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The Long-Term Effects of Trauma and How to Deal with It

Person experiencing the long-term effects of trauma

For many, it can be challenging to understand what trauma is, let alone recognize the long-term effects of trauma and how to deal with it. In simple terms, trauma is a specific emotional response to an intensely adverse event or series of events. But dealing with trauma is far from simple, particularly for those who also struggle with drug or alcohol addiction. Northpoint Recovery offers mental health therapy programs in Meridian, Idaho, to teach individuals how to deal with the effects of trauma as part of their addiction treatment plan. Contact our team online or call 888.296.8976 today to learn more.

Understanding Trauma and Addiction

Trauma is more common than many think. To help yourself or others dealing with trauma and addiction, it’s essential to grasp the causes and nature of trauma, its long-term effects, and how to manage its impact healthily. Understanding trauma, its lasting effects, its link to addiction and recovery, and finding ways to cope with traumatic experiences are crucial steps.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma doesn’t affect everyone the same way. Sometimes, it’s a one-time event with lasting effects on the brain and other times, it’s repeated exposure to experiences that challenge individuals’ ability to manage emotions and interactions. Some of the most common sources of trauma are:

  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • Experiencing natural disasters
  • Suffering severe illness or injury
  • Being a victim of rape
  • Grieving a loved one’s death
  • Observing a violent act

Some people might react to trauma immediately, while others feel its impact years later. Traumatic events deeply affect the mind and body, influencing behavior, emotions, and relationships. This can also lead to drug addiction or alcohol abuse.

What Are the Long-Term Effects of Trauma?

Traumatic events can cause physical and emotional reactions. Although trauma symptoms can last a while, they aren’t permanent. The right help can considerably lessen trauma’s long-term impact. Here are common emotional and physical symptoms to help identify trauma in everyday life:

  • Denying the trauma
  • Feeling numb
  • Intense sadness or anger
  • Emotional outbursts
  • Shame from the trauma
  • Physical symptoms
  • Sleep issues
  • Breathing issues
  • Gastrointestinal (GI) problems
  • High blood pressure or heart issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) development

The long-term effects of trauma deeply affect relationships, health, emotions, self-view, future outlook, and how you process information. Despite their intensity, proper counseling and addiction treatment can manage these effects.

How Is Trauma Related to Addiction and Recovery?

Traumatic events can lead to substance abuse and mental health issues. Studies consistently show a strong link between trauma and the use of drugs and alcohol. At least one in four people experiencing trauma develops an addiction. Trauma and addiction are closely linked due to their emotional impact, but they can be overcome.

How Can You Deal with the Long-Term Effects of Trauma?

It can be quite tricky to handle the long-term effects of trauma, particularly for individuals who are also struggling to overcome addiction or alcoholism. One of the cornerstones of addiction treatment is individual therapy and counseling. This type of therapy is available in both residential rehab and intensive outpatient addiction treatment programs. Some of the benefits in seeking out this approach include:

  • Providing a safe space to share traumatic events
  • Identifying the first traumatic event and its impact on later life
  • challenging
  • Exploring existing support systems for use
  • Increasing understanding of the mental and physical causes of trauma response
  • Reinforcing that the trauma and response are not your fault
  • Developing coping strategies for trauma and related addictive behaviors

Therapy can take various forms, but all aim to help individuals process trauma and addiction in a safe, healthy environment.

Connect with Northpoint Recovery to Start Trauma and Addiction Treatment in Idaho Today

Understanding the causes of symptoms from trauma and engaging in necessary therapy are crucial steps toward healing. Actively working to overcome trauma’s impact may be slow, but it’s incredibly worthwhile. Contact our team online or call 888.296.8976 today to get started on treatment led by professionals at Northpoint Recovery.