Not having the resources to properly cope with trauma can lead a person down a dark path. It can affect them emotionally and physically. Additionally, they can end up abusing drugs or alcohol. Expert help for trauma-related conditions exists.
Trauma therapy in Los Angeles can address traumatic memories and experiences. As a result, people learn to manage their trauma and mental health. They address their addictions and become sober. Then, they can move forward and live the lives that they deserve.
What is Trauma?
The American Psychological Association (APA) defines trauma as the occurrence of terrible, disturbing, and life-threatening events. In turn, they cause an overwhelming response of emotional and psychological distress. Generally, trauma is subjective, meaning the effects it has varies from person to person. Also, what may be traumatic to a person may not be traumatic to another person.
Sometimes, a person may not even remember the traumatic event causing the effects. For example, people sometimes do not remember childhood trauma because they repressed the memory. However, childhood trauma, such as abuse or witnessing domestic violence, can have some of the most profound effects on a person’s mental health. Trauma therapy in Los Angeles helps unlock these memories. Then, it teaches the person how to process them in a healthy way.
Statistics from the National Center for PTSD show how common living through trauma proves to be. About 60% of men and 50% of women experience at least 1 traumatic event in their lives. For women, the most common events are sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse. On the other hand, for men, the most common events involve combat, accidents, physical assault, and witnessing injury or death.
Trauma not only impacts a person’s mental health. Additionally, it can contribute to poor physical health. This can include chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and high blood pressure.
The Types of Trauma
Traumatic events can include many things. They can be a single act from the past or an ongoing occurrence.
These events include the following:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse and assault
- Childhood neglect or abuse
- Being involved in an accident
- Military service events and acts of war
- Natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, and hurricanes
- Long-term illness
- Death of a loved one
- Community violence
An example of 1 of the most common mental health conditions treated during trauma therapy in Los Angeles is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After experiencing trauma, a person often develops PTSD. Consequently, when reminded of this traumatic event, it triggers a host of painful reactions. These include flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, fear, and avoidance of certain situations and locations.
The Effects of Trauma on the Brain
People experience the effects of trauma on the brain even long after the traumatic act is over. Trauma affects people in extreme ways and physically changes the chemistry of their brains. Experiencing trauma alters the mind. By this, we mean some malfunctions can occur in the brain.
The side effects of trauma can include:
- Panic attacks
- Irritability and hostility
- Suicidal thoughts or actions
Fight-or-Flight Response to Trauma
When a threat appears, the body is conditioned to immediately go into what is called “fight-or-flight” mode. Physical symptoms include rapid heartbeat, shallow breathing, and tension in the body. This is known as an acute stress response. The amygdala is located in the temporal lobe of the brain. The fight-or-flight response comes from this area.
The amygdala stimulates the adrenal glands. As a result, they release hormones like adrenaline, noradrenaline, and norepinephrine. The body prepares itself to either deal with the threat or move to safety. After the threat is gone, the body usually returns to its normal pre-arousal state after 20 minutes to an hour.
Phobias involve an unperceived or imaginary threat. Common examples include a fear of heights, public speaking, or spiders. When these phobias happen, physical symptoms occur. These include sweating, feeling nauseous, and panicking.
When the fight-or-flight response occurs, it can result in a panic attack. Phobias can result as a side effect of trauma. Trauma treatment centers in Los Angeles can help a person dealing with this.
How Does Trauma Therapy in Los Angeles Help?
The fight-or-flight response plays a critical role in how people deal with trauma. Addressing this physiological reaction proves important for those with drug and alcohol addictions. Trauma therapy helps people understand the difference between real and perceived threats.
For that matter, recovery treatment itself can bring on its own stress and anxiety. Because of this, therapists can help a person understand how to handle it in a positive way. The person will learn how to identify their fears for what they really are. With this in mind, they can face and conquer them.
Trauma and Addiction
Trauma and addiction often go hand-in-hand. Research shows that trauma is a major risk factor for developing a substance use disorder. In fact, many people with an addiction also deal with PTSD. The person often starts by going through something traumatic.
Under those circumstances, they often find it easy to try to self-medicate to relieve the pain. For many, that means abusing drugs or alcohol. When addiction and mental illness such as trauma occur simultaneously, this is called dual diagnosis. Alternatively, it’s called a co-occurring disorder.
Trauma treatment centers in Los Angeles understand how to treat trauma alone or as part of a dual diagnosis. Treating just the addiction or just the trauma will not solve the overall issues. Both conditions need treatment at the same time. When this happens, the person gains the tools they need to heal from both conditions.
Types of Trauma Therapy in Los Angeles
Trauma causes people to feel overpowered and helpless. As a matter of fact, that reaction often deters them from getting treatment. Many types of therapy exist that can help overcome trauma. Furthermore, they can assist in helping a person become and stay sober.
Some of our trauma therapy include the following:
- Cognitive-Behavioral therapy
- Dialectical Behavior therapy
- Family therapy
- Group therapy
- Psychodrama therapy
Our trauma therapy programs help people learn techniques to calm down and relax their bodies in fearful situations. Because of this, they can quickly and efficiently deal with the issue without panic and fear consuming them.
Start Trauma Therapy in Los Angeles, CA
Do you or someone you love suffer from addiction? Do you have trauma in your past or current life? If so, LA Detox can help you with both conditions.
Our trauma therapy in Los Angeles, California, teaches you how to become sober and leave trauma behind. We offer residential, outpatient, and other programs that set you up for success and healing.
Contact us now to receive the help you need. Then, start living the healthy and sober lifestyle that you deserve.