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How Can Violence Contribute to Our Addictions?

Our addictions and mental health issues are often fueled by the traumatic experiences we’ve lived through, the intense painful experiences we’ve accumulated over the years. Many believe that the root cause of addictions is trauma for some people, and that their trauma not only worsens their addictive patterns but was the original cause of their addictions in the first place. Many of us have experienced trauma that was not only mental and emotional in nature but also physical, in the form of abuse, harm and violence. Many of us don’t have the support systems to help us work through these deep layers of pain. Moreover, we don’t have the understanding around this pain to be able to resolve it in healthy ways. We suppress the painful memories of the violence we’ve experienced. We tell ourselves to let go of it and just move on. How does violence impact us mentally, emotionally and behaviorally? How does violence contribute to our addictive patterns?

Self-Medicating from Our Emotions

When we’ve experienced violence, particularly in our formative childhood years, we tend to develop subconscious beliefs around our worthiness that tell us we’re inadequate, unworthy, unlovable and undeserving. We struggle with inadequacy and inferiority complexes. We never feel that we’re good enough or that we measure up to other people. We feel deeply insecure and self-hating. We internalize the abuse we experienced as proof that we’re shameful, immoral and inadequate as individuals. This deep self-rejection can inform everything in our lives moving forward. It can cause us to attract and stay in relationships that are abusive. It can cause us to feel strong inclinations to self-harm. It can drive us to use addictive substances and behaviors to try and escape our pain. It can make us instinctively self-destructive. When we hate ourselves because of the violence we’ve experienced, that self-hatred can be powerful driving force to keep us dependent on our drugs of choice as a source of relief from our pain.

Isolating Out of Fear

Many of us who have experienced violence develop intense trust issues and fear of other people. We don’t trust that people won’t continue to hurt us. We assume the worst in people and doubt their intentions. We can become deeply negative and cynical. The violence of our pasts can make us disconnect from people, both in our close personal relationships and in our perception of the world as a whole as a dangerous, unkind place where we feel as though we don’t belong. We isolate ourselves out of fear, and in this self-isolation, our drugs of choice can become our main source of comfort, solace and companionship. Many of us refuse to seek out the help we need in order to recover from our addictions because of this persistent fear of other people that stems from our traumatic violent experiences.

The caring, compassionate staff of The Guest House is here to support you as you start your journey to recovery and healing. 

Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.

3230 Northeast 55th Avenue Silver Springs, FL 34488