Those who experienced childhood trauma of any kind can experience problems into adulthood. Whether there has been emotional or physical abuse, those who experience childhood abuse often find ways to cope with the neglect or abuse and it can make dealing with situations as an adult more difficult. If you have experienced childhood trauma, speaking with a mental health professional and visiting a therapist often can help you work through your past and put you on a better path for the future. Ogden Psychological Services wants to help adults and children alike overcome mental challenges.
What Is Trauma?
Childhood trauma is more often than not classified as abuse and neglect. This is the most common type of trauma, but other experiences can cause issues into adulthood. Other traumatic events that can affect mental health and physical health are:
- Natural disasters
- School violence
- Intimate partner violence
- Commercial sexual exploitation
- Accidents or life-threatening illness
- War experiences
- Military family stressors
- Sudden loss of a loved one
Stability, Guilt, And Shame
Common problems that those with childhood trauma experience are finding stability, guilt, and shame. These usually result from being made to feel less than or guilty as a child that carries into adulthood. This can be a struggle they have for the rest of their life and hard to break through.
Shame can often come from themselves even after they have left the toxic childhood situation because of the trauma. Trauma disrupts the stability and the child’s sense of safety, which can fracture their reality and cause these thoughts of shamefulness can carry into adulthood, relationships, jobs, and more.
Because of the lack of attention during childhood, these adults often have unhealthy attachment styles. Some of these attachments can include
- Dismissive-Avoidant Attachment
- Fearful-Avoidant Attachment
- Anxious-Preoccupied Attachment
These styles may lead to fear during intimate relationships, avoidant attachment to family or children, and require ongoing validation. These attachment styles often come with a difficulty expressing emotions in a healthy way which can cause communication issues as well.
Complex childhood trauma affects the whole body and mind. It usually presses its way forward whether patients want it to or not. Abuse or neglect can lead to mental health issues such as personality disorder, depression, anxiety, and other mental health diagnoses.
Those young children that have experienced trauma may start to show signs of mental health issues around elementary school age. This can come in the form of isolation, not connecting with peers, behavioral changes, loss of previous skills, academic difficulties or older children may act riskier. These behaviors can continue into adulthood or cause them to lose out on opportunities such as graduating high school, making friends, or enjoying hobbies that can help enrich the lives of adults.
Loss Of Childhood Memories
A sign of childhood trauma is the inability to recall childhood memories. Those who have high ACEs scores had significant gaps in childhood memories. While the distant past may seem fuzzy to some, some children with extreme abusive pasts and continued abuse could develop multiple personality disorders, more commonly known as Dissociative Identity Disorder which has major amnesia when alternating between different personalities.
Traumatic experiences can manifest themselves in our bodies as chronic illnesses and other health problems. Those children who may have experienced sexual exploitation had a higher risk of cancer diagnosis and those who experienced multiple kinds of trauma were found to have other heart, liver, autoimmune diseases, and chronic headaches.
Healing With The Help Of Therapy
For those who experience health problems because of childhood trauma, medication may not be enough. Therapy combined with medication can help get adults who experienced trauma, back on track. Adults who are not sure if they have experienced trauma can still benefit from talking about it in therapy.
Ogden Psychological Services offers trauma therapy for patients who have experienced any kind of trauma. We help to create individualized plans for each patient and work to achieve your goals. Our therapists use many techniques and apply the best methods to help your specific situation. If you feel our office and therapy practices could be right for you, contact us today to set up an appointment.