Addiction and mental health are often intricately linked. It’s known that about 50% of people with addictions also have a mental health issue or mental illness, most commonly, depression and/or anxiety.
Increasingly, we are learning that the source of these issues are often a result of trauma that people have experienced in their lives and have yet to resolve or learn to manage. What is considered traumatizing can vary significantly for people, but some people are more vulnerable and susceptible to trauma than others. For instance, it’s estimated that about 10% of soldiers returning from combat will experience some degree of trauma, including PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Why some people seem to be more protected from trauma than others is still a mystery. Trauma also falls along a spectrum. Many people who feel they may have experienced trauma often assume they have PTSD.
There are however, lessor degrees of trauma that people experience that can still impact ones mental health. Trauma can serve to diminish one’s stress threshold and require deliberate coping skills and strategies to ensure it doesn’t interfere with your life in a negative way. Sometimes traumatic events can test our coping abilities and if unattended, we can be at risk of developing ill-equipped coping mechanisms that can exacerbate problems. Trauma informed counselling can assist you in exploring and managing these issues, but if specialized treatment is required, your counsellor can suggest and refer you to someone with specific expertise in trauma diagnosis and therapy.