People who’ve experienced psychological trauma as a child, like physical and/or sexual assault, are more prone to having detrimental drinking habits when they’re in college.
However, a longitudinal study has shown how you can reduce the risk of having harmful alcohol behavior caused by trauma when you engage in romantic relationships. This study was published in the ‘Addiction’ journal and was conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers.
A Significant Other Can Help Blur Trauma Effects
The main goal of this study was to see whether romantic relationships could exacerbate or mitigate harmful alcohol behavior caused by trauma in college students.
Researchers found that when students were involved in romantic relationships, it helped reduce their tendency to abuse alcohol because of psychological trauma. Although, on the flip side, not every student that went through some sort of psychological trauma as a child picked terrible drinking habits. This raised questions as to what really causes alcohol abuse caused by trauma.
A doctoral student of the university and the study’s lead author, Rebecca Smith, said that what they found in their research could help show whether romantic relationships can help encourage healthy habits. She further stated that the way romantic relationships affect certain health habits could help folks determine who they should be spending most of their time with. The study also shows the connection between protective factors and alcohol use risk.
Alcohol Abuse Can Be A Result of Psychological Trauma
Being exposed to trauma at a young age can give you irritability, depression, and anxiety. One way most people deal with all of these things is by drinking themselves silly.
In a survey conducted on adolescents once treated for substance abuse, about 70% had a history of psychological trauma. A report by Good Therapy shows that adolescents who experienced sexual and/or physical abuse as children were 3x more likely to have issues with alcohol abuse, and about 60% of those with post-traumatic stress disorder could develop substance abuse issues.