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What it Feels Like to Have an Eating Disorder

At Smarmore Castle, Ireland, our approach to addiction treatment is trauma-informed. We don’t just find out ‘what’s wrong with you’ – we find out ‘what happened to you’. During our biopsychosocial assessments we build up a complete picture of you as a person – your history and past and present life situations.

What is trauma?

A study of adolescents receiving treatment for drug and alcohol addiction in the US found that more than 70% of them had a history of trauma exposure.

A traumatic event is one in which you perceive a threat to your life or sanity. Examples include childhood neglect or abuse, domestic violence, a violent event such as rape, an accident, military combat, terrorism as well as emotional and physical abuse, illness and complex grief. Experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which makes it hard for you to form and maintain healthy relationships, and can cause or complicate alcoholism or drug addiction.

Research shows there is a strong link between trauma and addiction. Alcohol and drugs are often abused as a coping mechanism following psychological symptoms of trauma and PTSD may be a cause of relapse if left untreated.

PTSD symptoms include:

  • Flashbacks
  • Emotional instability and mood swings
  • Nightmares
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Anxiety
  • Numbing
  • Avoidance of anything that reminds the person of the trauma
  • Hyperarousal
  • Hypervigilance.

Trauma Therapy

Smarmore Castle is a trauma-informed addiction treatment clinic. We treat addictions and associated mental health conditions such as trauma at the same time. Trauma can take many months to treat, so we begin this process here, alongside addiction treatment, and when you leave we make sure you are set up with the right aftercare in place to continue to get help for trauma.

What to expect

Everyone arriving at Smarmore Castle, Ireland, is screened for trauma using our diagnostic questionnaires and a psychiatric assessment by our Consultant Psychiatrist.

There are various therapies and techniques we use to help treat the symptoms of trauma. Our trauma-informed therapy for alcoholism and drug addiction involves:

  • Creating a compassionate, respectful, safe atmosphere for people undergoing therapy,
  • Incorporating a trauma-informed understanding of the relationship between addiction and underlying mental health-related conditions, such as trauma and anxiety,
  • Supporting self-care, self-compassion and self-respect to counteract the shame and guilt which is often associated with a person’s experience of addiction and past traumatic events,
  • Using CBT, 12 Steps and complementary therapies to help people develop their own healthy solutions to the problems they have explored with their therapist,
  • Using equine therapy for trauma-informed solutions,
  • Introducing our patients to local resources around Ireland for support when they leave us; such as recovery groups like Alcoholics Anonymous Ireland, Cocaine Anonymous Ireland, Narcotics Anonymous Ireland.

Call us for trauma-informed addiction therapy, Ireland

If you or someone you love is battling addiction it is likely that it is likely that they will have had a previous traumatic experience. Call us now at Smarmore Castle, Ireland, to speak confidentially about getting the best help.

Last updated & clinically assessed 17 June, 2021