The effects of trauma are devastating, with many individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. These symptoms involve nightmares, flashbacks, severe anxiety, mistrust, agitation or anger, hostility, insomnia, emotional detachment, and so much more.
These effects from trauma often happen because a person’s amygdala (the brain’s threat detection area) becomes overactive, constantly seeking and looking for perceptions of threat. The hippocampus (the brain’s center for processing memories) can become under active, causing the person to continue experiencing the traumatic event in their mind. The cortex (the brain’s center for control) becomes interrupted by survival instincts and this overrides cognitive processing, logic, and a person’s ability to control their behavior.
If a person has undergone a traumatic event and feels very low, anxious, or scared, they may try to cope with these feelings by drinking or using drugs. As mentioned earlier, this can be affected by the cortex’s interruption in ability to control behavior and use logic. The person may feel guilt, shame, embarrassment, depressed, or other related feelings and may feel that drugs help numb them. Some drugs are stimulants, and may be used to help the person feel happy and calm when they would otherwise not feel that way. A person who takes drugs to overcome their emotions soon discovers that their initial pain does not go away when sober, and therefore relies on the drug again.
Feelings experienced after trauma typically do not go away unless a person is able to work through them in a healthy manner. This often involves therapy and time to move past the traumatic event. For someone who is not familiar with these healthy forms of coping, drugs may seem like the right thing to do. However, a vicious cycle continues as the person constantly relies on the drugs to numb them or make them feel better. Addiction then becomes reality and the person not only has potential physical, mental, and emotional issues due to the trauma, but also has drug addiction to overcome.
There are more options to recovery than using drugs – options that are healthier and could save your life. Trauma does not lead directly to addiction, but a person without the right resources could make decisions that place them on the path towards addiction. If you haven’t began using drugs yet, speak with a health care professional immediately. You can get through this. If you are already using drugs and suffer from addiction, speaking with a doctor immediately could save you from a longer road of pain and suffering. Help is available and you are not alone.
Recovery is yours when you start to do the work. At a treatment facility in the New Vista Behavioral Health family, you will be supported with staff and programming held to higher standards, providing exceptional care for better outcomes. Life is yours for living. Start making a change today by calling: 888-316-3665