Addiction, regardless of what you are addicted to, most often is a way of attempting to cope with emotional and psychological pain, numb yourself in some way, or allow yourself to relax and celebrate.
Addiction is the temporary solution to your trauma, it is a familiar and learned coping mechanism that can keep you away from addressing the root cause of the trauma. It’s important to understand that addiction is not a sign of weakness or lack of willpower. Rather, it is a complex condition that can be driven by deep-rooted emotional, psychological, and physiological factors. There are many factors that can lead to addiction, such as generational addiction, childhood trauma, or really any event that has brought you emotional and psychological pain. Addiction can feel incredibly lonely and overwhelming, but please remember that you are not alone.
How To Manage Addiction and Trauma
Addiction, like any other generational trauma, can be passed down from generation to generation. If you grow up in an environment where addiction is your version of normal, it can be extremely difficult to escape these destructive patterns. It is not as simple as just walking away from whatever it is that you are addicted to. There is a deep-rooted reason as to why you feel the need to numb your pain. Addiction can become a maladaptive coping mechanism, leading to further harm and distress. For example, someone might engage in substance abuse as a way of temporarily numbing their feelings or avoiding addressing the root cause of their trauma. Unfortunately, this solution is not sustainable in the long-term. The immediate relief from the addiction is only temporary and can make it even more difficult to address the underlying cause of trauma. By continuing to engage in addictive behaviors, one may inadvertently be preventing themselves from healing and growing in positive ways.
It is important to seek professional help from mental health professionals who specialize in treating addiction and trauma. With the right help and support, you can learn healthier coping strategies to manage your trauma and reduce your risk of developing an unhealthy relationship with substances or other addictive behaviors. No matter how deep in addiction you may be, there is always hope for every single person. Trauma-informed therapy is crucial when it comes to overcoming your addiction. There are many therapy options that assist in processing your trauma, such as EMDR or Polyvagal therapy. Seeking these therapy modalities out and finding a trauma-informed therapist who also specializes in treating addiction can be your first step towards processing your trauma and the root of your addiction.