As research on complex trauma continues, we are beginning to learn more about what happens to a child that grows up feeling in danger, pain or constantly unsafe. We talk about the ways this can happen in our last post, Dealing with Complex Trauma.

One thing we know for sure is that pain motivates; it indicates that something went wrong and needs to be fixed.

So, what happens when child grows up in danger, where they are experiencing constant physical or psychological pain?

They want to find a solution, they want to fix it so that they don’t feel uncomfortable. These solutions tend to fall under the umbrella of the flight, fight or freeze.

Fight: If I think I am in danger, I will use anger.
Flight: I am going to avoid the possibility of any pain.
Freeze: I will disconnect from my own emotions.

This survival-oriented process results in people hurting themselves. They live with an underlying sense of fear, missing out on the satisfaction and beauty of living and connecting to the world.

How does this relate to the disease of addiction? One of the most common methods to treat the pain is to numb it with drugs and alcohol. While this is one of the reasons why people become addicted, it is just one piece of the puzzle.

To learn more about how we can help you on your journey to recovery, click here.