other hand, you can begin the real healing and move forward when you simultaneously address the trauma and addiction.
How can you find inner peace after trauma? Addressing and treating the trauma along with treatment for substance abuse is the way to heal from both. As you heal, you will find that your mind and your body heal together, and you can find inner peace again. At The Ho Tai Way – Recovery For Women, we have created a peaceful sanctuary for women to heal from substance abuse. We use trauma-informed care because we understand that many women in addiction have also suffered trauma or perhaps even PTSD. Our comfortable facility is located between the beautiful mountains and the relaxing beaches in Costa Mesa, California, to give you the perfect environment for healing. Our therapists are all trained to treat trauma so that you can find inner peace again. Contact us today at (714) 581-3974 to begin your journey back to inner peace. You already have the tools inside you to achieve sobriety. We help you use them.