Emotional Trauma as a Factor For Alcohol Dependency

Mar 12, 2010 No Comments by

Underneath the physical addiction that comes with prolonged alcohol use often lies emotional or psychological pain that has led us to seek out alcohol as a solution to–or as an escape from–our problems. For many, emotional trauma that they experienced at the hands of others represents unresolved pain that leads them to seek out the numbing effects of alcohol. Even after the body has been successfully detoxed, relapse still can occur when the underlying trauma has not been fully healed.

Emotional Trauma as a Factor for Alcohol Dependency

Few of us have lived lives so charmed that we have not experienced some form of emotional trauma. For some, emotional trauma includes direct abuse–such as physical, emotional, sexual or verbal abuse we may have encountered during childhood, or from relationship partners. For others, acts of random violence such as assaults, hate crimes, or prejudice we’ve encountered leave us emotionally scarred. For some, emotional trauma has become an issue due to life circumstances, such as terminal illness, death of a loved one, divorce, or even job or home loss.

As humans, when we encounter emotional trauma, it can overwhelm both the body and brain. Our natural crisis responses kick in, raising heartrate, triggering anger, and even spiking the body’s vitals, for focus and alertness. While these responses are invaluable in an actual crisis, when our emotional trauma remains unresolved, they can create a host of negative effects for us personally–including anxiety attacks, depression, hypervigilance and low self esteem. Because of the brain’s desire to protect itself from the effects of emotional trauma, denial is prone to set in, leading us to repress emotional pain so that we can function in our daily lives.

Healing Emotional Trauma and Alcohol Dependency

Healing emotional trauma is necessary in order to truly cure alcohol dependency. As we eliminate the pain that leads us to self-medicate with alcohol, we find that we no longer experience the urge to drink anymore. Once the body has found freedom from the physical bonds of alcohol addiction through detox, and we have healed the psychological side of our addiction, we experience a true cure for alcoholism. Through inpatient detox and the compassion and guidance of alcohol rehab counseling centers, we can experience true freedom from alcohol dependency, and from the trauma that used to lie beneath.

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