Helping Men Heal From Trauma

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Helping Men Heal From Trauma

Trauma is common among individuals who have struggled with substance use disorder (SUD). Society often stigmatizes trauma as a female-based problem that men do not have to deal with. These stigmas are far from true, as men are just as likely to experience trauma as women. This misinformation often causes men to feel that they are unable to reach out for help or address their trauma because of the potential for judgment.

Impact of Trauma on Men

Awareness of the potential impact trauma can have on men and their recovery is critical. As a man, you are more likely to experience heightened levels of emotions—particularly anger, aggression, or violent behavior—when experiencing forms of trauma. As these traumatic responses surface, these actions tend to increase. As the cycle of trauma continues to emerge, the side effects can take a toll on many aspects of your life.

Due to the societal stigmas on trauma, many men are left feeling that they are unable to ask for help. As this trauma is dismissed and bottled up, it can worsen and become more challenging to overcome. Addressing any trauma you are experiencing during recovery can drastically help you overcome your addiction and negative emotional responses.

Connection to Addiction

Trauma often comes with the potential of developing an addiction by relying on unhealthy coping mechanisms. As young men attempt to process trauma on their own, there is a possibility of resorting to the temporary relief of substance use to help overcome these traumatic memories. While this may seem to solve the issue momentarily, it does not address the trauma in any form and therefore reinforces the continuation of substance use when trauma triggers arise.

Many of the psychological side effects that are experienced through addiction are also experienced as a trauma response. It can be hard for individuals to think rationally, appropriately make decisions, regulate their emotions, and engage with others in a healthy way. As these are experienced in a response to both addiction and trauma, the effects of each condition often worsen the other as they coexist.

Healing From Trauma 

There are many different ways to overcome and heal from trauma to ease the process of maintaining sobriety and managing your mental health moving forward.

Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is a common method used to help heal and overcome trauma. This process helps treat unprocessed memories that may be subconsciously affecting your emotional state. It can be a great way to rewire your neurological responses to further assist you in your sober living home.

This therapeutic form works by moving your eyes back and forth, correlating your eye positions with traumatic memories. Through channeling these trauma responses, you can learn to adjust your reaction to them and lower the strong emotional response each time, eventually dissipating the severity of the trauma. 

Holistic Approaches

Holistic therapeutic forms can also be a great addition to your recovery plan when attempting to overcome high levels of trauma. One of the primary benefits of holistic approaches is the number of options available to use as coping mechanisms. Yoga, breathwork, energy healing, reiki, and other forms of holistic approaches can be implemented to help regulate your emotions when feelings of trauma arise. While these methods do not necessarily heal trauma itself, they can improve your ability to manage feelings of trauma more effectively.

Minimize Self-Isolation

When experiencing high levels of emotional trauma, it can be easy to push others in your support group away. While you may need some alone time to process your emotions, it is critical to avoid reaching a state of self-isolation. Self-isolating when experiencing trauma can lead to many adverse effects and regression in the progress you have made to overcome these traumas.

As you are living in a sober living home, take advantage of your surrounding community members to help you move past these emotional traumas. Healing with the support of your housemates can go a long way, as many of them have likely experienced some level of trauma themselves. It can be extremely rewarding to see that you are not alone in this process and that you have others here to support you.

Healing from trauma is a continual process. As you continue your recovery care and sobriety maintenance, it is important to be aware of the potential impact that prior traumas can have on your progress. Learning how to healthily manage these situations and regulate your emotions when triggers arise can help you avoid falling back into the cycle of addiction to deal with these traumas. As you begin to implement new aspects to cope with trauma, you will notice that your natural response becomes easier to manage with practice.