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The Underlying Connection Between Childhood Trauma and Addiction

Childhood is generally a time of discovery, innocence and happiness. Despite these typical experiences, a growing individual’s life can be instantly shattered by a traumatic event and fall victim to lasting psychological damage. In some cases, survivors of trauma may turn to drug or alcohol use in order to cope with the pain.

The toll of trauma

Experiencing trauma at any age can cause complex consequences to a person’s thoughts, emotions and behaviors, but childhood is an especially sensitive period. When a child witnesses or is victimized by a traumatic event, the incident can have extensive and lifelong impacts on the developing brain. Potential effects can be emotional, relational or physical, including:

  • Increased anxiety
  • Feelings of helplessness, powerlessness and hopelessness
  • Sadness and grief
  • Feelings of self blame, guilt and shame
  • An inability to trust others
  • Lower self-esteem
  • An increased risk of chronic health conditions including fibromyalgia, diabetes, headaches, cardiovascular disease, irritable bowel syndrome and chronic fatigue syndrome
  • A higher likelihood of co-occurring mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety and self-harming behaviors

How trauma leads to addiction

Recent studies have shown that a neurological connection may exist between childhood trauma and substance abuse. The amygdala, the hippocampus and the prefrontal cortex are all involved in the body’s response to trauma. These three areas of the brain control threat perception (amygdala), processing memories (hippocampus) and executive control (prefrontal cortex).

When these areas of the brain are overactive, such as following a traumatic experience, an individual can become extremely overwhelmed with everyday life and societal challenges. Furthermore, a person may desire to escape these negative feelings and begin self-medicating through drugs and alcohol as they grow older. 

Tips for handling trauma triggers

A trauma survivor may develop a number of triggers that can lead to abusive and addictive behaviors. In order to prevent this from happening, experts recommend the following strategies: 

  • Surround yourself with support when overwhelming memories begin entering your thoughts
  • Engage in exercise, volunteering and positive activities that release soothing endorphins and other mood lifting chemicals within the body
  • Work with a therapist to accept what elements of life you cannot control or predict
  • Learn how to systematically dial down the intensity of your emotions through breathing and other meditative exercises
  • Begin picking apart your negative feelings and actions. Trace these responses to the thoughts that cause them and address their irrationalities

In the case of dealing with trauma, both treatment and recovery are possible. When treating an addicted individual who is also a survivor of childhood trauma, it is very important to follow a holistic approach where the addiction and anxiety are confronted equally. While detoxification programs address more immediate concerns, these services are not be equipped to handle the lasting mental health needs that result from serious trauma.

On the other hand, specialized residential treatment centers can handle these psychological needs as well as the side effects of drug or alcohol withdrawal. Survivors and their support systems must look for behavioral health care providers that offer detox and continuing care services for managing trauma-related illnesses.

Author Bio:  I’m a writer and blogger specializing in blog posts, press releases and web content for online businesses.Also write indifferent theme like Attorney law, web marketing, health, legal, logistics, etc. I am nature lover withkeen interest in global culture and heritage. I am Currently Work For  Sovereign Health Group

 

 

 

Posted by JamesJones - March 23, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Categories: Guest Posts   Tags:

Beating Cold Weather Tooth Pain

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The winter season can bring on tooth pain due to a couple of main causes. One is often a surprise for most patients seeking treatment for a toothache when the cold snaps begin. One rare situation can even be life-threatening and not have anything to do with an actual problem with the aching teeth. So, let’s take a look at what may be happening when your teeth start to hurt as the temperatures start to drop outdoors.

 

Sinus Infections and Allergies

 

Though it may seem odd, your sinuses can be causing your tooth pain. Sinus infections and allergies that begin to become quite prevalent in the fall and winter seasons can easily cause referred pain into the region of the teeth. In some people the sinus cavity is very close to the root areas of their upper teeth. Inflammation and congestion associated with a sinus infection or plain old hay fever can make it feel like you have a toothache. Treating the sinus infection or allergies fixes the problem.

 

Sensitive Teeth

 

Many people complain of sensitive teeth. Teeth are not completely solid even though they look like it with the naked eye. The fact is that teeth have microscopic tubules that are like little tunnels down into the interior parts of what they are made up of. In some people the sensitivity is so great that they cannot tolerate any acidic foods or beverages coming in contact with their teeth, and hot or cold foods or liquids can get them to scream in pain. Teeth that are this sensitive along with the cold air of winter do not mix well. Toothpastes that contain potassium nitrate help. The potassium nitrate plugs up the tubules in tooth surfaces, reducing pain. However, it is important to see a dentist within four weeks of beginning to use toothpaste for sensitive teeth to make sure you are not masking a serious problem.

 

A Developing Cavity

 

Cavities do not appear overnight. They develop over time. The affected tooth eventually reaches a point when decay exposes the inner structures of the tooth, and severe pain and even a serious infection known as an abscess can result. In the early stages there may be a sensitivity to cold air, cold foods or beverages, and possibly even hot foods or beverages. Most likely though, cold will exacerbate the pain of a cavity that is getting closer to the root of a tooth. Metal amalgam fillings can also potentially conduct cold more effectively than resin fillings and may cause sensitivity to cold air. Good oral hygiene helps to prevent cavities.

 

Heart Problems

 

Though not common, there have been people who have made an appointment with their dentist to determine the cause of tooth pain only to find out it is a heart condition. The heart has no nerves that sense pain. Hearts can be in distress for a long time before a full blown heart attack occurs. As a blood vessel in the heart begins to get blocked, the heart begins to be in distress to get enough oxygenated blood to keep pumping effectively. Most heart attack pain is radiating pain in the left arm, across the shoulders or in the jaw. However, people feel things differently, and some have felt tooth pain when in fact they had a heart blockage. If good oral hygiene has led to healthy teeth, a visit to a dental clinic can quickly determine if the source of the pain is a tooth or not.

 

Keep your teeth healthy no matter what the season. Make sure everyone in the house practices good oral hygiene. Ensure it by teaching oral hygiene education to children. There are many good online sources that have excellent tips for good oral hygiene to help get kids brushing and flossing daily. Healthy teeth from a young age helps to prevent cavities, root canals and tartar (calculus) that can lead to tooth loss and heart disease as well as enamel erosion that can lead to sensitivity pain.

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Posted by delancooper - September 14, 2015 at 1:24 pm

Categories: Health Information   Tags: , , , , ,