The Link Between Trauma And Relapse

between trauma and relapse

Relapse is common for people early in recovery. Emotions are raw, new feelings and experiences may be intimidating, and some triggers may make people feel like using. It’s well known that addiction is common among people who have experienced trauma. When this trauma, such as early childhood abuse or sexual assault, goes unaddressed, it causes a wound that can affect a person’s entire life.

Unaddressed trauma is a well-known relapse trigger for people who struggle with a substance use disorder. It’s common for people in early recovery to have symptoms of anxiety, depression, or even PTSD when they get sober. Research shows that people who have been diagnosed with PTSD are more likely to relapse when they experience symptoms of the disorder.

Why Is Trauma A Relapse Trigger?

When you have experienced trauma, either in your childhood or as an adult, you probably adapted your life to survive. Some people shut down and go numb in the face of anxiety, while others self-medicate to make themselves feel numb. The emotions, physical sensations, and even dreams surrounding the trauma can make a person feel like they are reliving it repeatedly.

Newcomers to recovery feel a roller coaster of emotions during and after detox. These emotions may be related to things that happened today or long ago. Trauma, hurt, and shame often rears their head in people who live with PTSD. Angry and frightened outbursts can also occur occasionally when people feel like they’re in the grip of a traumatic situation again.

The intense emotions surrounding trauma can make a person want to do anything to escape their feelings, quickly leading to using their drug of choice again.

Working On Understanding Trauma

Trauma is something that people in the addiction profession watch for in addicted persons. Therapy, medication, if needed, and self-care are all important ways to begin healing from the pain of past trauma. In treatment and therapy, you will start new relationships and practice trusting yourself and others again.

Being reminded of trauma may make you feel shameful or afraid. Trauma is nothing to be ashamed of; if somebody hurt you or something happened to you, it’s not your fault. Acknowledging the pain and hurt is essential to recovery. Shame is a normal reaction, but as you will learn, feelings aren’t facts.

In recovery, you will learn to love yourself and feel comfortable in your skin again. Healing from the trauma of the past takes time and willingness. Treatment can offer a safe space for you to begin the healing journey. The journey starts with deciding to stay clean.

Staying clean will mean learning to love yourself again and working on healing your self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. Working through the trauma will help you understand how it affects you today. If you need help getting help for your trauma, reach out and ask.

Sober Living Options

Trauma-informed therapy and recovery can help you thrive even when you feel your past traumas are overwhelming.

Recovery is available to everyone! Sober living offers a safe, structured environment to continue your healing journey and focus on recovery. Learn more about what we offer by calling us at 760-216-2077.

Addiction, also known as a substance use disorder, is a disease that can be insidious and powerful. For many people, relapse is a part of their recovery journey. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

 

The symptoms of relapse are not usually so apparent to people who suffer from it, and it takes a lot of work for a previously addicted person to get and stay clean. Living with everyday stress is a fact of life. People in recovery must find new coping skills and behaviors to help them avoid using drugs and alcohol again. But sometimes, old behavior patterns start to appear in life slowly but surely.

 

Relapse Warning Signs

 

When a person starts to enter the relapse process, there’s enough time for recognition that they need to change their behavior. Here are some of the warning signs that somebody is heading towards a relapse:

 

  • They stop following their recovery program. That means they don’t do the things they’ve been doing to help them stay clean. For example, no longer calling a sponsor or going to 12-step meetings.
  • They’re complacent and not motivated to do things that help their recovery.
  • They’re negative about almost everything and unwilling to try to recover their positivity.
  • Not working on themselves. A person doesn’t recover by getting clean alone – there’s work to be done.
  • Giving into relapse triggers, such as hanging out with using friends, visiting places dangerous to recovery, or other unhealthy behaviors.
  • Feeling like their emotions are out of control. Everyone in recovery copes with various feelings, but if you’re not working your program, emotions can overwhelm and cause a desire to use.
  • Holding resentments. Anger is natural, but bitterness can consume you until you’re confused and full of rage. Don’t let it take over your life. Talk to somebody about your feelings.
  • Keeping secrets. Secrets can cause guilt, pain, and shame when you’re in recovery. If you’ve done something you think should remain a secret, be transparent – tell your support network.

 

These are just a few things that can lead to relapse. The most significant message is that if you’re feeling bad, engaging in behavior that makes you feel bad, or otherwise feel “off,” hightail it to a meeting or call your sponsor. Nobody is perfect, but that’s not a reason to use.

Recovery is a journey, not a destination, and that’s good news. So do your best to stay the course and make sure you use the support that’s available to you.

 

Support Prevents Relapse

 

If you relapse, that doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Relapse is a part of many peoples’ stories – but it doesn’t have to be.

Find a stable support system and live with people who understand and support your recovery.

Learn more about sober housing options through our directory or call us at 760-216-2077. We’re happy to answer any questions.

As society realizes that alcoholism and addiction is an epidemic, more efforts to attend them locally such as these will be a sign of care and acceptance that an illness is not discriminating of socioeconomic conditions nor geography. Thank you Vineyard House.
http://www.mvtimes.com/2014/12/22/marthas-vineyard-new-sober-living-facility/

bytheseasandiego.com

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