The Main Effects of Childhood Trauma

The Main Effects of Childhood Trauma

Almost everyone goes through some kind of trauma in their life. Unfortunately, often there are long-term effects of childhood trauma. Have you thought that those past events still affect your life? The answer is yes. Childhood trauma can have long-term negative effects. You might feel it more strongly than others. The best thing you can do is get help and support from a professional to work on your trauma. Understanding how it affects you can also help you make positive changes in your life.

Understanding Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma can happen when you see or go through a very mentally disturbing incident as a child. Many things can be traumatic. For instance abuse, assault, neglect, violence, exploitation, or bullying by other kids or relatives. You could also experience traumatic events like accidents, natural disasters, war, life-threatening illnesses, or losing a parent or caregiver suddenly because of death, your parent’s separation, adoption, mental illness or imprisonment in the family.

What is Unresolved Trauma

Unresolved traumas are past negative experiences that still affect you deeply. Often, these traumas are from childhood, though they can also come from heartbreaks, divorces, or accidents. Childhood traumas are especially complicated because as children we might not have even the words to explain our pain as clearly as adults do. Even with therapy, it can be hard to pinpoint the exact reasons behind these present experiences and emotional responses, so treatment often focuses on easing the symptoms instead of addressing the main issue. This means that while its negative effects might lessen, the source of the trauma can stay and affect you well into adulthood, turning into what we call unresolved trauma.

Signs of Unresolved Childhood Trauma in Adults

If you’ve experienced childhood trauma that still affects you:

  • You might abuse drugs or alcohol, or struggle with addiction
  • You might feel anxious, moody, or have trouble controlling your emotions
  • You might act in ways that seem immature
  • You might struggle with handling conflicts
  • You might feel constant tension in some parts of your body

The Effects of Childhood Trauma

Traumatic events can change how your brain develops as a child, affecting your body, mind, and social life later in your life too.

Physical Health Effects of Childhood Trauma

When you go through something really difficult as a child, it can affect how you grow physically. Stress from these events can affect your immune and central nervous systems, making it difficult for you to fully develop. If you face repeated trauma, your chances of getting diseases like asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and stroke can go up. Those difficult experiences in childhood can also raise your risk of developing some medical conditions later in life, like autoimmune diseases, lung disease, heart disease, and cancer. They can even lead to experiencing more pain as you get older.

Mental Health Effects of Childhood Trauma

Childhood trauma can also affect your mental health in different ways. It can cause issues like difficulty controlling anger, feeling sad that doesn’t go away, being constantly stressed, having PTSD, regrets and ruminating thoughts. If you’ve been through really tough moments as a child, you might also feel like you’re not really in the present or have trouble remembering some periods of your childhood. If you were hurt physically or sexually or saw violence at home as a child, you are much more likely to try to hurt yourself or others later in life.

Relationship Effects of Childhood Trauma

Your relationship with your caregivers—whether they are your parents, grandparents, or other adults in your life—is very important for your emotional and physical health. This bond helps you learn to trust others, manage your emotions, and relate positively to the world around you. If you go through trauma that causes you to lose trust in your caregiver, you might start to see the world as a scary place and people as threatening or aggressive.

Dealing with past childhood abuse can affect how you handle relationships later on. It might make it hard to trust your partner or share your feelings openly. You could end up feeling distant or defensive without meaning to, which can create misunderstandings. It takes time and support to work through these challenges and build healthier ways to connect with someone you care about.

Brain Effects of Childhood Trauma

A traumatic event can affect your brain in many ways. In addition to the mental and physical health problems from childhood trauma, you might also have trouble with thinking and memory. These issues can make it hard to set goals, plan for the future, and do well in school or at work. The part of the brain that helps with these tasks, the prefrontal cortex, is often smaller in people who went through childhood trauma.

Realizing that childhood traumas might affect our brain development can help us to understand why some challenges persist in our adult life. Studies show changes in the prefrontal cortex of our brain which is responsible for how we make decisions and how we control our emotions in childhood trauma survivors. They say that that part of our brain can be physically smaller and less active if you have a history of childhood trauma. This can affect our ability to manage emotions, make plans, focus on tasks and make a decision. You should know though that you can improve this ability with the right therapeutic approach.

You might also develop certain habits and thought patterns due to childhood trauma. When you are constantly dealing with stress, your energy and focus go toward just getting through it. This leaves you with less ability to learn new things, gain new skills, and make good decisions. Even after the traumatic events are over, trying to avoid reminders of the trauma can still take up your attention and energy.

Because of this, childhood trauma and PTSD are linked to several problems as you grow older, such as:

  • Learning difficulties
  • Memory problems
  • Language issues
  • Trouble with planning and organizing
  • Being more sensitive to stress
  • Having a shorter attention span
  • Experiencing faster mental decline as you age

How to Heal Your Childhood Trauma?

If you’re dealing with the negative effects of a traumatic childhood, there is hope. There are some steps you can take to help you better cope. Among them are:

  • Acknowledge and recognize the trauma: You might have spent years ignoring your trauma, often pretending it didn’t happen or blaming yourself. Healing starts with you accepting that a traumatic event happened and understanding that you were not responsible for it.
  • Take care of your health: Coping with stress is easier when you’re healthy. Set up a daily routine that includes rest, a balanced diet, and regular exercise. Avoid alcohol and drugs, as they can make your feelings of depression, anxiety, and isolation worse, and increase your trauma symptoms.
  • Be patient with yourself: Childhood trauma can cause strong emotions, hopelessness, defence mechanisms, and confused perceptions that are hard to let go of. Healing takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself and celebrate your progress, no matter how small. Your small wins in your healing journey will help you heal from childhood trauma.
  • Avoid isolation: You might want to stay away from others, but isolation can make things worse. Healing involves you connecting with others. Keep your relationships strong and seek support from trusted family members, friends, or counsellors. Joining a support group for childhood trauma survivors can also help you.
  • Try meditation: Meditation can help you connect with your inner child and find answers to your questions. It not only just improves your physical and mental health but also, helps you notice your feelings better. The awareness lets you see situations that make you react in ways that might not help.
  • Talk to a therapist: Dealing with childhood trauma can be difficult for you. Therapists want to create a safe place, where you can start to work through the difficult feelings and learn ways to heal your inner child. Therapists who specialize in childhood trauma can give you the right kind of help. It’s important to talk about your worries and interests when you’re looking for therapy.

Heal From the Effects of Childhood Trauma at Modern Therapy

Overcoming childhood trauma can be difficult. Some may be able to do it on their own and without therapy, but oftentimes, professional help is needed. If you are struggling with the effects of childhood trauma, contact Modern Therapy today!

We understand how childhood trauma can cause you stress and PTSD symptoms and we’re dedicated to guiding you through your healing journey.

Why Choose Modern Therapy & Counselling for Childhood Trauma?

  • Expert Care: We have the expertise to address PTSD symptoms related to childhood trauma, personalizing our approach to your unique needs.
  • Genuine Support: We use advanced techniques and proven methods to help you manage stress and trauma effectively.
  • Supportive Environment: At Modern Therapy Clinic, you’ll find a safe space to explore your feelings and experiences with compassionate professionals.
  • Empowerment: We’re committed to empowering you to understand and overcome the consequences of childhood trauma.

Whether you’re struggling with PTSD symptoms or seeking support for stress and trauma, we’re here to help. Contact us today to schedule your consultation. Your journey to a brighter future starts here, at Modern Therapy & Counselling in Vancouver.

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