Trauma in Childhood Can Lead to Addiction
Addiction is a complicated psychological and physiological process that can emerge as any action that a person enjoys, takes comfort in or wants in the short term, but that also has detrimental long-term effects that they continue to experience regardless. So, craving ➔ pleasure relief in the short term ➔ negative consequences in the long term ➔ inability to give it up. Notice I have said nothing about substances. As I previously stated, any behavior might be attributed to cocaine, crystal meth, heroin, fentanyl, marijuana, nicotine, alcohol, or whatever else.
It could also be anything human, including sex, gambling, the Internet, relationships, eating, shopping, and working out. Now. According to the American Society for Addiction Medicine, addiction is classified as the main brain condition. It develops in the brain, primarily for genetic causes. They perceive it in that way. I do, however, have another profound truth regarding the subject of addiction.
The second widely held view of addiction is that it is a choice made by the addict, and this is the premise upon which the legal system is built. Why are we punishing people if they are not making choices? Even while I believe the medical term is more accurate, I don’t conceive of it in that way alone. Although it is a genetic condition, I do not consider it to be a major brain disorder. Permit me to explain why now.
Aside from the physical requirements of childhood and adolescence, a human has two basic needs. One is for attachment, which is proximity and closeness with another person for the sake of being cared for or to care for other people. Mammals and even birds are animals of attachment.
We must connect and attach in order to survive. We simply cannot survive if no one is motivated to look after us or become attached to us in that sense and if we are not motivated to become attached to others. Another point is that the endorphins, which are produced by the body’s intrinsic opiates and are chemically similar to heroin and all other opiates, served to promote bonding.
Therefore, if you take young mice and you knock off their endorphin receptor so that they don’t have endorphin opiate activity in their brain, they won’t scream for help and they won’t be able to be removed from their moms, which means that they will perish in the wild.
And this connects to what occurs during early development when there is stress and trauma. These endorphin systems do not mature. And when people use heroin, it feels to them like a cozy hug. They experience love and connection for the first time. It is extremely potent because of this.
However, without this requirement for bonding, the human child was the most helpless, dependent, and immature organism in the universe at birth. You cannot exist without attachment, and that attachment relationship has allowed us to have the longest time of development of any species you are aware of, lasting well into adolescence and beyond.
The necessity for attachment is non-negotiable. However, we also require authenticity, which is defined as being in touch with oneself i.e., just being aware of our feelings and being able to act on them. Consequently, it refers to our intuition. Let’s now examine how humans evolved over 100,000 years when this species coexisted on Earth without cities or homes. Up until relatively recently in the history of humanity, we lived in the wild. Now, how long can you survive in the wild without access to your gut feeling? Not very long, because you simply don’t survive if you start relying on your mind rather than your intuition.
That makes it a strong survival need, just like attachment is. Being genuine is essential for survival, but what happens if being genuine puts your relationships at risk? A 2-year-old is an example. The child becomes upset that the parent forgot to get the cookie before dinner.
But because they were raised in households where rage was a major issue, or their parents are unable to control their anger and are scared of even showing it. As a result, the child gets the impression that decent tiny kids don’t get furious. But the message the child learns is that angry small kids don’t get loved because their parents are now grumpy, and not that good children don’t get upset. So, they won’t even glance at the child. They address him or her severely. Hence, they don’t feel loved.
The child may not be experiencing love at that time, but he or she must remain attached. You may probably guess what you’ll stifle: the authenticity. Every time and this is how we lose touch with who we are and what our intuition is telling us. So, oddly enough, the very dynamic that is necessary for human survival in a natural setting does not endanger our ability to survive. In this more contemporary environment, however, to remain real is to risk attachment.
As a result, we lose our authenticity, which leads us to question our identity and whose life this is. Who is going through all of this, and who am I? Therefore, the reconnection must take place there. The reconnection is where the healing takes place, but the painful battle that most of us experience as children between authenticity and attachment is what causes us to forget who we are and the connection to our gut instincts.
Now, this raises the issue of trauma because it’s one thing to acknowledge that all of this stems from childhood suffering. To transcend that pain is quite another, and to do that, we must comprehend what trauma is. People frequently believe that trauma is something that happens to you. Therefore, divorce is a trauma. Trauma is your mother’s despair and trauma is your father’s alcoholism from when you were young and your parents were fighting. Trauma can be caused by your parents arguing, physical or sexual abuse, or a loss. The traumas are not those. These are traumatic, yet the trauma is not what occurs to you.
Trauma is what happens inside of you, and as a result of these traumatic occurrences, what happens inside you is that you get detached from your body, your emotions, and the present moment. You also start to have a poor impression of the world and yourself and a defensive attitude against other individuals and these viewpoints keep appearing in your present-day existence.
In other words, addiction is not the main issue. The goal is to address the issue; the true query, however, is how the issue came to be. The idea is not just to acknowledge what happened years ago but to recognize the manifestations in the present moment and transcend them, and we can only do so by reconnecting with ourselves by repairing the connection. Therefore, in my hypothesis, I propose that addiction is always anchored in childhood trauma and that the addiction is an attempt to deal with the impacts of childhood trauma which it does temporarily, as, it produces even more difficulties in the long run.
Then you have what we refer to as recovery because what does it mean to recover something? And with your emotions that you lost, and once you do, then what? You must locate it once more. So, what do folks discover when they heal? They discover themselves, and trauma is fundamentally about losing oneself. So, re-connection is the true goal of recovery on all levels—addiction, mental health, and otherwise.