What is Trauma?

In the mental health industry, trauma refers to emotional responses to terrifying events such as rape, assault, natural disasters, divorce, and any comparable type of highly distressful event. It can also be caused by severe, persistent abuse during childhood.  In general, mental trauma can be caused by terrifying single events, and by repeated or prolonged exposure to any highly stressful situation.

Recent trauma can cause victims to experience extreme emotional reactions, such as reliving the event over and over in their minds. It causes distressing feelings of fear, hopelessness, anxiety, stress, depression, exhaustion, and similar reactions. It interferes with normal life and causes loss of functionality in many areas of life, such as social, employment and institutional responsibilities.

When trauma is experienced in childhood, such as when a child is exposed to parents who are negatively affected by substance use disorder, the child can compensate for the shortcomings of parental guidance by forming their own abnormal coping mechanisms.  These abnormal coping mechanisms can last into adulthood and can be passed on to their own children.

Trauma-related Stress Disorders

When a person displays the symptoms of trauma for a relatively long time, the two most prevalent conditions that usually affect them are called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD). CPTSD is a more severe form of PTSD.

The Impact of PTSD and CPTSD

Stress disorders can be so severe that the victims turn to self-medication, especially drug and alcohol usage, in order to soothe their anxiety or to enable them to cope with the demands of life. It is, in fact, the most common reason for substance use disorder.

Therapy for Stress Disorders

PTSD and CPTSD are extremely complicated mental disorders. It requires complex, individualised assessment and treatment programs, usually administered in a residential rehabilitation centre, under the guidance of trained therapists with extensive experience of both disorders.

The mental health industry has done exhaustive research, and have developed several modern treatment techniques for treating PTSD and CPTSD. Amongst them are Cognitive Therapy (CT), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and a host of other dedicated treatment techniques.

Therapists do intensive analyses of a patient’s condition and then design a treatment plan that is tailor-made for the specific patient. This treatment plan usually consists of a combination of several different treatment techniques, all rolled into one, integrated process.

Although many treatment centres claim to use this treatment process, few of them are actually capable of doing so. The process is very complicated and requires therapists with extensive experience, something that is often lacking. It is prudent to make enquiries to ensure that a rehab centre can, indeed, administer proper treatment for PTSD and CPTSD before committing a patient.

More abut trauma treatment here as well as understanding the application between complex post traumatic stress disorder or CPTSD and in advanced addiction rehab treatment models.