Research in the fields of medicine, psychology, neuroscience, and psychotherapy has linked exposure to acute traumatic events and negative childhood experiences to the development of disorders. Research shows that in about 90% of cases of addiction, some form of trauma the person has experienced has played a part.

While the term trauma may cause someone to think of more harmful circumstances, such as being in a car accident or experiencing the atrocities of war, it’s more generally defined as any situation in which a person perceives they are in danger and that they cannot prevent or save themselves from being harmed or killed.

Not having our basic psychological needs met in childhood, whether in obvious or less evident ways, can lead to the development of what we call complex trauma.

Many people who have the disease of addiction don’t think that they experienced any trauma as a child, despite the fact that they may have. Often, they don’t think its trauma because it became normal to them and may think that everyone’s family is just like theirs. It’s possible that your normal may have actually involved some form of trauma, but you just got used to it.

Learning how trauma shapes us, and how to heal from it, are necessary elements in recovering from addiction.

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