We are discussing how childhood trauma leads to addiction? Experiencing a trauma, whether being a child or an adult, can leave you with nightmares for weeks or months.
However, as an adult, you can find numerous ways to cope with it. But, a child does not have access to authentic sources and professionals to get help from. Their only primary support is their parents. And a few close family friends whom they may talk about without hesitation.
Yet, in several cases, we have seen children falling victim to severe trauma that often leads them to a state of self-harm and addiction. How does it happen? what are the potential causes? and being a parent or guardian, How you can help them in recovery from their trauma is the aim of this article.
What Trauma Is?
Trauma is an intense emotional response to a terrible event that may happen in different ways. It varies from person to person depending upon the way he perceives a particular situation and their reaction and coping mechanisms towards it.
Moreover, trauma leaves a person in a state of shock or denial at the initial stage. Which later manifests as stemming fear from that person, place, or object, that reminds them of that horrific event. Trauma also causes one’s ability to forget about that event, and one can’t control himself from showing signs of fear and anxiety after having flashbacks.
Incidents That May Cause Trauma
Many incidents may leave a child to experience the worst days of his life. The most common among them are:
Sexual or emotional abuse from a close relative
Violence at home
Bullying or harassment at school
Losing a parent
Separation in parents
All these above conditions, if experienced by a child can make him vulnerable to developing an addiction. The main cause of addiction is self-medication, or we would say it is their first step to escape from the situation they are facing. Though unintentionally, this self-medication turns into addiction before they reach the age of 18.
Link Between Trauma and Addiction
Without any doubt, everyone knows that the circumstances we come across at any stage teach us some major lessons which stick to us for the rest of our life. Particularly things that happen to us when we are a child can alter our perception and the way we see the world while growing older.
Therefore, any terrible incident that happens to a child can have an impact throughout his life, and it would surely be negative. These kinds of traumatic experiences that we have discussed above also affect the child’s brain development. It leads to impairment of motor abilities, perception, memory, and cognitive skills. When a child is compelled to face these kinda situations, his way to escape from them may result in self-medication, addiction, or self-harm. It manifests that experiencing any kind of trauma in childhood makes one susceptible to addiction. Trauma, mental illness, or stress, everything caused by the above-mentioned factors is a leading way of ultimate addiction.
It has also been investigated and confirmed after vast research that adolescents suffering from addiction have had a traumatic experience in their childhood. The reasons or root causes may vary from one to another child. However, the results are the same that is chemical dependence.
Final words How Childhood Trauma Leads To Addiction?
If you have had a traumatic childhood experience or watched your child growing up with similar signs, you should never forget a few things to help with this. Never let the past dictate your future and take back control of your life despite any negative emotions. By seeking proper treatment and professional’s help with consistency, you can get through it or help your child to recover from his trauma.