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Childhood Traumas


What are Childhood Traumas; Types, and how do they impact Adulthood 


Remember how stressful not being able to see your mom in the supermarket felt or how ignored it used to feel when your grandma choose your sibling over you? We are well aware and have at least one such experience that has impacted us for a long, and has determined our behaviour or insecurity for a long. As per the Mental Health Center, childhood trauma erodes a kid's sense of self and stability, weakening self-worth and often following the child's growth. Feelings of shame and guilt, feeling distant and unable to relate to others, problems managing emotions, heightened anxiety and despair, and rage can all be symptoms of childhood trauma. As a result, as a parent, it is critical not to engage in any activity or engage in any behaviour that may have a negative influence on the child.


In the article, we will further dissect the kinds of childhood traumas along with their impact on adults, and how to overcome them or best avoid them briefly. 


What is childhood trauma? 


According to the National Kid Traumatic State Network, trauma occurs when a child feels extremely threatened by an incident he or she is a part of or sees. Children and adolescents can be exposed to a variety of traumatic experiences or trauma types. It also refers to an occurrence that is frightening, hazardous, violent, or existence-threatening to a youngster (0-18 years of age).


This sort of incident may also occur to someone your kid knows, and your child may be affected as a result of witnessing or hearing about the other person's injury or harm. When your kid has these kinds of experiences, he or she may seem overwhelmed, agitated, and/or powerless. These kinds of occurrences can happen to anybody, at any age, at any time; yet, not all of them are traumatic.


Nevertheless, not all traumatic situations are overpowering or life-threatening. Kids interpret their experiences in a variety of ways. A terrible life event for one youngster may not be traumatic for the other.


Kind of childhood traumas 


  1. Bullying 


Bullying, also referred to as peer victimisation, is an uninvited and purposeful act committed with the goal of causing social, emotional, physical, and/or psychological harm to someone who is typically viewed as weaker. Bullying is a sort of aggressiveness and harassment that inhibits somebody from living, studying, or working in a safe, stress-free environment.


  1. Complex trauma 


Complex trauma refers to a child's exposure to a number of traumatic experiences, most of which are intrusive and interpersonal in character, as well as the wide-ranging, long-term consequences of such exposure. Abuse or severe neglect are examples of severe and widespread occurrences. They frequently happen early in life and can interfere with many elements of a child's development and sense of self.


  1. Community violence 


Others who are not closely attached to the victim are exposed to purposeful acts of interpersonal violence performed in public places by individuals who are not related to the victim. Individual and group conflicts (e.g., bullying, fights among gangs and other groups, shootings in public places such as schools and communities, civil wars in foreign countries or "war-like" conditions in US cities, and spontaneous or terrorist attacks) are common types of community violence that affect youth.


  1. Sexual abuse


Any relationship between a kid and an adult (or another child) in which the child is exploited for the sexual arousal of the offender or a spectator is considered child sexual abuse. Both touching and non-touching behaviours can be considered sexual abuse. Voyeurism (looking at a child's nude body), exhibitionism, and exposing the youngster to pornography are examples of non-touching behaviours. Sexual abuse may affect children of all ages, races, nationalities, and socioeconomic circumstances. In all sorts of neighbourhoods and communities, both girls and boys are victims of child sexual abuse.


  1. Disaster 


Cyclones, earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, coastal erosion, and floods are examples of natural catastrophes, as are extreme weather phenomena including blizzards, droughts, excessive heat, and wind storms. Displacement, loss of house and personal property, changes in schools, economic hardship, loss of community and social support, and even the injury or death of loved ones are all possible outcomes of these events for children and families.


  1. Physical abuse 


One of the most prevalent kinds of child maltreatment is physical abuse. Physical abuse is defined as when a parent or caregiver causes physical harm to a child or teenager, such as red spots, scratches, bruises, blisters, muscle sprains, or fractured bones, even if the damage was accidental.



Things that can severely disturb a child 


Harassment, mishaps, injuries, seclusion, and academic failures are examples of occurrences that can be traumatic for a child, according to Jeanne M. Felter, PhD, who goes on to discuss a few of the incidents (mentioned below).


      Losing something concrete 


A move, a new automobile, the loss of a prized possession, or even new furnishings in the house might all be examples of this. "While adults tend to sense loss in terms of people, children can—and frequently do—experience loss in terms of real things," adds Dr Rourke. "Events like relocating to a new place, losing a beloved stuffed animal, or even selling the family car—which happens more often than you may think—can be terrible emotional losses for certain children."


      A shift in relationships 


A sibling moving away or going to college; a quarrel amongst extended family members that do not include the kid; a best friend moving away; or a friend group shifting; or the separation of parents are examples of the shift in relationships.


      Yelling at child 


This may seem like a normal practice as a parent for shaping their child, but if you do it pretty often the kid may feel like being not good enough. This may make them face issues like self-doubt and insecurities in the longer run. 


      An overwhelming situation that they can not process 


"Changes that have taken place that doesn’t directly affect them but may make them fearful of something horrible happening, such as current events, news reports of violent occurrences, or the loss of a classmate's father," adds Dr Rourke. These can frighten the youngster, "causing them to be concerned that something similar could happen to them."


Emotional Symptoms of Childhood Trauma


One of the most prevalent ways that trauma emerges is via emotion. Denial, rage, grief, and emotional outbursts are all prevalent emotional signs of trauma. Trauma victims may channel their excessive feelings toward other people, such as friends or family members. One of the reasons that trauma is tough for loved ones is this. It's difficult to assist someone who pushes you away, but knowing the emotional symptoms that follow a traumatic experience might make the process go more smoothly.


Physical Symptoms of Childhood Trauma


Trauma may emerge both physically and emotionally. Pale skin, drowsiness, weariness, poor focus, and a racing heartbeat are all classic physical indicators of trauma. The sufferer may suffer from anxiety or panic episodes, making him or her unable to deal in specific situations. Physical symptoms of trauma can be just as real and frightening as those of physical damage or sickness, therefore it's important to keep stress levels under control following a traumatic experience.


Short-Term and Long-Term Effects of Childhood Trauma


All of the repercussions of trauma can occur in a matter of minutes, hours, days, weeks, or even years. Any trauma-related effects should be handled as a way to avoid long-term consequences. The sooner a victim's trauma is handled, the higher chance he or she has of fully healing.


Trauma can have both short- and long-term impacts, although long-term repercussions are usually more severe. Short-term mood fluctuations are common following trauma, but if the mood swings remain more than a few weeks, a long-term impact can develop.



Ways childhood trauma affects adults


      May push you towards depression and substance abuse 


Depression, drug use disorder, anxiousness, binge eating, and other adult-onset mental health illnesses have all been related to childhood trauma. Adults who were abused as children and did not seek sufficient therapy are more likely to have difficulty resolving conflicts and have poor stress management skills.

As a result, individuals are more prone to use food, drugs, or alcohol as a coping method to deal with underlying internal tensions as well as any despair or anxiety that may have formed as a result of their previous trauma.



      Commitment phobic 


In maturity, those who had unfavourable developmental experiences as children may lack social skills and a yearning for connection.


As a consequence, many individuals may avoid connection with others and prefer to isolate themselves, jeopardising their ability to form good interpersonal relationships and communicate effectively. These people may believe that they are too imperfect or broken to be in relationships with other people.



      It can actually impact your health 


In addition to psychological scars, complex childhood trauma can leave physical scars. Since the initial ACEs research, which revealed how frequent negative childhood experiences are, health professionals from a variety of sectors have looked at how these events affect long-term health.


      You become irresponsible with your sexuality 


Born and raised in a secure, nurturing environment helps a kid to develop a healthy, confident understanding of their own body and sexuality. However, a lack of understanding about sex and relationships, as well as healthy role models, can contribute to negative results for young people.


      Attracting unhealthy relationships 


Adults who suffered childhood trauma are typically drawn to unhealthy people, emotionally distant people, or abusive people because they suit their trauma identity, which can lead to a fresh loop of suffering and prior abuse memories and experiences.


Despite the fact that many of these people are aware of their past and know what they need and desire, they choose to connect with others who may take them down the incorrect road owing to their unconscious childhood effects.



Final words 

The experience causes emotions, which if not processed at the moment of the trauma, get trapped in our minds and bodies. Rather than healing from the wounding experience, the trauma remains as energy in our unconscious, impacting our lives until we expose it and address it.

To heal from childhood trauma as an adult, one must first recognise them and then discover a healthy flow and processing of disturbing emotions including anger, grief, humiliation, and fear. It's also a good idea to talk to your youngster more frequently and comprehend what they're going through. It will undoubtedly construct a great existence.