What is Posttraumatic Growth?

What is Post-traumatic Growth?

There is no doubt that when recovering from both a substance use disorder (SUD), trauma, and/or a mental illness, there are going to be some painful experiences involved. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – such as flashbacks, nightmares, irritability, anxiety, depression, paranoia and more – can feel hard to manage when not treated accordingly; in addiction recovery, it’s not uncommon for individuals to experience “ups” and “downs” as they become accustomed to their new life in sobriety. Despite these somewhat turbulent conditions, however, there is growth – and this is the component of recovery where many people find strength in healing.

In 2016, the American Psychological Association (APA) covered the story of a woman who faced extreme trauma; despite having both physical and psychological wounds, this woman went on to heal from those experiences and eventually spoke to global audiences about her recovery. Post-traumatic growth describes the extent of growth that a person achieves after trauma, and many people in recovery are capable of experiencing this growth if they keep an open heart and mind. Previous studies have identified the following as important components of post-traumatic growth:

·       Appreciation of life

·       Relationships with others

·       Finding new opportunities in life

·       Gaining personal strength

·       Experiencing personal change

A study published in the European Journal of Psychotraumatology once assessed 104 individuals going through substance abuse disorder (SUD) treatment. Researchers explored post-traumatic growth, help-seeking, social support and more, and found that post-traumatic growth accurately describes the experience of positive changes for many in recovery; 12-Step programs and perceived social support were found to be strong influencers of post-traumatic growth.

If you’ve been struggling with a SUD and the aftermath of trauma, know that you’re not alone. The International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies notes that it can become a vicious cycle – substance abuse, trauma, PTSD and more – if recovery isn’t sought out. The symptoms of each can wreak havoc on a person’s life, and that is why treatment – and healing – is so desperately needed during this time.

The mission of The Beach House is to provide success in the recovery process and elevate the standard of comprehensive addiction treatment. Located right on the coast of Malibu, California, expert clinical care and a holistic view of the recovery process is provided to ensure Best-in-Class treatment tailored to the needs of each client. If you’re ready to start your recovery journey today, call us at 310-924-0780.

Saving Lives; Healing Families.


Kimberly James

I am the founder and owner of The Beach House Treatment Center, The White House, Indigo Ranch, Sweetwater Mesa and Beach House Center for Wellness, all in Malibu, California.