Substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health concerns are often rooted in trauma. Trauma is a response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that shatters your sense of security. Women are more likely to experience certain traumas, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, and childhood abuse. Trauma can have a lasting impact on your mental and physical health, and women who have experienced trauma are more likely to develop substance use disorders.
Trauma can manifest in various ways, and there is no right way to heal from it. However, a trauma therapy program can help you address the underlying issues that may be causing your substance use disorder. If you’re struggling with addiction, reach out for help.
What Is Trauma?
Traumatic events such as natural disasters, car accidents, and acts of violence can cause physical and emotional damage. Trauma is how the brain responds to these events and can lead to lasting changes in mood, behavior, and physical health.
Trauma is often associated with mental health concerns such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression. While traumatic events don’t always lead to mental health problems, they can trigger or worsen existing ones. Women are more likely to experience certain types of traumas, which can put them at greater risk for developing PTSD and other mental health concerns.
The Connection Between Trauma and Substance Abuse
Women who have experienced trauma are more likely to develop substance use disorders. This may be because substances can be used to numb the pain of trauma or to self-medicate other mental health concerns resulting from trauma.
Substance abuse can also lead to traumatic events. For instance, women addicted to drugs or alcohol may be more likely to experience sexual assault or domestic violence. This can create a cycle of trauma and substance abuse that can be difficult to break without help.
The Signs and Symptoms of Trauma
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of trauma include:
- Flashbacks or nightmares
- Insomnia or sleep problems
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Anger or irritability
- Avoidance of people, places, or things that remind you of the trauma
- Feelings of guilt or shame
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
- Aches and pains
- Substance abuse
If you’ve noticed any of these symptoms in yourself or someone you love, it’s important to seek help. A therapist who specializes in trauma can help you understand your experience and develop a plan for healing.
Effective, Evidence-Based Treatment for Trauma in Women
Trauma-informed care involves creating a safe, supportive, and trauma-sensitive environment. It’s important to remember that there is no right way to heal from trauma. However, there are evidence-based treatments that can be effective for many women.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a type of trauma therapy that can help you process and work through your trauma. EMDR therapy involves focusing on a back-and-forth movement while discussing your trauma. This can help to rewire the brain and process the trauma more healthily.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is another type of therapy that can be helpful for trauma. CBT focuses on changing how you think about and react to your trauma. This can help you to develop new, healthier coping mechanisms.
Reach Out to The Willows at Red Oak Recovery® Today
At The Willows at Red Oak Recovery®, we understand the unique needs of women who have experienced trauma. We offer a variety of evidence-based treatment options that can help you heal and recover. If you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to us today at 855.773.0614.