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Addiction and Psychological Trauma


Addiction and Psychological Trauma

It is my perception that the vast majority of people who have addictions, including drugs and alcohol, codependence, gambling, spending, and lots, lots more, have psychological trauma at the root of their addictions. 
When I use the term “psychological trauma”, this includes major and rather minor traumas that may barely be noticed by others. For example, a parent who is depressed, or plying an addiction, or is too rigid with a child, etc., may cause psychological trauma, even if they love the child very much! Children can then grow up with certain emotional and psychological vulnerabilities that can “trigger” them into previous trauma reactions. When any of us become triggered into previous psychological traumas (even the very subtle ones), we can experience emotional symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, anger, etc.
Utilizing alcohol/drugs, sex, food, etc., as a way to feel better is a common strategy. But once our brain chemsitry shifts as a result of chronically seeking pleasure through these substances or behaviors, we can become addicted. From that point and on, the substance or process take on a life of its own. The addictive problem becomes a different issue than the original trauma; the brain now craves the substance or behavior. Even if the original psychological trauma was removed, the addiciton remains.



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