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Each of us has a different and unique experience with mental illness and addiction, and we each will have to undergo a journey of self-exploration to figure out what might have caused these issues in the first place. Many of us feel as though we can very clearly identify the root of our mental and emotional unwellness. Others of us find the causes harder to pinpoint. We might have experienced more than one factor, multiple traumatic experiences for example, and also have parents and other family members that are mentally ill, leaving us unsure whether our illnesses are trauma-based or hereditary. Some of us feel as though we know instinctively why and how our mental illnesses developed, others of us don’t. One of the things we have to consider is our childhood. Our upbringing impacts the rest of our lives, and the formative years are literally what help to form who we are – our personalities, our sense of identity, our mental and emotional well-being. Can our mental illnesses be a result of our unhealthy childhoods?

Our subconscious mind is where our emotional information is stored – our fears, our memories, our perception and understanding of trauma. The subconscious and everything stored there controls the vast majority of everything we think, do and feel in our daily lives. Therefore the fears we have, the emotions we feel, the memories we have, the traumatic experiences we went through all make up the controlling programming of the subconscious mind that is governing our day-to-day lives. If we had an unhealthy childhood, for whatever reason, our subconscious mind can be programmed with that unhealthiness. Our experiences with trauma, dysfunction, imbalance, and unsafety can all inform how our minds function now and therefore how we’re living our lives. If we’ve been traumatized, we can carry the energy of that trauma within us, manifesting more circumstances, relationships and feelings that reflect that trauma and all the things it caused us to believe – that we’re not good enough, that we’re not lovable, that we’re weak, that we’re unsafe. Our minds are now perpetually practicing these limiting beliefs, and the more we believe them, the more mentally and emotionally unwell we become.

As we move through our unhealthy, traumatic childhoods, we’re absorbing all of the painful things we experience. For many of us, there is a direct correlation between our unhealthy childhoods and the mental illnesses we develop either when we’re young or later on as adults.

Riverside Recovery is committed to helping you uncover the issues fueling your addictions. Our treatment programs include multiple forms of therapy, family workshops and mindfulness-based relapse prevention education. Call (800) 871-5440 for more information.