Men and Trauma

trauma in men

Trauma knows no boundaries of gender, age or background, but it can manifest differently between men and women. Often, men who experience traumatic events have distinctive ways of handling the aftermath, and understanding these nuances is crucial in recognizing symptoms and seeking effective treatment.

How Men Respond to Trauma

Societal norms expect men to be stoic, self-reliant and emotionless. This conditioning can influence how you respond to traumatic experiences.

  • Denial: Men who maintain a façade of toughness may be unwilling to talk about their feelings because they believe acknowledging trauma signifies weakness.
  • Internalization: To avoid showing vulnerability, men might internalize their feelings instead of expressing them, which can ultimately manifest as anger, irritability or aggression.
  • Avoidance: Trying to distract yourself instead of confronting the trauma might include immersing yourself in work, engaging in risky behaviors or staying away from any reminders of the traumatic event.

Symptoms of Trauma in Men

Trauma can present several symptoms that might be more subtle in men due to their tendency to internalize or hide their emotions.

  • Physical symptoms: Headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and fatigue can often be signs of underlying trauma.
  • Emotional outbursts: Sudden, unexplained mood swings might indicate trauma.
  • Relationship problems: Men might withdraw from relationships or struggle with intimacy and trust following a traumatic event.
  • Sleep disturbances: Insomnia or nightmares are common symptoms of trauma.

The Link Between Trauma and Substance Abuse

Men may turn to alcohol or drugs to numb their emotional pain and try to forget what happened to them. Substance use can provide a short-lived escape, but it will worsen the symptoms of trauma over time and can lead you to develop a co-occurring addiction.

Acknowledging the need for treatment can be challenging for men due to the stigma associated with seeking mental health support. However, seeking help is essential.

  • Processing trauma: Professional treatment provides a safe space for men to process their trauma, understand their emotions and learn healthy coping mechanisms.
  • Preventing substance abuse: Early intervention can prevent the escalation of substance use as a coping strategy.
  • Improving quality of life: Addressing trauma can lead to improved relationships, better emotional resilience and more fulfillment.
  • Tailored therapies: A counselor will work with you to address your specific needs, recognizing the unique ways you experience and process trauma.

Men’s Trauma Recovery in Long Beach

At New Found Life, we understand the unique challenges men face when dealing with a dual diagnosis of trauma and substance abuse. We offer a complete continuum of care to help you heal trauma in a safe, understanding and confidential environment. Our therapists are sensitive to how men process trauma, and commit to steering you toward holistic health.

Our men’s program provides effective and compassionate solutions for your long-term well-being. Connect with us to learn more about how we save lives and provide the foundation for sustained sobriety.