The human mind is incredibly proficient in protecting itself from outside harm. If you are someone who’s lived through a major trauma, you may be repressing memories to guard yourself from the psychological and emotional pain that this experience has caused. Although repression is an effective survival tool, it can have a very detrimental impact on a person’s life going forward. Until traumatic events have been processed, people are unable to move beyond them. This is actually a very common cause of drug and alcohol addiction. When natural forms of repression stop working, people use substances to keep repressed memories from coming forward.
Fortunately, many Florida drug rehabilitation centers have a variety of tools and services that are designed to help people confront and overcome repressed trauma safely. The very idea of starting drug treatment can be daunting. This is all the more true for someone who’s treatment involves dealing with repressed memories. People know that these efforts require challenging periods of detox and withdrawal, significant physical and emotional discomfort, and intense self-reflection. Notwithstanding these things, going to rehab is always guaranteed to be worthwhile. For those using drugs or alcohol to stave off repressed memories, successful treatment can provide both freedom from addiction and lasting peace of mind. Best of all, in the right Florida drug rehab center, accessing and processing memories of repressed trauma can be a comfortable and wholly rewarding experience.
Why Addressing Repressed Memories May Be an Essential Part of Your Addiction Treatment
Although a traumatic memory might be repressed, this does not mean that it is not still affecting your life. The past events that have caused you trauma could be affecting your sense of self-worth and your ability to function normally. Whether remembered or repressed, trauma can lead to:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- A tendency to self-isolate
- The desire to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol
Worst of all, repressed memories can make people feel unwarranted guilt and shame, and without understanding why these negative and undeniably oppressive emotions exist. People with repressed memories can also have a hard time trusting others, forming healthy relationships, and engaging in social activities that are important for working jobs, going to school, or taking part in other forms of basic self-care and self-improvement. As a common, underlying cause of addiction, unresolved trauma can also make it virtually impossible for people to stop using substances, and to maintain their sobriety long-term.
If you have tried and failed in recovery multiple times, choosing to address past traumas head-on could be key to freeing yourself from addiction. It also becomes easier for people to avoid new traumas once they have remembered and processed old ones. Many people who grew up in abusive homes go on to have abusive relationships as adults. After finally escaping one abusive partnership in adulthood, a person may unwittingly establish another. Although people tend to blame themselves for attractive abusive partners, their problem often lies in simply failing to process past traumas, and move beyond them. Thus, addiction treatment with a focus on processing repressed memories can serve as both effective rehab and an invaluable tool for improving your overall life-quality and well-being.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is one tool that a Florida drug rehabilitation center might use to this end. Although this technique is still being researched, it has shown promising outcomes in a number of studies. Through this technique, people are assisted in confronting and processing past traumas via sporadic stimulation of their vision. A strong connection is believed to exist between a person’s eye movements and the way in which memories are stored. Similar to other types of therapy being used during rehab treatments, EDMR can reduce the intense feelings of distress that traumatic memories create.
When successful, this therapy allows people to begin focusing on the future by moving them beyond the harmful events of their past. During rehab, those with repressed memories can also take part in:
- Talk therapy in a one-on-one setting
- Group therapy with peers who share similar life experiences
- Art therapy and other therapeutic activities for managing stress and other unpleasant emotions
Many people who live with repressed memories also suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. For these individuals, programs that offer treatments for comorbidities like PTSD can be helpful as well. Learning how to safely manage PTSD and other secondary mental health issues eliminates the need for patients to continue self-medicating symptoms such as panic attacks, aggression, insomnia, and extended bouts of depression. If you’re searching for the right drug rehab center for addressing both your substance use disorder and the trauma of your past, we can help. Call us at 833-846-5669 today.