Addiction to alcohol is often viewed as a simple habit that has somehow gotten out of control. It can be the case, but it is usually a huge over-simplification of what is behind the development of alcoholism. Traumatic experiences in life can lead to finding ways to self-medicate away emotional pain and physical discomfort brought on by childhood or adult trauma.
Trauma and Ties to Addiction
When traumatic events happen, it can have a lasting impact on the mental and emotional health of anyone, at any age. You can experience actual physical symptoms that originate from the response of your body to the trauma. Addictions to substances can begin when those experiencing trauma attempt to relieve the symptoms in a way that allows them some level of comfort without having to disclose the cause. Long-term trauma creates a consistently higher level of cortisol to flow through the body. The body will adjust to these higher levels and cause these uncomfortable symptoms that lead to a substance addiction.
Traumatic Events In Childhood
Traumatic events for children can result in experimentation with drugs and alcohol years later. Trauma can include the death of a loved one, divorce, bullying, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and more. It can manifest in poor school performance, behavioral problems, sexual promiscuity, eating disorders, suicide attempts, and many others that are often too-easily dismissed as disobedience or rebellion.
Traumatic Events for Adults
Trauma for adults can be a product from childhood memories, but also include spousal abuse, rape, job loss, the death of a spouse, parent, or child, dealing with natural disasters, and more. It can manifest in self-destructive behaviors, sexual promiscuity, depression, suicide attempts, or continuing the cycles of violence from past physical or sexual abuse. It can be a mixture of any of these behaviors and more.
Trauma and Stress
Trauma has the ability to develop levels of stress in people that are harmful over a long period of time. The hormone cortisol will release in the body at levels that the body will have to adjust to and learn to operate as effectively as possible. During periods of less stress and trauma, the body will experience difficulty with the reduced amount of cortisol.
Trauma and Anxiety
Long-term stress brought on by trauma will set a person up for tremendous amounts of anxiety. The imbalance of cortisol messes up the fight-or-flight response. You can be in a state of complete relaxation and suffer a severe anxiety, or panic attack. It presents symptoms that can seem serious enough to be life-threatening. Many feel they are experiencing a heart attack at the time.
Trauma and Self-Medicating
All of the unpleasant symptoms brought on by traumatic events can lead to the frequent experimentation with drugs and alcohol. Self-medicating to cover these uncomfortable symptoms offers a short-term solution that requires not having to face the trauma or reveal the events to anyone. It seems like the perfect solution until life begins to fall apart due to the increased demand for substances by the mind and body.
How Alcohol Addiction Happens
Alcohol is an addictive substance that is perfectly legal to use, provided you are of legal drinking age. Easy access makes it a likely substance many turns to in order to self-medicate from symptoms of trauma. The dangers of using alcohol are that your body becomes accustomed to maintaining high levels. If the usage drops, it can bring about serious withdrawal symptoms. Alcoholism and treatment method success will require dealing with any past traumatic incidences.
How Residential Treatment Can Help
One of the most beneficial methods of dealing with trauma-based alcohol addiction is through a residential alcohol rehab Colorado. You can take the time necessary to safely detox and begin therapy to get to the bottom of the trauma leading to addiction.
Getting a Handle on Life
Gaining sobriety and dealing head-on with past trauma will help you put life on a better, healthier path. With understanding, comes healing. You can finally release the old emotions that have kept you bound in a painful place. You will have a handle on life that allows for more personal growth than ever before.
Seeking treatment and recovery for trauma-based alcoholism is an important move to make if you feel your life has become unmanageable. You can feel confident there are treatment professionals that know how to break through the bondage of the addiction and the underlying causes.