Trauma and Substances

You can’t stop – the craving is too much.

The variety of substances used to alter your mood is wide and deep. Becoming dependent on their use leads down a spiraling staircase to major problems.

Your self-control is lacking even though you know that your drive for substances impacts your health, finances, family, and others who are significant in your life.

Your desires become so intense that your performance at work declines, you become defensive when someone points out that you have a problem, and other areas of your life seem unimportant.

Misuse of substances is impacting all parts of your life, including your behavior, emotions, and health.

That experience keeps you from moving forward.

Traumatic experiences have a way of becoming triggered over and over, keeping you afraid and uncertain.

The violence of war, natural disasters, auto accidents, sexual assault/molestation, sudden separation from or death of a loved one, unemployment or job loss, physical injury, being bullied, religion/faith transitions, negligent or physically abusive parents, and much more are potentially traumatic events.

Those events have a way of becoming permanent reminders, especially when unavoidable circumstances cause you to relive the trauma.

Some seek relief from trauma by relying on mood-altering material. Therefore, there is a potential link between trauma and substance use disorder.

Both trauma and unhealthy use of substances impact relationships.

Relationships can become out of control – for instance, disagreements with your partner cause you to feel threatened. You wonder, “Was it what they said? Was it their tone? Do they hate me?” It’s hard to understand what’s happening, but your desire for quick-fix results in never answering those questions.

Things go well until something causes you to relive that traumatic event. Then, things go off the rails, and it seems impossible to convey how you feel to your partner or family. You want this to be over, but it always drags on.

You may find self-medication a quick fix from thinking about that trauma, but the fix doesn’t last – and everything starts again.

Your partner keeps nagging at you to seek help. The conflict saps your energy and impacts you physically and emotionally. You feel like a resident at the Hotel from Hell. Running away seems more manageable than facing your demons and your partner.

Therapy can help you overcome addiction and trauma.

We provide Gottman Method therapy to address trauma and substances. Both these services are available in the individual and couples therapy format.

We will establish solid communication tools and relapse prevention/response plans that will help you avoid and repair episodes of use.

The Gottman Method will provide you with structured conversations around why using occurs and how to address and tend to the emotional, spiritual, physical, or psychological pain that contributes to your use.

Don’t let behaviors under stress affect your relationships. Call me today.