Trauma is the response to a highly stressful event or series of events that happens in someone’s life; it can be physically or emotionally harmful or damaging that can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s mental, social, and emotional well-being. Trauma in children can develop due to bullying, harassment, natural disaster, physical abuse, domestic violence, kidnapping, death of a loved one, neglect, deprivation, or may be due to medical illness. Some traumas are short-term and can be resolved after a few weeks; however, some traumas have long-term effects. Trauma can also happen if you see bad happening to someone else, especially if this someone is your loved one. In this article, we will study recognizing and understanding how trauma affects children because childhood trauma can have severe, long-lasting effects that hurt children’s coming adulthood.
Recognizing and Understanding How Trauma Affects Children:
Childhood trauma severely affects your children’s brains and bodies, which can have serious lifelong consequences. The most common reason for childhood trauma may be abuse and neglect. There can be other reasons as well. Childhood trauma can result from anything that disturbs the normal functioning of a child’s body and brain and make the child feel helpless.
How Childhood Trauma Affects the Brain?
Children are especially vulnerable to trauma because of their developing brains. In children who experience trauma, their brain development may be interrupted, which leads to functional impairments. Trauma can change the brain on many levels, from where you decide to respond immediately to the situation around you.
Trauma affects three critical sections of the brain. First, the amygdala is the emotional center and controls fear and aggression. Second, the hippocampus controls memory, and third prefrontal cortex controls a person’s problem-solving skills, comprehension, and impulses. In healthy brains, these three parts function together. Still, under stress and traumatic event, the brain enters survival mode, which results in a rush of adrenaline and cortisol levels (they release as a result of stress), which flood the fleshy part of the brain and disrupt its long-term development. Trauma changes the way children feel, think, and respond. The changes in the brain may affect children’s IQ, and they not feel protected or secure.
Effects of Childhood Trauma on Adulthood:
Childhood trauma affects the quality of adult life—the adult’s emotional health, physical health, mental health, and also the quality of relationships.
Surviving abuse or any other trauma in childhood can link with higher rates of anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicide, drugs, and relationship difficulties. Children’s mental health is affected so badly that they cannot become healthy adults. After the effects of trauma remain in their adulthood and affect their activities involving their relationships, this can also develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Children who develop childhood trauma may develop heightened stress responses. This stress can lead to sleep difficulties and lower immune function. Stress can also affect their ability to regulate emotions and increase the risk of several physical illnesses in adulthood. If childhood trauma goes untreated, it can lead to anxiety, social isolation, and chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and heart and lung disorders.
The emotional health of children suffering from childhood trauma is badly affected. Survivors of childhood trauma can often have feelings of fear, guilt, shame, worry, hopelessness, and helplessness.
Childhood Trauma and Behavioral Problems:
Adults affected by childhood trauma can experience both behavioral and physiological symptoms. The problematic behavior may involve excessive alcohol consumption, drugs, self-injurious behavior, and problems maintaining healthy relationships. They may be fearful, easily frightened, aggressive, and impulsive. They may find difficulty sleeping and show regression in behavior and functioning. They may feel difficulty in maintaining healthy relationships.
Recognizing Childhood Trauma:
Depending upon the type of trauma, people may experience different symptoms, signs, and health problems. There are many signs and symptoms of childhood trauma.
- Low self-esteem and feeling of worthlessness.
- Anger issues and uncontrolled behavior.
- Panic attacks
- Feelings of shame and guilt
- Nightmares and trouble sleeping, including insomnia
- Change in eating habits or loss of appetite
- Being in a state of constant alert
- Difficulty in paying attention
- Difficulty in establishing healthy relationships
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Can Childhood Trauma be Healed?
Yes, of course, we can heal childhood trauma. There is hope for anyone living with childhood trauma because it can be treated like any other disorder. There are many ways to heal childhood trauma.
Recognize Childhood Trauma:
First of all, recognize and acknowledge your childhood trauma that what is it. The only way to take yourself out of this trauma and begin healing is to acknowledge that a traumatic event happened and you were not responsible for it.
Be Patient with Yourself:
Guilt and self-criticism are widespread in adults having traumatic childhood. The key to healing is to stop thinking that way; you were not responsible for that incident. Be patient and loving with yourself; you can be your best friend.
Reach Out for Help:
The adults experiencing childhood trauma often feel like no one will hear or understand them. They often feel alone and isolated. But people can become excellent support for us, especially our loved ones. Taking help from your loved ones and professional counselors and therapists is very much crucial in the journey of healing from trauma.
Importance of Seeking Professional Help:
Counselors and therapists can help people heal from their childhood trauma. Supporting therapy can help people get rid of their mental health issues. Therapy and counseling are the process of meeting with therapists to resolve problematic behavior, feelings, and trauma. Beginning therapy is the first step to the healthiest version of yourself and living the happiest life possible. Through therapy, you can heal your childhood traumas and the problems related to them. If you want professional help regarding your childhood trauma, you can visit this website https://victim2victor.net/. She will help you treat your trauma. Do check her website for life-changing therapy or coaching. All you need is to show a willingness to heal yourself.