Trauma and drug or alcohol abuse often go hand in hand. Trauma is psychological damage caused by a distressing event—or events—in a person’s past. It is usually something that made a person feel destablilised, out of control, and that their life or wellbeing was threatened. These could include:
- Childhood abuse
- Loss of a loved one
- Domestic violence
- Loss of a job
- Parents’ divorce
- Ending of a friendship or relationship
- Grieving of a pet
- Being bullied
- Military deployment
People experience trauma differently—it is not up to us to judge what creates a trauma: it is defined by the person who experienced it. Coping with unresolved trauma can drive a person to drink, use drugs, or develop destructive behaviours. Addressing the trauma in treatment can lower your chances of relapse, heal you more fully, and contribute to a stronger recovery.
How Do You Know If It’s a Problem?
When trauma is not properly processed, it can develop into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The following are symptoms:
- Inability to concentrate
- Sleep disturbances
- Withdrawal from situations to avoid “triggers” of the traumatic experience
- Intense, prolonged distress when faced with a trigger
- Flashbacks or nightmares
- Destructive behaviour
- Emotional volatility
If this sounds like you, and if you are struggling in other areas of your life, it is essential that your trauma and your other concerns are addressed together, to give you the best chance at the life you deserve.
What Treatment Is Available?
The Edge is one of the world’s few centers that specialises in treating trauma alongside substance abuse. Not only do we offer individual and group counselling in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), we also have specialists in Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), a practice which helps to re-process memories in a healthy way. It uses eye movements to change thought patterns and can improve the symptoms of PTSD in as few as eight sessions. There is also plenty of time dedicated to physical activity, including sport training and wilderness adventures, to help you process excess energy and minimise your anxiety.
The Western-accredited staff at The Edge are ready to help you work through your past and your present struggles. Call us today for a free and confidential consultation, and give yourself the best chance of a robust, stable recovery.