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This is when some of us become vulnerable to the development of addictions, which provides a way of hiding or covering up this pain.
We essentially learn to be addicted as a way of coping with past trauma.
How can a traumatic event or set of events from earlier in life create a present desire to scarf down cookies, drink wine every night, or partake in other obsessive behaviors?
The answer lies in how our brains and bodies record experience and respond to life situations.
The addictive substances or activities can actually feel as if they are needed in order to survive.
After all, for those of us with past trauma, addictions are exactly how we survived psychologically and emotionally for many years.
If a person is suffering from addiction, the answer is not always as simple as just quitting, moderating or making better judgments.
If the events are too much to handle at any point in life, we may naturally look for ways to protect ourselves from having to experience this pain over and over.
Because this learned process carries so much power in our lives, recovery from addiction may be very difficult – and, in some cases, impossible – unless the underlying trauma is dealt with effectively.
Researchers and addiction specialists are finding more and more evidence that addiction is quite often linked to psychological and emotional trauma from earlier in life.
The science of neuroplasticity tells us that our brains are not static, unchanging organs, as was once believed.
From the time the brain begins to develop in utero until the day we die, the connections among the cells in our brains reorganize in response to our changing experiences.
This dynamic process allows us to learn from – and adapt to – different events in our lives.