From current events to politics, there is no shortage of anxiety-inducing information in the world. At times, it can feel like our senses are being bombarded with worrisome news. How much worry is too much? How can we cope? This can certainly be more difficult for those who have lacked secure attachment in childhood or have experienced trauma during their lives. In fact, those with insecure, avoidant, or disorganized attachment, attachment wounds, or trauma histories will have a harder time re-regulating their nervous systems.
Within the last few weeks, I have heard of two more young people dying from heroin overdoses. Tragedies like this are becoming ever more common.
Right now, in my opinion, there is a heroin/opiate epidemic going on. It’s spanning all ages, all races, all genders, and all socioeconomic statuses! It doesn’t matter if your town has a Starbucks or a beautiful, organic farmers market.
Sometimes in addiction treatment, just getting free from using drugs or alcohol can hijack all our attention. I cannot stress enough how important it is to recognize trauma’s role when we talk about addiction treatment and recovery. The article “The Link Between Trauma and Addiction” by the Maryland Addiction Recovery Center made this point so well. I want to follow up from a trauma-informed care perspective.
The phrase “self-harming behavior” may call up images of troubled teenagers with cuts on their arms. But self-injury can occur for people of any age, in children, adolescents and adults, whether male or female. This is not at all a teenage fad!
From the outside, it seems puzzling that any person could develop an eating disorder like anorexia, bulimia or compulsive overeating. When we see someone starving themselves or eating themselves into obesity, the temptation is to criticize or correct them: “Just stop it! Can’t you see you’re hurting yourself?”
But criticism or judgment is the last thing a person with an eating disorder needs. If we want to help people Continue reading
We know that good relationships are so important to our happiness, yet we may not know just how vital they are to our health and well-being.
What do our connections to others give us? And what happens when we don’t have them?
Many people struggle to take a compliment. It doesn’t matter if the compliment comes from a loved one, a stranger, or a trusted source, like a therapist. The struggle goes much deeper than manners, modesty, or cultural norms.
I’m talking about the inability to accept what therapists call positive affect. The issue for some is about feeling, deep down, that you don’t deserve it, that you can’t believe it, that as a person you are not worthy, and that you can’t allow or take in the experience of feeling good about yourself, or even believing someone else feels good about you either. Continue reading
Intimate partner violence may be even more prevalent than sexual assault. Reports show that 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual assault. But nearly 1 in 4 women have experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner, says the National Domestic Violence Hotline. One in 3 women have experienced some form of intimate partner violence, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).
Stopping intimate partner violence presents its own set of challenges. Domestic violence often involves a co-dependent relationship and two people with histories of trauma.
But it only takes one well-informed, well-prepared adult in the lives of victims to make the difference between someone staying trapped, and getting help. Continue reading
Every 107 seconds, someone in America is sexually assaulted. The vast majority are adolescent women. Each of us can learn something and do something safely to make a huge difference to reduce risk, prevent trauma, and help more people heal.
One of the most frightening experiences for any parent is the moment you realize that your child may have a substance abuse problem.
You are scared to death about what they may be taking, the late nights, the change in sleeping habits, the poor grades, or the awful distance growing between you and the person you care so much about.