The Identifiable Ties Between Trauma and Addiction

June is PTSD Awareness Month, so it’s important to spread awareness about the impacts of trauma. This includes the ties between trauma and addiction, as many people who struggle with substance use disorder have also struggled with trauma. The causes of addiction are many, but one of the most common is a history of trauma. The impacts of trauma can be severe, even sometimes leading to the development of mental health issues like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Dealing with the impacts of trauma can be a challenge. So, many people who struggle with experiencing trauma turn towards drugs or alcohol to numb the pain, leading to a cycle of use and the eventual development of addiction.

It can be helpful to understand more about the relationship between trauma and addiction in order for people who struggle with both to learn more about the available resources and treatment that may be helpful to them.

Identifying What Trauma Is

Trauma is an experience an individual may face that can present a number of difficult and debilitating symptoms to a person’s life. Trauma triggers the fight or flight response, which is a defense mechanism to high stress and fear levels, that allows for the release of specific hormones. This can help a person to react in a dangerous situation so they are better suited for survival. However, sometimes, people who have experienced trauma have a long-term reaction to trauma which involves the body’s fight or flight response to react all the time, leading to a number of debilitating side effects. One of which being the neglect of knowing the difference between actual danger and situations or things that aren’t actually dangerous at all.

This is why, often, people who develop PTSD may not be able to move on with their lives – constantly being sucked back into the time period they have experienced a traumatic event. And, living with debilitating symptoms as the result of not being able to move forward from traumatic events.

Experiences of Trauma

There are a number of things that can be classified as traumatic. And, every person may experience trauma differently. So, while some people may be able to experience trauma and eventually move on with their lives, others may experience trauma and eventually develop PTSD. Some examples of traumatic experiences that can lead to PTSD include:

  • living through a natural disaster
  • being the survivor of a vehicular accident
  • surviving childhood abuse
  • sexual, physical, or emotional abuse
  • being diagnosed with a chronic illness
  • experiencing a life-altering injury
  • witnessing or being the victim of a violent crime
  • war combat
  • losing a loved one or loved ones suddenly

Trauma and Addiction

In many cases, the effects of PTSD and living through traumatic events can be debilitating. These symptoms can negatively affect relationships, careers, and social lives. They can also lead to negative feelings of hopelessness, suicidal ideation, and despair. So, many people who develop PTSD may look for an outlet in order to manage these symptoms. This outlet is often the numbing effects of drugs or alcohol. Over time, using addictive substances can lead to dependency and a cycle of addiction.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment at Delray Center for Recovery

When a person is living with two mental health issues, like PTSD and substance use disorder, this is known as dual diagnosis. It’s important for people living with two or more mental health issues to get help for them simultaneously. This improves the chance of sustainable recovery. Delray Center for Recovery offers dual diagnosis treatment in order to address multiple mental health diagnoses. Find out more about our dual diagnoses program available at our outpatient Delray Center treatment facility on our website.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Addiction to Look For?

Wondering if you or a loved one is struggling with addiction? It can be challenging to make the decision to get help with addiction. But, knowing the signs and symptoms of addiction to look out for can help individuals struggling with addiction to understand they may need professional assistance. When it comes to addiction, there are a number of signs and symptoms to watch out for including physical signs and symptoms, social signs and symptoms, and psychological signs and symptoms.

Physical Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

When a person regularly uses addictive substances, a number of physical symptoms can occur including:

Withdrawal: When a person who is addicted to an addictive substance stops using the substance they depend on, they’ll experience withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms may differ depending on what substance is being used. Examples of withdrawal symptoms can include cravings, nausea, stomach pain, headaches, and more.

Sleep Issues: People living with active addiction often experience sleep issues. This can include either sleeping too much or too little. This can occur due to stimulants keeping people awake. And, when the high wears off, catch up with sleep once a binge ends.

Weight Gain or Loss: Addictive substances can affect a person’s weight since they can increase or decrease appetite. For example, stimulants can make eating seem unappealing. However, marijuana is known to increase appetite and lead to overeating. Therefore, weight gain and weight loss can both be physical side effects of addiction.

Social Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

Along with physical signs and symptoms of addiction, there are some social factors that can be affected by addiction. Some of the social signs and symptoms of addiction can include:

Passion Changes: If you or a loved one stops doing what they’re passionate about or sacrifices their priorities in order to maintain the lifestyle of using drugs, this may be a sign of addiction. Often, people who are in the active cycle of addiction will give up the things they’ve previously enjoyed in order to pursue drug use.

Avoidance: People who are struggling with drug abuse and addiction may pull away from the people who love them for fear of judgment. So, not answering the phone, making plans and not showing up, and avoiding social events can be a sign of addiction.

Problems With the Law: Another social issue that can come with addiction is problems with the law. Since using addictive substances can impair judgment, people who use drugs or alcohol in excess may make impulsive decisions that can get them in trouble with the law. So, having legal issues can be a sign or symptom of addiction.

Financial Problems: Issues with money can be a sign of addiction as using drugs and alcohol in excess can become expensive. Moreover, having to pay for legal issues or other issues that may come up as the result of drug abuse and addiction can become expensive as well.

Psychological Signs and Symptoms of Addiction

While physical and social signs and symptoms of addiction can be identifiable, they’re not the only symptoms of addiction to look out for. Psychological signs and symptoms of addiction can be the most obvious to loved ones and individuals living with addiction and can include:

Impulsive Decisions: Addictive substances can influence a person’s decision-making as they can impair judgment. Some examples of impulsive decisions can include unsafe sex practices, drunk or high-driving, theft, and more.

Using Drugs or Alcohol Even if Physical Symptoms Appear: If a person is using drugs or alcohol even though they’ve noticed that they are experiencing physical issues as a result of drug or alcohol abuse, this can be a signifying factor of addiction.

Not Being Able to Stop Using: Another characteristic of addiction is the inability to stop using despite the consequences of using drugs or alcohol. So, if you or a loved one is not willing or able to stop quitting the use of drugs or alcohol, this may be a sign of addiction.

Getting Help for Addiction at Delray Center for Recovery

Are you noticing the signs and symptoms of addiction in your own life or the life of a loved one? If so, there is help available. Delray Center for Recovery offers outpatient care for people who are struggling with addiction. Find out more about how we can help on our website today.

What are the Benefits of Meditation for Addiction Treatment?

There are a variety of different therapies, both holistic and evidence-based, that are known to help people struggling with addiction. For many, it’s helpful to utilize and understand a number of different therapies in congruence with each other to get the best results. One of the types of therapies that many may not think about when it comes to addiction treatment is meditation. This ancient practice is a way to deal with unwanted thought patterns, behaviors, and emotions. So, it is crucially important and helpful for people struggling with substance abuse issues who want to get help and maintain a life of sobriety and recovery. So, what are the benefits of medication in an addiction treatment setting?

What is Meditation?

Before understanding how meditation can help in an addiction treatment setting, it’s helpful to understand what meditation is. Meditation is a method that has been used for thousands of years that allows individuals to evoke mindfulness, which is living in the present moment. It can also help to pair both the mind and body together which aids an individual in identifying and managing a number of negative issues including high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Since people living with addiction often have comprehensive issues like mood disorders, stress, and anxiety, meditation can be a very positive supplemental practice that can help long-term to reduce the risk of relapse during recovery.

During meditation sessions, individuals are guided through the use of breathing exercises, calming music, silence, or mental imagery in order to get to a place of peace. Then, they focus on the things that they are feeling and dealing with in the present in order to address and overcome these issues. The result is feeling less overwhelmed by emotions, understanding that things that aren’t controllable will never be controlled, and acceptance of the past.

Some of the Benefits of Meditation for People Dealing With Addiction

There are many types and options for meditation. So, different approaches to meditation may bring about different benefits. There are a number of benefits that a person struggling with substance abuse can expect to utilize during recovery from addiction including:

  • Reduced anxiety and stress
  • Better mood management
  • Reduction in depressive symptoms
  • Increase in production
  • Improved focus and creativity
  • Better sleep
  • Lowered risk for relapse
  • Improvement in flexibility
  • Better management of cravings and withdrawal symptoms

Meditation Can Help With Mood Management Which is Vital During Addiction Treatment

The brain exercise that is meditation is great for people dealing with addiction issues for a number of reasons. But, it’s specifically helpful in the realm of mood management. Often, people who are getting help through addiction treatment services find that meditation helps them to be in a better mood. This is because meditation stimulates the body to produce and release endorphins, which are responsible for helping the brain to regulate mood. These natural “feel good” chemicals can help people who are getting help for addiction stay more focused on their recovery goals as they are more likely to be focused and in the right state of mind to tackle their personal responsibilities (which includes getting help and staying sober).

Delray Center for Recovery is an addiction treatment resource located in South Florida that believes meditation is a key component of addiction treatment success. Find out more about our outpatient addiction treatment services from our website.

Ways to Expand Interests During Your Time in Addiction Treatment

Addiction is a brain disease that can affect a person’s daily life in a number of ways. The effects can affect almost every aspect of life including relationships, careers, and typical routines. However, one thing that most people don’t think about addiction affecting is a person’s hobbies and interests. During active addiction, individuals will often lose interest in things they once enjoyed. So, during addiction treatment, it’s important for individuals to learn how to take an interest back in things they once enjoyed. And, moreover, to find new hobbies and interests that can help them stay motivated for long-term sobriety. But, how does one go about finding new interests during and after their time in treatment?

The Importance of Finding New Hobbies and Interests

Once drugs and alcohol can no longer fill your time and energy, you’ll need something to take up that time and energy during recovery. This is why it’s important to find things you enjoy during and after addiction treatment. When you learn about new things and engage with novel experiences, you give yourself the opportunity to utilize coping skills you’ve learned about and practiced in treatment in real-life settings. Plus, you’ll learn how to lean on these things during times of struggle so that you can gain the encouragement you need to obtain lasting recovery.

But, finding new hobbies and interests can be a struggle for some during the process of treatment. So, it’s important to understand what can help with obtaining some new hobbies and interests during newfound recovery. Some things you can do to help obtain new hobbies and interests may include:

Being Willing to Try New Things and Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

If you’re not willing to try new things and maybe even feel a bit awkward at first, you’re not going to get far when it comes to gaining new hobbies, skills, and passions. No one is good at anything when they first start, so even hobbies that require a bit of skill aren’t something to shy away from. Furthermore, you may not have an interest in finding new activities to enjoy. And, that’s normal for people in the early stages of recovery. You’re still learning about who you are as a sober person. But, it’s important to look past where you are at the moment and work towards who you want to be. So, don’t keep yourself from doing something new, even if it’s something you may not think you’ll like. Who knows – you may just find a new passion in something you never saw yourself doing!

Remember that Nothing Good Happens Overnight

It’s easy to give up on something new if you’re not good at it initially. So, don’t forget that you may not be good at something right away. And, to give yourself time to develop the skills needed to enjoy certain hobbies. Every interest takes some time to get used to, not to mention to get good at. But, if you give yourself time to learn and get better, you may find that you’ll enjoy certain things even more as time goes on. Therefore, if you’re thinking about starting a new hobby, don’t expect to be an expert! And, give yourself the time it takes to not only get accustomed to what you’re doing but time to determine if you really do or don’t like spending time with that certain hobby.

Try New Things with Peers in Your Addiction Treatment Environment

It’s sometimes easier to try new things with the encouragement and support of a friend. And, who better than a peer in treatment with the same goal as you – sustaining recovery? When you find a friend to try new things with, you can hold each other accountable to continue searching for a shared interest until you actually find one. And, then, you’ll have someone to encourage you once you do find that shared interest. So, don’t hesitate to ask your sober friends what they like to do for fun and if you can join. Or, if they’re also looking for a new interest so that you can search together!

Considering Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Multiple Mental Health Issues

Almost 8 million Americans are living with dual diagnosis, which is the comorbidity of at least two mental health issues at one time. This calls for specialized treatment in which individuals can get help for multiple issues at once, known as dual diagnosis treatment. Unfortunately, many people dealing with multiple mental health issues get help with one issue at a time. And, doing so doesn’t give them the tools and assistance they need to overcome multiple issues, leading to eventual relapse or inability to manage symptoms of every issue they face. But, fortunately, dual diagnosis treatment attacks mental health at multiple levels, allowing individuals to identify causes for concurrent disorders and establish healthy and effective methods in order to manage symptoms.

What is Dual Diagnosis?

Dual diagnosis is the term referring to the situation in which one presents co-occurring mental health disorders. This means that there isn’t just one diagnosis for a mental health issue, but two or more. In these cases, both or all conditions work hand-in-hand to present a multitude of various symptoms including behavioral, mood, and even physical issues. While there are a number of types of dual diagnosis, the most prevalent and typically referenced as “dual diagnosis” is that of substance use disorder with a concurrent mental health issue. The most common mental health issues that pair with other mental health issues like addiction include:

  • bipolar disorder
  • depression
  • anxiety disorders
  • ADHD
  • schizophrenia
  • PTSD

Choosing the Right Treatment for Your Needs Includes Considering Dual Diagnosis

If you have been diagnosed with concurring mental health issues, it’s important to search out treatment that specializes in dual diagnosis. This way, you can address simultaneous issues as they play a part in each others’ development and debilitating symptoms. Without considering dual diagnosis treatment, those living with concurring issues may not receive adequate care enough to successfully establish mental health wellbeing. Fortunately, there are a few things those diagnosed with concurring issues can keep in mind when looking for treatment.

Evidence-Based Treatment

Treatment facilities that offer care from specialized trained in evidence-based treatment methods are the best for dual diagnosis care. These treatment methods are proven effective in helping people deal with and manage all kinds of mental health issues, even if they’re paired or affected by concurring issues. Some of the treatment modalities included in evidence-based treatment centers include:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Both Group and Individualized Care

When it comes to treating concurring mental health issues, a number of therapeutic interventions are helpful. But, there is no one cure-all for people living with mental health issues. The best approach is to utilize as many possible helpful services to see what individuals best respond to. And, since both individual and group therapy sessions are proven successful tools in managing mental health symptoms and establishing healthy behaviors and thought patterns, they can both be helpful to someone seeking dual diagnosis treatment. Therefore, those who need care for concurring mental health issues should seek treatment at a facility that offers both individual and group therapy sessions.

Dual Diagnosis Treatment in Delray Beach Florida

Delray Center for Healing offers dual diagnosis care for individuals dealing with concurring mental health issues. While living with one mental health issue is hard enough, dealing with two or more is even more challenging. So, it requires specialized treatment approaches and a skilled team of mental health professionals who care about what they do and helping people in their care. Find out more about our dual diagnosis program today and reach out to us to speak with us confidentially about your needs.