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Coping with trauma often means developing behavioral symptoms as a form of coping. Behaviors change in an effort ot protect the body and the mind from the pressure of what ives in the traumatic experience. Bearing the weight of an unresolved past can be exhausting and end up causing other problems.

Substance Abuse

Mental health disorders of any kind, which would include post-traumatic stress disorder, create a higher likelihood for a substance use disorder to develop. Part of the reason PTSD and other forms of trauma are susceptible to substance abuse is escapism. PTSD and trauma come with intrusive thoughts, dissociation, physical hypervigilance, flashbacks, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Drugs and alcohol interact with the brain in different ways, creating pleasurable sensations in the mind and the body. Feeling relaxed, euphoric, free of inhibition, transcended, or dissociated completely, the effects of drugs and alcohol can seem preferable to the effects of trauma.

Process Addictions

Not all addictions come in the form of drugs and alcohol. Sex, gambling, pornography, shopping, social media, the internet, gaming, and eating can all become addictive behaviors. Process addictions are addictions which do not include a chemical substance like drugs and alcohol. Instead, they are regular behaviors that are taken out of control. Part compulsivity, part obsession, part escapism, the need to avoid feeling the feelings or thinking the thoughts associated with trauma becomes synonymous with engaging in one of these process behaviors.


Most people will experience a few traumatizing nightmares in their lives. These are the kind that wake you up sitting straight, sweating, screaming, unable to shake off the images in your mind. People can experience symptoms of trauma from these nightmares. Living with trauma can be a nightmare in itself. Commonly, people with trauma have difficulty sleeping because they avoid falling asleep. Nightmares full of vivid flashbacks are overwhelming and disturbing. Active sleeping, thrashing around, talking in the sleep, screaming out loud, and other behaviors are common. As a result, sleep is lost and exhaustion sets in.

You can find freedom. You will be at peace. There is hope for the future. At The Guest House in Ocala, Florida, we believe sharing the darkness of trauma and addiction in a clinical sanctuary of love and compassion is the birthplace of transformation and recovery.

Call us today for information on our residential treatment programs: 352-812-2780