Trauma can have a negative effect on many people’s lives. We’ve all heard the phrase post-traumatic stress disorder, and most of us are also familiar with the term “fight-or-flight.” Nowadays, it isn’t uncommon for people to understand that trauma can have a serious impact on someone’s future experiences.
At The Healing Way, we work to help families understand more about trauma and how to best handle daily life moving forward. If you or a loved one has suffered from traumatic experiences, you can trust the staff of The Healing Way to help you find the right coping strategies to move forward.
The link between trauma and future health issues has been studied for many years. The overall outcome has determined that adverse childhood experiences are equated with one’s risk for mental health issues and substance abuse potential, too.
Crises that occur in adulthood, such as rape or other traumas, can also lead to substance abuse issues. Many people experience chronic health issues as a result of toxic stress. It is often the result of toxic stress that many people look for sources of relief like alcohol or drugs. Even people who might not be predisposed to abuse substances might still be triggered by a traumatic event.
Toxic stress describes experiences that change the brain’s wiring as a result of cortisol release. When cortisol is released for a prolonged period of time, the body works to reconfigure itself for survival. Unfortunately, after too much time, the brain’s neuroreceptors are transformed and extra hormones are released. This changes the brain’s chemistry and alters how a person might react in certain situations.
A common fight-or-flight response is substance abuse because drugs and alcohol allow the body to cope with stress. This coping strategy is often used by those who do not have the means to find other healthier ways to cope. What might have otherwise been a temporary situation for coping then spirals into an addiction.