Individuals whose lives have become unmanageable through the excessive use of drugs or alcohol may often use these substances to cope with emotional and psychological pain. Although originally, individuals struggling with some forms of trauma and addiction may feel they can deal with inner pain this way, this artificial form of mood management can lead to tolerance and dependence.
Children growing up around addiction, for instance, may feel incapable to fix this situation. Growing up in this type of environment may cause these children to experience emotional trauma later on in life. Addicts and their loved ones can go through intense feelings of frustration, fear, anger, shame and inadequacy. These feelings can manifest in traumatic symptoms such as impulsive behavior, chronic tension, confusion as well as physical and sexual abuse.
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Trauma and addiction can affect each facet of the child's development. The child's brain is hardwired through small interactions. The way the child is treated can transform how he or she develops and the person they become. This interaction produces ongoing development. Elements that affect a child's response to trauma and addiction circumstances may include:
Young infants are predominantly susceptible to developmental problems as their personalities are still forming. Since these children's main support comes from family, in the case of substance dependence, it causes them damage. These young children may be forced to shape their personalities in ways to preserve a sense of connection and some appearance of stability.
The instability of the two worlds they live in can slow down proper development. Sometimes families that struggle with drug and alcohol addiction have "front-stage and backstage" personalities. They appear to live soberly to the outside world but in their homes their ways of thinking and acting may tell a different story.
A family struggling with trauma and addiction or abuse can generate relationship dynamics that preserve relationship trauma. The impact of trauma on the family structure can have a variety of components such as constriction of emotional psychological manifestations. Some family members may learn not to express what's happening in front of them while others will hold on to painful emotions.
In an attempt to keep pain from rising to the surface, these families may avoid specific topics, people, places, and things that might trigger this subject. This can lead to disconnection among family members and cause emotions leading to impulsive behavior to resurface. These emotions hard to deal with are suppressed and become a fertile ground for creating symptoms associated with trauma. These symptoms can lead to problems later in life.
Seeking drug rehab treatment for yourself or a family member can help prevent trauma and addiction related issues.