Our childhood is often thought of as a time when we were innocent, honest, fearless, and more. It is a good thing when kids have a lot of strength. However, children are still at risk, though. It doesn't matter how long it's been since they were born; they're still weak at heart. There are many expressions, but they may not be able to talk about it in more detail. They might then try to hide their emotions.
This happens a lot when kids have to deal with bad things. People who have problems and worries expect their kids to forgive and forget them. Kids are impressionable people, and they don't know that. They watch and notice the possible rifts and conflicts that will happen. During their adult years, they may still be affected by some of these events. Some can even leave them scarred for life.
That said, it's essential to know about childhood trauma. If you or someone you know hasn't dealt with a lot of trauma, you need to deal with it immediately, but with care.
What is a childhood trauma? Childhood trauma, as the term suggests, is a traumatic experience lived by a person during his or her childhood. It consists of any event, action or instances that threaten a child's mental and physical well-being. For instance, it can be an accidental event that leads to a near-to-death experience, or the loss of a loved one and can even constitute any sexual or physical abuse. Apart from that, bullying, parent's divorce, separation with a loved one or exposure to violent behaviour can all lead to childhood trauma that may affect a person for a long time and sometimes may even go unresolved for years. Childhood trauma can also induce long term stress disorders and may lead to instability in life. Sometimes, it may even go unnoticed, while slowly impacting your life in many ways.
Is it a matter of the past or can it impact you as an adult? As much as you'd want a childhood trauma to remain in the past, it always comes back to haunt you when you're an adult. Some may even suppress the thought of it, while others don't even notice it until it comes to torment them again. Our childhood experiences may be very different. We choose to cherish some memories, while we let go of the bitter recollections. However, it is very unlikely to forget something that was tragic and unresolved. Although trauma is an outcome of an event, an action or any other instance, it remains unresolved due to lack of discussion and the child's inability to comprehend the entire situation. Unlike adults, children do not possess the life experiences, education and intellectuality to understand why a certain event occured, which is why they're most likely to blame themselves for whatever happens to them and people they love. This gets carried forward and leads to many unresolved feelings and emotions in the future.
How to find out if your childhood trauma is affecting you as an adult? When we're young, we do not have the fluency to express ourselves. We experience a lot of things while we grow, but seldom do we talk about the issues that worst affect us. But children need to be reached out rather than being expected to talk. They need help and support and if parents neglect that aspect, this could cause serious damage during their adulthood. Lack of help, support and therapy may have forced a child to suppress all they have experienced, which eventually starts to affect their lives as they grow up. Some of the indicators of an unresolved trauma affecting you as an adult are as follows: - Unstable relationships - Lack of confidence in oneself and the inability to trust other people - Intense feeling of guilt and shame - Resorting to addiction in order to forget about past traumas - Poor mental health
Are there any long term risks? Childhood trauma can also have a long term impact on one's health. Given that it has followed you to your adult years, it is likely to stay around until resolved. It may pose several health risks and may lead to high-risk behaviours such as alcohol consumption, smoking and more. Apart from that, it can also increase the risk of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular complications, diabetes, asthma and depression.Stress and anxiety may also be prevalent in people who have experienced a childhood trauma.
According to a 2016 study published in Psychiatric Times, the prevalence of suicide attempts was much higher in adults who experienced trauma, such as physical abuse, sexual abuse, and parental domestic violence, as a child.