Soothing the stress and undoing the damage
Throughout the years, I have met, written to, and spoken to many people who have experienced traumatic childhoods, and identify with the Reactive Attachment Disorder profile use to describe adopted children with attachment disorders. Regardless of the family situations/origins, one thing the adults with RAD reactions have all shared in common is an inability to NOT get over the past to the point where it no longer haunts or ruins certain relationships.
In an earlier discussion, I mentioned the difference between "normal every day stress" and triggering reminders of traumatic times. [See "We can't pick or choose", http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/20847#comment-5738]
There are many paths a person can take, when it comes to numbing emotional pain. Addictions (of all kinds) is the easiest way a person can take a deep-rooted problem and create a new one by making instant gratification the name of the replacement game. Typically, I have found the most common addictions most people find "comforting" are drugs/alcohol, sex/orgasm, and self-injury. The irony is all these "feel good" techniques can all lead to an early death and represent how deep and dark depression can really get for those injured by traumatic events when they were very young.
While I believe great strides are being made by the scientific community, in terms of studying the brain, and how abuse and trauma alters the basic physiology of the body's most important organ, [See: BYU study examines child abuse/stress disorder link,http://poundpuplegacy.org/node/20955], I don't think there are enough therapists out in the world in-tune with the problems adoption AND post-placement abuse brings an individual.
In the spirit of letting others know from personal experience, I was wondering if others would share what works and doesn't work in terms of lessening the stress relationships bring, and how pills have helped or hurt the recovery process.