Why Is Trauma So Important?

The primary cause of addiction has been researched by psychologists and neurologist all over the world. The common ground they all have established is that the core cause of addiction is the harbouring of emotional trauma without resolution.

Whatever the level of the trauma from mild or severe, there is always a facet of unsolved emotional trauma in the subconscious of the affected person.

Subconsciously these emotional feelings begin to gather up and grow and adapt as the individual progresses through life. This feeling will result in trauma-based anxiety or depressions as they are triggered by seemingly unrelated life circumstances. The healing of traumatic experience process, however, is not without strain. It comes with confusion and pain so much that only a handful of people can go through it alone without help from friends or psychologist.

Very few people can internalise and go through healing process on their own without developing a broad range of maladapted behaviours, for the point of this discussion addiction features prominently.

Failure to complete personal trauma healing will not stop the unsolved emotional feelings from playing out in day to day life situations. In an attempt to express these unsolved feelings take many forms, one of the most common of which is an addiction. The human brain needs time to soothe itself and trauma-based memories interfere with a natural ability to restore calm resulting in active addiction. To the brain, addiction is simply a better option than completing the trauma healing process however over time the escape of substance abuse results in greater feelings of disconnection and new destructive cycles enter the process of resolution.

The various levels of addiction are distinguished by the intensity of the addiction, the degree of side effects and the level of social acceptance of the psrticular addiction. Society undoubtedly contributes to how addiction is dealt with or accepted. Addiction to hard drugs and some anti-social activities is clearly frowned upon in the society; they perceive them to be highly negative.

Addictions like workaholism and shopping or fanatical religion are often seen to be accepted by society. “If work/shopping or religion will help solve the heroin addiction, then why not.” The third category of addiction is not even seen as an addiction to society. Cases of addiction like going into relationships for the wrong reason or patterning your lifestyle on the basis of sex, dieting, overeating or self-infatuation is not seen as a form of addiction and is entirely accepted by the society. Here is a list of addiction based behaviours that most people simply accept as "normal" in day to day society.

One of the most common ways the society treats addiction is to replace it with another form of other addiction that is socially accepted. These options are often called “distractions” or seeking help. Addicts with severe cases are referred to one religious group or the other for help.

An example of this would be "alcoholics" or patients with alcohol use disorder being sent to join Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. Inside 12 step meetings, people with alcohol use disorders are taught to control the alcoholism by being addicted to mantras and ongoing group sessions. This may seem at first to be viable, however, in the long run, it doesn’t provide the inner peace needed by people suffering from addiction based on trauma. There is no change to the addiction, only a changed in severity and social acceptance. Once a trauma is not resolved and allowed to grow, no amount of addiction replacement can solve the problem. Traumas and emotional hurt are meant to be expressed as they come, bottling up the feeling will eventually wreck more havoc to the psyche of whoever is bottling up such emotions.

South Africa plays host to one of the worlds best rehab centres for substance use disorders and other emotional disparity in clients that have not been successful in other formats of treatment.