Growing Up with an Addict or Living in an Unstable Environment
Those who are children of addicts can suffer from the trauma of events related to their parent or loved one’s addiction. Family arguments, unstable conditions, and a familial structure that deviated from what is socially acceptable can feel unsafe and create anxiety, depression, and feelings of hopelessness depending on the severity of the situation within the home and what harm can come to a child. There can be physical or emotional abuse. In some instances, even sexual abuse. These traumatic events can have a deep impact on memory and social interactions. Addiction may not develop until later in life when seemingly unrelated events can trigger reactions to past trauma and relief is sought in drugs and alcohol.
Whether you are a child of an addict or someone that has grown up in a stressful and traumatic family dynamic, some symptoms of trauma can begin to set into the development process of a child’s personality and behaviors. Such symptoms include:
- Social inability to interact
- Lack of self-confidence
- Inability to trust others
- Traumatic affect on memory
We have often heard the phrase that worrying can make you sick, and there is truth to that; not only for constant worrying, but for psychological stresses as well. When an individual experiences trauma there are reactions within the brain and body. Depending on the type of trauma experienced, the age the event/s took place, and the current emotional state of the person, memories can be altered or completely suppressed. Trauma can change the way we remember particular events and a specific type of trauma therapy is needed to help restore memory and process the events.
The brain will react to a situation by repressing the memory or altering it to help the individual deal comfortably with the experience. This is a defense mechanism that can backfire on someone and block them from having any understanding of why they react to certain stimuli the way they do. When we cannot pinpoint why we behave this way, it makes understanding and working through our issues increasingly difficult.
Well-Being: Physical and Mental Wellness
Behaviors and the physical processing of the body can be compromised when the mind is unwell or off balance. Those that experience uncontrolled anxiety, stress, and depression can attest to this.
These feelings can create serious side effects on our hearts, digestive system, immune system health, and the way our body ages in the process. To promote physical and mental well-being, we must address these traumas and get to the core of the root issues in our lives.
Evidence-Based Trauma Therapy Integration
In order for us to actively treat these childhood experiences, we can employ evidence-based therapies, methods such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EDMR). These therapies will assist our clients in recalling these past experiences so that we can address the connection between their addiction and the experience. Many of our clients find these treatments comforting and effective because we move through these past traumas to work through them in a new way that makes them easier to accept and treat. Our clients will learn their triggers for traumatic experiences, new ways of reacting to those triggers, and how to recognize sensitive moments, all in a safe and healing environment.
Our individual sessions will develop into group therapy at a comfortable pace where each client will feel supported and invited to share their feelings so they may relate to their peers in recovery. We often find that in order for therapy sessions to take effect, it is best for individuals to identify with others that have had similar experiences and to see how they too have benefitted from these therapeutic methods.
For our clients that require different methods of learning and emotional processing, we offer alternative therapies such as equine therapy, music and art therapy, yoga and meditation. To learn more about our trauma therapy or any of our other therapeutic options, please call The Villa Treatment Center today at 1-818-639-7160 and let us help you work through these difficult experiences in a healthy and safe way.