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Our Trauma Responses

As we’re healing from our traumatic experiences, one of the things we want to examine is our trauma responses – how we respond to and deal with our trauma. Our trauma responses play a large part in the development of our addictions. How we cope with our pain, whether we cope in healthy ways, has a lot to do with whether or not we become dependent on an addictive substance or behavior. What are some common trauma responses many of us share?

It’s quite common for us to deal with our trauma by attempting to not deal with at all. We suppress our pain and any thoughts or memories associated with it. We forbid ourselves from thinking, speaking or reflecting on our trauma. We believe giving into our trauma will weaken us and make us more susceptible to pain down the line. We think it’s the stronger, more admirable thing to do to just forget about our pain, as if it never existed. We turn to silence and secrecy, keeping our trauma hidden from everyone in our lives. We manage to convince ourselves that it’s not an issue for us, that we’re better off pretending it’s not there. We use denial to help ourselves cope with our painful secrets. We avoid the subject entirely, even going so far as to avoid the people who question us or show concern. We’ll even distance ourselves from these people altogether, in an attempt to keep our pain a secret. Our pain stays with us, though, hidden under the surface. It continues to affect us until we’ve learned not only how to cope with it but also all of the lessons it’s meant to teach us.

Other common trauma responses involve reactivity and heightened emotion. We respond to our trauma by reacting strongly. We might carry intense anger with us for much of our lives. We might be unable to forgive ourselves or the people who hurt us. We might lash out at people who had nothing to do with our trauma. We might be increasingly stressed out, worried, tense or volatile. We might feel deep fear and have severe panic attacks. We might suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and experience debilitating anxiety, painful flashbacks and nightmares. We might find that we haven’t healed from our trauma and that it continues to cause us painful, recurring depressions. We might turn to our addictive substances and behaviors as the default response to our trauma, in an attempt to ease our pain, numb ourselves, zone out and forget.

How we respond to our trauma informs how we deal with the addictive substances and behaviors we’re faced with in our lives – whether we cope with our pain in healthy ways or cause ourselves more pain in the process.

The Guest House Ocala provides unparalleled, premier-quality treatment to those who suffer from self-defeating behaviors brought on by trauma and its underlying issues. We are uniquely equipped to help our guests heal from trauma-induced substance abuse, process addiction, anxiety or depression in a safe, comfortable and confidential setting. Call 855-483-7800 today for more information.