Experiencing a traumatic event during recovery may severely harm your mental health, causing you to seek comfort from substances. Trauma elicits unique reactions from each individual, but people in recovery from addiction are more likely to respond to a crisis by engaging in substance abuse.

You deserve to respond to a traumatic event honestly and openly. However, when you find yourself coping with the crisis through unhealthy behavior, you should consult with your therapist to develop new strategies that fit your new situation.

What Is Trauma, and How Does It Affect Me?

Trauma is caused by a variety of external factors such as loss, natural disaster, physical or emotional abuse, and injury. These events can be singular, such as a car accident, or continuous, such as long-term domestic violence. Trauma manifests differently in everyone.

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), shock and denial are common initial reactions to trauma, and long-term emotional responses can vary. For example, in his essay “Art as Therapy,” Vietnam War veteran Terry Rizzuti describes flashbacks, trauma dreams, and hallucinations that invaded his life after he returned from combat.

In “Knowing & Not Knowing Massive Psychic Trauma,” Auerhan and Laub establish a hierarchy of responses to traumatic events. Fugue states, during which an individual who has experienced trauma relives the events in an altered state of consciousness, and transference phenomena, in which individuals cannot escape from their past trauma to operate in the present moment, are examples of lasting traumatic reactions.

The body can also react physically to trauma. Among the first studied cases of “shell shock,” now Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), blindness, difficulty sleeping, hindered mobility, and deafness caused by intense stress plagued scores of World War I veterans.

Moving on from a traumatic experience is a challenge for everyone. The APA suggests seeking help from a therapist if you are experiencing recurring symptoms of trauma. A crisis can have devastating consequences, but, with professional support, you can overcome the experience and continue on the road to recovery.

If you are struggling to cope with a crisis in your life, call Alta Loma Transformational Services today. We understand that experiencing trauma can have lasting effects if left untreated and we want to offer the professional support you need to cope with your trauma. Our team of dedicated mental health and addiction recovery specialists will work with you to devise a plan that responds to your unique needs. At Alta Loma, ensuring your mental, emotional, and spiritual health is our priority. When you are ready for the happiness you deserve, call us at (866) 457-3843 for a consultation.