Dual Diagnosis


Addiction can come in many different forms and for varying reasons. One thing that can lead to addiction is trauma. When a person experiences something that negatively impacts them for an extended amount of time, it can cause him or her to deal with some very difficult emotions. Trauma symptoms can eventually lead to the need for a way of escape which, for some people, is unfortunately found in drugs or alcohol.

What are Some Trauma Symptoms?

When people have experienced something very difficult, they show trauma symptoms which should be brought to attention. Some of these symptoms may include:

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  • Anger
  • Irritability
  • Emotional or physical numbness
  • Nervousness or feeling jittery
  • Anxiety
  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Muscle tension
  • Body aches or pains
  • Shock
  • Denial
  • Guilt

Of course, the symptoms that people have may or may not be represented here. This is because the causes of trauma vary. Sometimes, a person who has been assaulted will experience trauma. Or, if a person has seen something negative happen to someone else, he or she may experience trauma symptoms. Some people may show other signs of trauma, like fatigue, insomnia, or nightmares.

Things That Lead to Trauma

The list of things that can contribute to trauma is longer than what most may think. Situations which some people cannot even begin to imagine have been a reality in the lives of others. So, it’s hard to say exactly what makes negative incidents turn into a life characterized by trauma symptoms. But, one thing that can cause this is the age at which the person had the experience. If the event happened when the individual was a child, it can definitely cause him or her to feel the effects of it well into adulthood.

Also, the number of times the incident occurred can lead to the development of trauma symptoms. For example, if a person has been sexually assaulted multiple times, the effects of it will most likely be felt for a long time after the events have stopped happening.

Often, if the person felt completely unable to stop the event from happening, it may cause the person to feel the effects of the experience repeatedly. Powerlessness can certainly lead to trauma. This ties back to the fact that children who go through bad experiences are at a high risk of trauma in the future. Children usually feel powerless when something happens so they often deal with the shame or guilt that comes with trauma.

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Trauma and Substance Use

People who have gone through traumatic experiences may turn to substances like alcohol and drugs. They often seek a way to get away from the negative feelings trauma causes. So, they begin to use these substances in order to forget about the memories and issues they’re facing. Sometimes, negative experiences can cause people to feel guilty or angry with themselves. This is one reason alcohol and drug use becomes a way to cope with trauma. It is, in a sense, a way for people to punish themselves as they engage in self-destruction.

Treating Trauma Symptoms at Willow Place

At Willow Place for Women, we work with women who have had traumatic experiences and substance abuse problems. It is very hard to deal with these issues alone. So, we are dedicated to letting people know they are not alone. There is hope for recovery and we want to be a part of the process. If you need help treating your substance dependency and trauma symptoms, please contact us at 1-888-651-4212.

Request a Call Back

If you or someone you love is battling substance use, mental health, or eating disorders, please feel free to contact one of our trained admission specialists today. All calls are free and completely confidential. While we know that suffering from a severe and life-threatening substance use disorder or a mental health issue can, at times, seem insurmountable, we sincerely believe that every woman is capable and deserving of the opportunity to recover. Reaching out is the first step – give us a call today and we will gladly walk you through the process of beginning your beautiful, fulfilling journey of recovery.

Note: Your details are kept strictly confidential.