One of the most common causes of addiction is childhood trauma. Neglect and abuse in early childhood can lead to a host of problems that can include eating disorders, alcohol abuse, and drug addiction. Many adults who suffered trauma as youngsters will develop mental health issues such as depression or anxiety while others will have difficulties forming healthy relationships. Some will develop a number of problems that can affect their lives long-term.
Some experts believe that childhood trauma does not actually cause problems such as addiction and mental health issues but it is a risk factor and it makes a person more vulnerable to developing these problems in later life. Research has shown that the more severe the childhood trauma, the higher the risk. This is also true if the trauma is repetitive. There is no evidence to suggest that childhood trauma means that problems in later life are inevitable, but those who have suffered in this way have a much greater chance of being affected as they get older.
Children who have experienced trauma may develop negative beliefs about the world in which they live. They view themselves and others in a negative way, which can have a devastating effect on them as adults. Many survivors of abuse believe they are unworthy or bad, and a large number blame themselves. They may have no hope for their future and might find it extremely hard to trust others. They will often turn to substances such as drugs or alcohol in a bid to self-medicate.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
One of the most popular treatments for problems such as addiction is cognitive behavioural therapy. This is used in many private and public organisations working with those who are suffering from all types of addiction issues, from substance abuse to compulsive behaviours, and it is suitable for use in those who have experienced childhood trauma.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is a talking therapy designed to help a person change his or her maladaptive behaviours and replace them with positive behaviour. CBT tackles thoughts, images, beliefs and memories that a person has, which are considered to be contributing to his or her negative behaviours. Professional counsellors and therapists can help those affected by addictive behaviours to identify their unhelpful thoughts and beliefs and think about them rationally. They can then replace these thoughts and feelings with positive behaviour.
Obstacles to Recovery
When it comes to addiction recovery, it can be difficult for some people to let go of their fears and move forward. Those who have been behaving in a particular way for so long may be plagued with fears and doubts about sober life, or they may be affected by external issues such as relationship problems or life stresses.
Change itself can be a huge obstacle when it comes to recovery. Many people find change stressful and fear of the unknown can be enough to set them back.
Another obstacle to recovery is the powerful emotions stirred up. Those who have been affected by childhood trauma in the past may be forced to face these issues head on as a way to tackle the underlying cause of addiction. Many addicts have spent a lifetime avoiding these feelings or detaching themselves from them, so being forced to address these issues can be hard.
It is possible to move on from childhood trauma and the subsequent problems it may cause. There are many professional organisations offering excellent help to those who need it. Here at Rehab Helper, we can put you in touch with a suitable organisation where you can access treatments such as cognitive behavioural therapy. Call us today for advice and information on how to move forward towards a life in recovery.