Trauma and Addiction Treatment at The Cabin Chiang Mai
Do painful memories replay in your mind, causing sadness or anxiety? Have you ever tried to numb these negative emotions with drugs or alcohol or other behaviours?
This could be a sign of co-occurring trauma and addiction—a very common reality for people who have suffered highly distressing life events. In fact, most people who seek treatment for an addiction have also experienced trauma at some point in their life.
Not only can unresolved trauma spur an addiction, but it can also keep you from getting help and increase the chances of relapse if you do seek treatment. However, at The Cabin Chiang Mai, we have one of the only specialised inpatient programmes for co-treating trauma and addiction simultaneously in the region. Our holistic programme is Asia’s leading treatment for co-treating these two disorders.
What is Trauma?
Trauma in the form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder. PTSD happens as a result of experiencing or witnessing a very distressful event which causes you to feel unsafe and helpless. The intensity of the situation overwhelms your ability to cope and properly process the event. Consequently, the memory remains close to the surface of your thoughts and can lead to the following symptoms:
- Flashbacks and nightmares
- Feeling dizzy or nauseous when reminded of the event
- Avoiding people, places or events for fear of being reminded of the trauma
- A feeling of disconnection from self and others
- Difficulty concentrating and sleeping
- Emotional outbursts
- Reckless or self-destructive behaviour
- Prolonged distress when faced with a trigger
Trauma is separated into three main categories. The type of trauma determines the severity of these symptoms.
‘Big T’ Trauma or Shock Trauma
This type of trauma is caused by a severely stressful event that can also include physical abuse. It may be experienced directly, or indirectly as a witness to the event. These occurrences are often acts of violence both physical and sexual. It can be experienced in the home (domestic or family violence) or during military service. Other examples include: transportation accidents, natural disasters or sudden, unexpected deaths of loved ones. In general, shock trauma results from substantial unwanted or unexpected loss.
‘Small T’ trauma
This type of trauma usually results from fairly common but upsetting life events. On the surface, these events may not seem significant and, in fact, any single event may not be substantial at all. What makes these experiences traumatic is the profound emotional impact you feel. When other people in your life dismiss the significance of the event, this compounds the trauma.
Quite often, ‘small t’ trauma also falls into the category of ‘complex trauma,’ which is described below. A common saying about ‘small t’ trauma is “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.” The cases of trauma often appear less significant to an outsider than they are for to the person who experienced it.
Some examples of ‘small t’ trauma are:
Being teased in school
Divorce of parents
Losing a job
Being picked last for the team
Living in poverty
The death of a pet
Loss of friends
Having a learning disorder
This category describes a type of wounding that could be both big T and small t traumas. What makes them complex is that the events or experiences are repetitive, prolonged and cumulative. These can also occur within specific relationships or contexts.
Relational trauma is a type of complex trauma that occurs in your family. Developmental trauma is another type of complex trauma that occurs during childhood and adolescence, which are key psychological development stages.
Other types of complex trauma can occur during multiple military deployments or during domestic abuse. This might also happen while being exploited by a person in power or authority. Perhaps in a job or at school the person in authority used their power to exploit their own agenda. Other times, complex trauma might occur when you are in a period of vulnerability such as disability, old age, disempowerment or dependency.
The Correlation between Trauma and Addiction
Trauma and addiction frequently co-exist together. The interplay between trauma and addiction happens in a variety of ways.
Having unresolved trauma can cause people to turn to drugs, alcohol or even certain behaviours like gambling or sex to numb negative emotions. In addition, substance abuse can cause trauma. For example, experiencing a parent with an addiction is one type of trauma that can lead to an addiction later on life. Addiction can also cause trauma by driving you to desperate and dangerous places in order to get your fix.
In the past, addressing trauma has been left out the addiction treatment process. The belief held by most wellness professionals was that an individual must get ‘clean’ first before receiving trauma counselling. We now know that neither the trauma nor the addiction is properly treated unless they are addressed together.
Treating Trauma and Addiction: The Cabin’s Holistic Method
At The Cabin, we understand the complexity of trauma as it intersects with addiction. We employ evidence based methods and adopt a holistic approach to treating trauma and addiction. The Cabin’s innovative method includes the following components:
Eye movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) is a proven method designed to help trauma sufferers properly process memories that are causing pain. It involves bi-lateral eye movements which help to move painful memories from the fore-front of the mind into the long-term memory. Just eight EDMR sessions significantly reduces in PTSD symptoms. More information about EMDR in trauma addiction treatment.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the leading therapy method for treating addiction and other mental health concerns. It involves a process of changing patterns of thinking and behaviour as well as getting to the root of these issues.
Trauma release exercise (TRE) yoga is another tool to help process traumatic events. By safely activating a natural reflex mechanism of shaking or vibrating muscular tension is released, encouraging the body to return back to a state of balance.
Proven psychotherapeutic methods can successfully combat both addiction and trauma simultaneously, allowing you to live a life free from their bondages.
Why Choose the Cabin?
During your time at the Cabin you will receive the most cutting edge trauma treatment available. In addition, you will learn a great deal about the nature of trauma.
Our highly trained and accredited experts will help you to understand trauma on many levels including: how the brain reacts to it, the different forms, and the tools necessary to best take care of your mental wellness. With these tools you can recover from both trauma and addiction and reclaim your life.
The Cabin Chiang Mai’s resort-style facilities are the perfect place to restore your body and mind. Our secluded, mountain-side location provides optimal confidentiality and the necessary space from triggers so you can focus on recovery.
Take the first step towards healing, contact us today.
Get Help Now!
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction or trauma and addiction, please fill out our contact form or call us on one of our toll-free numbers. The sooner you get the professional help you need, the sooner you will be able to return to a healthy, ‘normal’ life.