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Will I Still Have to Cope With Trauma Triggers After Treatment?

Suppressing negative emotions associated with trauma can be detrimental to one's healing process. Learning to recognize trauma triggers in treatment can help individuals effectively respond in recovery. Continued use of drugs and alcohol to numb the effects of trauma can hinder one's natural ability to mentally and physically progress in recovery.

Restoration Recovery understands that trauma is one of the biggest culprits behind addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions. Taking time to reflect on past traumatic events with a mental health professional can help. Putting new strategies into action outside of therapy can help one safely cope after treatment. Ongoing aftercare and recovery support are crucial for long-term recovery. Everyone deserves to heal from trauma.

What Is Trauma?

As stated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), trauma is an emotional response to either witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event. Trauma can physically or emotionally harm an individual. Experiencing a traumatic event can place a serious burden on individuals, communities, and families. It can affect anyone of any age, race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, and sexual orientation.

Everyone responds to trauma in their own unique way. Depending on the severity of the trauma, it can be life-threatening. Trauma can also have long-term effects on an individual. An individual may face challenges with the lasting adverse effects of trauma. These may include problems with:

  • Mental health

  • Emotional health

  • Physical health

  • Social well-being

  • Spiritual well-being

What Are Some Examples of Trauma Triggers?

Anything that reminds an individual of past trauma is clinically known as a trauma trigger. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), every individual who is having difficulty coping with trauma responds to it in different ways. One may feel intense fear, anger and aggression, paranoia, helpless, and overall concern for their well-being. Malicious, violent traumatic events are not something that is easily forgotten overnight. Trauma triggers can have long-lasting effects on individuals if left untreated.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an example of having increased stress levels to trauma in the long term. It is common for one to be triggered by senses that may be tied to a past traumatic event. Maybe crossing paths with a familiar face may be a trigger. Different trauma triggers may also include:

  • A certain smell

  • An intense feeling

  • Specific sounds or lyrics in a song

  • A sense of touch by others

  • Disturbing tastes

  • A specific place

  • Photos or images

  • Repeated behaviors from others

  • Different topics read or discussed

  • Scenarios in movies or books

Although trauma triggers are known to be harmless, they can cause an individual's body to react in a sense of great danger. This can be incredibly uncomfortable for some individuals.

Untreated mental health conditions due to trauma can cause:

  • Violent outbursts, anger, and aggression

  • Irregular sleep patterns

  • Increased substance abuse

  • Avoidance of social events, news, and media

  • Isolation

How to Cope With Trauma Triggers

It can be difficult to cope or move forward in recovery from trauma without professional help. Using different self-help practices in combination with the tools learned in treatment can help individuals learn to effectively cope with their symptoms related to trauma. For example, when an individual is met with an uncomfortable trigger, it can be effective to use different strategies learned in sessions to appropriately and calmly respond to their fight-or-flight response.

Taking deep breaths can help one relax after exposure to triggers. When an individual learns how to recognize their triggers, they can better cope with them. Mindfulness meditative practices can help in times of need. Practicing self-care and reaching out or accepting support from family, close friends, or a team of mental health professionals can help one learn to live comfortably or overcome the effects of trauma.

Trauma Therapy With Restoration Recovery

Understanding trauma triggers and symptoms can help an individual manage their substance use disorder (SUD), prevent a substance relapse, and comfortably cope with the negative effects associated with their co-occurring mental health condition. Although self-care practices can help one manage their mental health, as previously stated, for some individuals professional help may be needed to move forward.

Searching for the right clinic and surrendering to treatment can be an overwhelming process for some people. Not everyone is comfortable or willing to open up about their past trauma. Confiding in others can be helpful, but sharing too much information with friends can damage the relationship due to misunderstandings. Sharing past bad habits done to overcome trauma alone can bring fears of judgment too. However, while trauma triggers will be an ongoing challenge in the recovery process, overcoming them with the right skills that were once learned in treatment is possible.

Trauma therapy with Restoration Recovery can help an individual learn safe ways to respond to trauma triggers without depending on drugs or alcohol to cope. For some individuals, therapy can help symptoms be less severe in the long run. An individual's relationships with friends and family, future connections, self-esteem, and mood can be significantly improved after treatment. Outpatient trauma-focused therapy focuses more on what happened to the individual rather than the event itself. Committing to the strategies learned in treatment can overall enhance an individual's quality of life for a brighter future.

Just like addictive triggers will always be with us, trauma triggers will persist too. Here at Restoration Recovery, our mental health team teaches our clients the skills needed to effectively recognize and respond to uncomfortable triggers. Although triggers may still be problematic for some individuals after treatment, they may be less intense in recovery. Our counselors utilize trauma therapy to help participants in overcoming the psychological traumas they have experienced. Our team of experienced and qualified therapists is ready to help you become a better version of yourself. Our clients are treated with respect and dignity at all times. If you or a loved one is facing challenges with addiction and trauma, call Restoration Recovery at (888) 290-0925 today.

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