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Coping with Psychological Trauma

A young woman looks stressed and overwhelmed as she puts her hand on her forehead.
Psychological stress can be destructive unless properly addressed.

Psychological trauma is what happens when the amount of stress one faces overwhelms their ability to cope.

It can be caused by many things, including natural disasters, war, abuse, abandonment, death, illness and even bullying.

It’s also true that an event that would cause psychological trauma in one person—let’s use the example of a bad divorce—might be overcome by another person.

What is Psychological Trauma?

Psychological trauma occurs when something exceeds an individual’s ability to cope, leaving that person fearing death, and emotionally, cognitively and physically overwhelmed.

When that happens, a person’s life takes a sharp downhill turn. Post-traumatic stress disorder may follow. A person might also turn to drugs or alcohol to numb those bad feelings.

How to Overcome Psychological Trauma

The good news is that there is evidence-based treatment that can help an individual overcome trauma.

The first treatment is psychotherapy, also called “talk therapy.” Such treatment usually lasts at least six weeks, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. However, treatment can oftentimes last much longer. This type of therapy helps individuals learn to change how they react to the negative feelings and emotions caused by trauma.

The other way to treat trauma is with medication. Typically, that means taking an anti-depressant, which helps with feelings of sadness, worry and anger.

Psychological Trauma and Addiction

It’s easy to see how people battling psychological trauma might turn to drugs or alcohol to relieve feelings of stress, anxiety and even terror.

But, instead of fixing the original problem, that approach often leads to another problem: addiction.

Once that happens, both conditions—the trauma and the addiction—need to be treated at the same time in order to bring healing and feel better. This is called dual-diagnosis treatment and it’s available at credible, high-quality rehabs.

Hope and Healing at The Raleigh House

At The Raleigh House, we take a whole-person approach to recovery. That means we don’t just get the substance out of your system. The real work is helping you recover psychologically, mentally, spiritually and socially. We also evaluate—and treat—residents for any co-occurring conditions that may exist, such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. Fill out our form or contact us today to learn more about our drug and alcohol addiction treatment programs.

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