Treating trauma is a complex task. A person can still be manifesting negative behavioural traits as a result of this past trauma even though a significant period of time, even years since a traumatic event has occurred has elapsed. Trauma can develop into Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Childhood trauma refers to children aged 0-6 years old that have been exposed to a traumatic incident.
- Physical or psychological harm with intent
- Domestic violence
- Sexual abuse
- Grief at a sudden loss of a caregiver/parent
We all have our own ways of reconciling trauma in our lives, so something which has had a long lasting effect on one person, may effect another completely differently. Because childhood trauma can have long lasting effects on an adult’s life, family therapy helps create better communication between family members and also assists the addict in releasing the trauma experience in childhood.
Adult children of alcoholics are especially at risk as they have been exposed to substance use disorders at a young age and are far more likely to develop similar traits in later life. This dysfunctional family unit’s structure only causes more stress and trauma to a person in recovery and it is important to seek professional guidance as early on as possible.
The real goal is to enable a person struggling with the disorder to resolve their trauma and reintegrate into society, contributing in a meaningful way. There are often co-dependant relationships at play in these family dynamics. Co-dependency and addiction manifest often as trauma and addiction. As an adult, the person is now not able to handle stressful interpersonal relationships based on an untrue belief system and dysfunctional coping skills.
If you need any more information about co-dependancy, addiction, trauma or would like to speak to a counsellor, please contact Recovery Direct on 079 235 7415 . Recovery Direct is South Africa’s most advanced addiction treatment programme.
Once trauma is brought into consciousness, the accompanying substance abuse is tackled as a symptom and not the problem.