Co-treating Addiction and Trauma Disorders at The Cabin Sydney

According to a 2012 study in the Current Psychiatry Reports Journal “over half the individuals seeking treatment for addiction meet the criteria for current PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).” The report also states that individuals with PTSD have a significantly lower success rate when it comes to addiction recovery.

The inextricable link between trauma and addiction has been well documented but only recently, treatment centres have adopted methods to address both addiction and trauma simultaneously. In fact, research now says that the chances for relapse increase significantly unless the trauma is treated in conjunction with the addiction. In accordance with the top minds in addiction around the globe, The Cabin has created a specialised and holistic trauma programme to ensure lasting healing and recovery.

What is Trauma?

medical-treatment-300x201Trauma or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is typically associated with extreme or severe incidences such as, violence or war – when, in fact, trauma can refer to any situation that is emotionally painful or distressing. It can develop after a life-threatening situation such as combat, a car crash or an assault. It can also result from anything that threatens your well-being or sense of control over your own surroundings such as sexual, physical or psychological abuse, infidelity or relational trauma

Symptoms of PTSD include reliving the event, avoiding situations that remind you of the event, negative changes in thoughts or feelings, hyperactivity or hyper vigilance, and susceptibility to addiction and mood disorders.

Trauma can fall into one of three categories.

“Big T” Trauma or Shock Trauma

This refers to trauma caused by a severely stressful event that can also include physical abuse. Big T trauma could be experienced directly, or indirectly as a witness to an incident. Shock trauma refers to acts of violence both physical and sexual. More examples of big T trauma are: transportation accidents, natural disasters or sudden, unexpected loss of a loved one. Overall, shock trauma results from significant, unwelcome or unexpected loss.

“Small t” Trauma

Small t trauma refers to fairly common but also distressing incidents. These events may not seem noteworthy and, in fact, any solitary event may not be significant at all. However, what makes these experiences traumatic is the intense emotions they cause. Furthermore, when others in your life dismiss the importance of the event, this adds to the trauma.

Small t trauma often falls into the classification of ‘complex trauma’ (described below). A common saying that can be applied to ‘small t’ trauma is “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.” The incident of trauma appears less significant to an outsider than it is for to the person who experienced it.

Examples of ‘small t’ trauma include:

  • Being bullied/left out at school
  • The death of a pet
  • Divorce of parents
  • Living in poverty
  • Losing friends
  • Moving house
  • Changing schools
  • Having a learning disorder
  • Being fired from a job
  • Being threaten

Complex Trauma

Complex trauma describes incidents that could be both big T and small t traumas. They are complex because the events or experiences are repetitive, prolonged and cumulative and can also occur within specific relationships or contexts.

For example, relational trauma is a type of complex trauma that occurs in your family. Developmental trauma is another type of complex trauma that occurs during the key developmental stages of childhood and adolescence.

Other example of complex trauma can involve multiple military deployments or domestic abuse. Being exploited by a person in power or authority is another form of this type of trauma. Complex trauma may occur during a period of vulnerability such as disability, old age, disempowerment or dependency.

Trauma and Addiction – What is the Correlation?

Trauma and addiction are frequently co-occurring disorders. Often people suffering from a traumatic event will turn to drugs or alcohol in an effort to self-medicate. Symptoms of trauma include anxiety and for those who have experienced trauma, living in constant fear is a reality. Drugs and alcohol can help to soothe these feelings, and without proper treatment for trauma, addiction can easily take hold.

It is incredibly important that those suffering from trauma and addiction are treated properly for their trauma. Otherwise, their chances of relapsing are incredibly high. Co-occurring disorders are one of the leading causes of addiction and thus must be treated alongside addiction.

Your Best Option for Co-treating Addiction and Trauma

The Cabin Sydney co-treats addiction and trauma with a highly effective, holistic model that incorporates trauma focused cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and trauma release exercise (TRE) yoga.

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.

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.

Why Choose The Cabin for Trauma and Addiction Treatment

syd2During 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 Western-trained and accredited counsellors understand the complexity of both disorders and how they interplay. The Cabin’s team provides compassionate evidence-based therapy to treat your trauma disorder alongside your participation in addiction treatment.

This highly personalised approach ensures clients the best possible chances of success. The Cabin Sydney is conveniently located and allows you to fit treatment around your daily commitments.

Take the first step towards healing, contact us today.

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