When it comes to trauma that has happened during the developmental period, it is more common than we may think. In fact, according to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, 78 percent of children reported more than one traumatic situation prior to the age of 5.
Adults with this type of trauma are at a higher risk of cPTSD which causes different symptoms, including poor relationships with others, distorted views of abusers, poor regulation of emotions, and more.
What Does Childhood Trauma Mean?
Any even in a child’s life that has caused emotional pain or distress and left lasting physical and mental effects is considered traumatic.
Childhood trauma can be caused by abuse (sexual, physical or emotional), being a witness or victim of domestic violence or other type of violence, having a parent who is a substance user or alcoholic, witnessing divorce or parental disease, etc.
Natural disasters can also trigger childhood trauma, as well as other life-threatening situations.
Unfortunately, childhood trauma can manifest into adulthood, even though we may not be aware of it. Below, check out the seven ways in which psychological trauma that happened in our childhood has an effect on us during adulthood.
6 Ways Childhood Trauma Influences Us through Life
- Lack of self-esteem
People who were emotionally neglected in childhood may experience lack of self-esteem and poor self-image. When psychological intervention or self-care is not applied, the individual may be stuck throughout his life with this troubling problem.
- Health issues
Adults who have experienced trauma in childhood may be at higher risk of health issues, including heart disease, cancer, strokes, and obesity. Also, they may be at higher risk of mental health problems like PTSD, anxiety, depression, etc.
- Depression and anxiety
According to studies, the brain of an adult who has experienced trauma in childhood is different from that of an adult who has not. The brain abnormalities may be linked with the symptoms of depressive disorders.
- Social difficulties
Childhood trauma can cause the adult to have problems in the relationships with other people. This problem may be a result of a fear of commitment, separation anxiety or social anxiety.
- Substance abuse
When a child is mistreated, their reactivity to stimuli becomes stronger. As time goes by, these responses may lead to permanent changes in the neural networks of the brain. Consequently, they may become more prone to drug and alcohol abuse due to the response stress which is easily turned on.
- Missed opportunities
People who have experienced childhood trauma may find it harder to achieve or set goals. Some of the causes for this are insufficient guidance from caregivers, poor cognitive development, and lack of socioeconomic conditions in childhood.