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Childhood Trauma and Alcoholism

healing from trauma

Imagine being abused or neglected as a child–how would you overcome those memories? Healing from trauma is no easy feat. For adults who have experienced childhood trauma, it is not uncommon for them to be confronted with mental health challenges such as post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. While some seek the support of mental health professionals, others turn to substances such as alcohol to mask their pain. While drinking might make someone forget their memories and feelings, it is not a remedy for their pain. Instead, if someone is challenged with mental health issues and addiction, they should seek dual diagnosis treatment to help them navigate their emotional triggers and childhood wounds.

What Is Childhood Trauma?

When a child experiences neglect or abuse that makes them feel helpless and unsafe, this is a sign of trauma. Examples of childhood trauma include:

  • Sexual abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Separation from a parent
  • Living in an unstable or unsafe setting
  • Neglect
  • Abandonment
  • Bullying

Although many people believe that children can weather any storm they experience, this is not true. Childhood trauma can have a long-term impact on a person’s development if not properly acknowledged and treated. As a result, people with childhood trauma will have depression or anxiety that could lead them to seek self-medicate with alcohol if left untreated.

Signs of Alcoholism Associated With Childhood Trauma

There are many ways to identify someone trying to self-medicate. Childhood trauma and alcoholism have distinct signs such as:

  • Mood swings
  • A consistent need to find an escape from life
  • Heavy drinking after experiencing an emotional trigger associated with their past traumas
  • Isolated drinking in an attempt to quell negative emotions and thoughts

Healing From Trauma

While trauma’s emotional and psychological impact might make you feel weighed down, understand that there is the opportunity to heal healthily. Here are several ways to recover from childhood trauma so that you can live a better life:

  1. Identify and acknowledge the trauma in your life. It is not uncommon for adults to dismiss or minimize the importance of trauma in their life. This often happens because they feel a sense of guilt or blame themselves for whatever happened. However, the first step to your healing is admitting that the trauma occurred.
  2. Let go of blame and get in control. Adults who have experienced childhood trauma can feel a sense of hopelessness and, in some cases, even helplessness. However, it is important to shift your thinking from victim to survivor to gain control of your life.
  3. Identify positive support systems. There is no reason to isolate yourself. When you practice withdrawal, you do more damage to yourself. Instead, focus on identifying people–support groups and mental health professionals–who can help you face your past traumas and begin the healing process.
  4. Focus on your wellness. Eat right, exercise, meditate and sleep well. When you are focused on taking care of yourself, you will not have the time to focus on coping mechanisms such as drinking alcohol.
  5. Accept the past and focus on your future. There’s no reason to focus on feeling guilty or blaming yourself for an experience you could not control. Your only responsibility was to be a child–nothing else as a child. Accept that you have wounds associated with trauma and remain focused on not allowing the past to keep you from living a great life.

End Addiction and Support Your Mental Health With Rise Above Treatment

The opportunity to begin healing from trauma is present if you take the first step. If you are ready to acknowledge your past and reclaim your life, Rise Above Treatment can help. Our center offers a variety of treatment options to support you in healing from your childhood trauma and alcoholism. Contact (877) 641-0717 and find out how you can begin learning how to recover from your past wounds.

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