The statistics are startling. One in 6 boys, and 1 in 4 girls, are sexually abused before the age of 18. As a parent, a survivor of childhood sexual trauma, and a person in long term recovery, I know the importance of trauma therapy during addiction treatment firsthand.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that nearly 15 million adolescent children have experienced forced sex. Sexual trauma greatly increases an individual’s risk factor for alcoholism or drug addiction, and setting aside these “official statistics”, I can personally report that every person I was in small group with during my time in treatment, both male and female, vividly reported sexual trauma as a factor.
Healing Sexual Trauma
For me, I believe sexual trauma, left unhealed, would have haunted me and tainted my thought processes for the rest of my life. In the back of my mind I knew, upon entering treatment, that this secret from long ago would resurface and be dealt with. I don’t really remember how my therapist brought it up or what questions were introduced that caused me to begin to uncover this pain, but I do remember the inner work we did together once the details were on the table. Once processed and forgiven, I emerged a new person; healed, whole and at peace with my world.
Gracious Care Recovery Solutions and Trauma Informed Care
Left untreated, sexual trauma (or any type of trauma) can lead to any or all of the following:
Anxiety / Panic Attacks
An intense emotional state marked by worry and fear. With trauma survivors, anxiety can be related to the profound fear that the abuse will occur again. Some individuals may experience panic attacks; intense and overwhelming surges of anxiety and fear resulting in physiological reactions, such as difficulty breathing or rapid heartbeat.
Dissociation can be described as a feeling of being disconnected or pulled-away from one’s body or life. It involves a psychological effort to detach from the traumatic event. Dissociation is often referred to as avoidance coping.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder / PTSD
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental health condition triggered by a traumatic event. Symptoms can be experienced immediately following the event, or suddenly emerge months or even years later. Common symptoms of PTSD include nightmares, flashbacks, and intense anxiety when exposed to sounds, sights, or smells that trigger memories of the trauma.
Depression is marked by lingering feelings of deep sadness. Common symptoms include lethargy, hopelessness, bouts of crying, significant weight loss or gain, emotional apathy, or lack of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities.
Addiction / Self Medication
Addiction is often the unintended consequence to a person’s effort to escape the pain of trauma by self-medicating. An individual may begin using drugs or alcohol casually, and then turn to it more frequently as they begin to see it as a way to temporarily relieve themselves from the pain of trauma.
Of course, not everyone who seeks treatment for drug or alcohol addiction has experienced trauma in their lives, but for those who have, Gracious Care Recovery Solutions offers trauma informed therapy in a loving, Christian environment that provides each person with a foundation of hope to rebuild their lives.
We have seen the positive benefits of and the healing that takes place when past trauma is dealt with and healed.
If you or someone you love is in need of addiction treatment, please call us today.
You are never too far gone. You are never beyond hope or help.
As a person who has been healed from childhood sexual trauma and has gone on to live an amazing, struggle free life in recovery, I invite you to call Gracious Care Recovery Solutions today.