Men are not immune to dealing with trauma. They are maybe less likely to be vocal about the residual challenges abuse leaves them with but they are still impacted. The daily struggle to cope with the mental and physical issues related to past trauma can manifest in anger, anxiety, worry, and other concerns. Some men turn to workaholism and behavioral disorders while trying to meet the expectations of their bosses, partners, and loved ones. They also have to contend with themselves and what they desire, which may be hard to realize while coping with trauma. Finding support for past trauma is key to feeling hope for the future.
Why They Are Interconnected
Substance abuse and trauma has a difficult interconnection. Trauma raises the risk of substance abuse while substance abuse can increase the chances of someone experiencing traumatic things like violence. This may also happen due to high-risk behavior that puts other people at higher risk like young children or partners. Traumatic life experiences are more difficult for men to discuss out in the open due to cultural expectations of not being seen as vulnerable. There is a greater push for men to be open about their challenges but it is quite difficult still for them to ‘risk’ losing face with loved ones or friends and share abuse or trauma from the past.
People who experience trauma in the past may look for safe spaces to feel good or find peace. Anxiety and depression are often higher for those who experienced trauma and they want to desperately seek relief or support from the challenges by using substances. Stimulant drugs deliver dopamine surges to the brain so that people feel good and get relief, for a moment. Addiction is a difficult journey but, with support, it is possible to find hope and healing from the realities of substance use.
Healing and Hope
Programs that support people in recovery often focus on treating addiction. Now people are getting more support for mental health issues, along with addiction, in programs called dual diagnosis treatment. This supports both mental health and addiction concurrently. People with trauma in the background also benefit from trauma-informed practices in therapy and addiction recovery programs.
Healing is not as easy as finding a pill or drinking it away. It means working hard to forgive the self and others, accept oneself and their past, and learn to walk away from toxic experiences or people to find what is good and healthy. Relationships are one key to healing from addiction and mental health issues associated with past trauma.
Connected, safe relationships that allow for vulnerability, especially in same gender groups, can be especially healing for some people. The key is to find what is most supportive and move towards that one step at a time, day by day, away from addiction, towards hope for the future in recovery.
At Alta Loma Transformational Living, everyone gets a chance to find hope for the future. They are able to navigate the journey with others who understand and professionals who can help treat their addiction with care and compassion. If you are struggling with addiction, call us to find support: 866-457-3843.