There are many varieties of trauma that cause people to experience mental and physical issues later in life. For people who have experienced childhood trauma, the repercussions can be devastating.
One of the main issues is that they may not realize just where their issues stem from. This is often due to their trauma being repressed.
What Is Trauma?
When asked to identify trauma, medical professionals discuss the fact that there are two types of trauma:
These two types of trauma can exist independently or in tandem. However, more often than not, if a person has experienced physical trauma, they will also have some mental trauma associated with it.
What Is Childhood Trauma?
Many people suffering from substance abuse have some level of trauma in their past. This trauma can be categorized as abuse. Unfortunately, this abuse is often at the hands of a close relative, such as a parent.
Childhood trauma may stem from a variety of abuses:
Again, these often exist in tandem rather than on their own. One of the hallmarks of trauma is just how insidious it can be and how it never affects just one part of a person’s psyche. When it comes from abuse, especially from someone a child should be able to trust, the damage is compounded.
An issue that can come up is that the abuse can be so severely traumatic that it becomes repressed. This means that the child buries the issues in a way that they may not remember what happened to them. It may even happen while the trauma continues to be perpetrated upon them.
What Happens With Repressed Trauma?
When a person represses trauma, it may have the effect of compounding the side effects the person goes through later in life.
Many people will find themselves experiencing mental health problems without realizing their origins. These may include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Problems with personal relationships
- Unexplained anger
Most people will not seek professional treatment even when these issues become commonplace. Even those who have repressed issues may be afraid of what these feelings and emotions could mean. They may see themselves as broken and do not want a stranger “looking inside their heads.”
Others may turn to illicit substances in an effort to self-medicate. This substance abuse may even start at a young age with experimentation. The person will find that when they use these substances, they experience numbness that can calm and blank out their minds, even for a little while. While this can be cathartic, it will quickly turn into a habit and an addiction.
When these addictions take hold, people may be functionally addicted, working and living in a way that others remain in the dark about their problems. However, it will only become worse as they progress. Many substances require a person to consume more as they find themselves (getting used to) certain amounts.
A person’s reticence to speak with a medical professional or enter a program often does not end until their loved ones reach a breaking point or the individual overdoses. The hope is that these people get help before this happens. Either way, recovery centers are ready to help.
How a Recovery Center Can Help
The first thing a recovery center will do is a full assessment of the individual. This will include a rundown of what they have been going through, both mentally and physically. For many people, this assessment will simply identify what immediate needs the individual has. This often means discussing the level of detox they will be going through. It is important that the person have their system purged of any substances that are causing problems. Without this step, there is no reason to continue treatment.
Once detox is complete, the individual will be given another assessment. They will take a deeper dive into their issues to determine the types of therapeutic treatments they require. This will always include some type of individual therapy as well as group therapy. However, if a person is given a dual diagnosis, they will often require some type of medication-assisted therapy.
This means that they will be given specific medications under strict supervision to assist with some of their overarching mental health issues in an effort to give their mind space to deal with the deeper problems.
How Individual Therapy Can Begin the Healing Process
Quite a number of addicts have never set foot in a therapy session. Therefore, when they enter recovery and begin discussing their repressed issues, it is a pivotal moment in treatment. They must be with a medical professional they trust and are comfortable talking with.
In these sessions, they will be heavily encouraged to take down the walls they have put up around themselves. These protective shields have existed for decades to stop the person from having to deal directly with the issues that have placed them in the position they find themselves.
Sessions may feel combative at first, perhaps emotionally draining, and definitely cathartic. They will act as a way to begin the process of unburdening oneself from the chains that others placed upon them years ago. People will begin to understand that although treatment and recovery have become their responsibility, the roots of their issues were not their fault.
Though they have been put in this position by the neglect and abuse of others, there are better ways to deal with these problems than substance abuse.
Twilight Recovery Center’s Approach to Trauma
At Twilight Recovery Center, we focus on the individual and their continued care. Our approach is to give individuals a new beginning and set them up for future recovery. We are proud to say that our program is the first step on a long road, but one that we are proud to offer.
There are many problems rooted in childhood trauma. Some people with mental or substance abuse issues may not even realize where their issues stem from. Twilight Recovery Center is prepared to assist individuals in their attempt to find the origins of their problems. Often, this means making considerable headway into understanding and confronting situations that may feel uncomfortable and frightening. Our caring staff is on call to make sure that you are cared for every step of the way. We will make sure that each moment of your time with us is utilized to assist you in confronting your past while looking forward into your recovery. Call us today at (888) 414-8183.