When a person experiences an event that is physically or emotionally harmful or life-threatening, it can have a lasting impact on their mental health. This effect can lead to conditions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety, and depression. Individuals who have difficulty overcoming these experiences and managing their mental health may need the help of trauma-informed care.

Defining Trauma

Trauma refers to a specific event that causes lasting effects on an individual’s mental, physical or emotional well-being. Potentially trauma events can include incidents like assault, natural disasters, or war. What may be traumatic for one person is not necessarily traumatic for another. Only the person themselves can identify what has adversely affected them in their lives.

What Is Trauma-Informed Care?

young woman going through trauma-informed careBeing “trauma-informed” means recognizing that people often have many different types of trauma in their lives and that the services delivered are sensitive to the impact trauma may have had on a person.

Trauma can be debilitating. For example, a common condition that results from trauma is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. Someone with PTSD may have triggers that cause flashbacks to their specific traumatic event. Individuals who have experienced war, such as active duty military members and veterans often experience flashbacks. Loud noises, such as fireworks, may remind them of gunshots or explosions they heard during their tour and cause a rush of distressing emotions from remembering the event.

Trauma-informed care understands the physical, social, and emotional impact that trauma has had on the individual.

Trauma-informed providers are trained to assess trauma and are skilled at identifying common signs of traumatic stress. The providers educate about trauma as well as teach coping skills for managing trauma-related symptoms.

Trauma and Addiction

Trauma and addiction also commonly go hand-in-hand. A person who struggles with trauma may also have a mental health disorder such as PTSD, depression, or anxiety. Instead of accessing trauma-informed care and finding professional help for these conditions, many choose to self-medicate. They may use drugs or alcohol to calm themselves when they experience triggers.

Over time, this self-medication may turn into a dependence and addiction. The person will no longer be able to manage their PTSD or trauma symptoms without relying on substance abuse. A professional who practices a trauma-informed care approach can address trauma and addiction as comorbid conditions and help the individual develop better coping mechanisms for these situations.

Begin Recovery with New Bridge Foundation®

Trauma can have a lasting impact on an individual’s life, but it is manageable. New Bridge Foundation® in Berkeley, California offers Bay Area substance abuse counseling and trauma-informed care that acknowledges past experiences and needs. Our services recognize the widespread impact of trauma, and the signs and symptoms of trauma on the client and their families. In addition to these services, New Bridge Foundation® also offers:

For those who have comorbid conditions, our co-occurring disorder treatment offers the opportunity to confront both conditions at once. To learn more about New Bridge Foundation® or enroll in one of our programs, call us today at 866.772.8491. Our compassionate team is ready to help.