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Supporting Mental Health to Help Identify Trauma

Trauma can affect individuals’ mental health in many ways. Trauma is the leading factor that impacts mental health, substance use disorders (SUD), and behavioral issues. It can change how a person views themselves and the world around them. It also affects physical health and one’s overall sense of well-being.

How Does Trauma Affect Mental Health?

Unresolved trauma dating back to childhood will remain if it is not appropriately confronted. Therefore, trauma can have a serious adverse effect on mental health, leading to symptoms of:

  • Depression
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance use disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Sleep issues

Trauma and Substance Use

People who develop addictions are trying to heal themselves in some way. Substances become an escape for a person dealing with trauma-related stress and anxiety. While they may find temporary relief, using substances will intensify symptoms related to trauma and cause long-term damage. Further, substances can perpetuate additional underlying mental health disorders. Contributing reasons why an individual might turn to substance use include:

  • Trauma experienced in early life could hinder a person’s ability to cope with stress
  • When stress becomes unbearable, addiction becomes a way to cope
  • Childhood trauma plays a significant role in the likelihood of someone turning to substances to cope
  • Using substances to cope causes chronic health conditions and physical pain

Continued substance use will lead to additional chronic physical and mental health conditions. Therefore, people who use substances and have also experienced trauma require treatment to address their trauma and substance use disorder simultaneously.

Co-Occurring Disorders

The outcome for someone who struggles with addiction and trauma improves dramatically if both conditions are treated together. Key things treatment will focus on when going through the healing process include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps individuals locate the source of their trauma that drives their substance use or other mental health issues and therefore work to confront these thoughts.
  • Recovery will have an integrated approach that will focus on resilience, interpersonal connections, forgiveness, and acceptance.

Trauma-Specific Care

Trauma-Specific Care is the best approach for someone who has developed other mental health or substance use disorders due to trauma. Treatment is specific, diverse, and carefully planned. Certain things that trauma-specific care focuses on include:

  • Encouraging patient-centered care
  • Building trust with oneself and others
  • Providing a safe environment
  • Consistent in its approach
  • Peer support

Trauma and the stress it causes can have adverse effects on your mental health. At the Guest House, we believe that the approach to treating trauma should address the root of your trauma and how it relates to mental health and substance use disorders. Not only do we provide a thorough diagnosis, but our programs are designed to create a plan that speaks to your individual needs. To learn more about our programs, reach out today and call (855) 483-7800.