To begin your journey towards healing, you must first understand what is blocking your way.
Eight Reasons Why You Are Struggling to Get Over A Childhood Trauma
Children are more easily wounded by trauma, especially when it’s sexual, physical, or emotional abuse, and the scars can last a lifetime. As the child grows into adulthood, they carry the wounds of their trauma with them, where they can have negative consequences, including anxiety, depression, PTSD, obesity, addiction and health problems.
One study may have confirmed the consequences of a tough childhood, with more than 80% of respondents meeting the criteria for having at least one psychiatric disorder by age 21.
Troubled childhoods often pave the way for drug and alcohol abuse in adulthood, with the substance abuse used to dull the pain, or for the person to feel ‘normal’ for a while.
There are studies indicating 2/3rds of substance and alcohol abusers experienced a tough childhood, with sexual, physical, and emotional abuse a common theme. Carrying the baggage of a troubled childhood presents many challenges, but there is help available that will show you a path through the pain and give you the tools you need to move towards healing.
Eight Reasons Why Escaping The Trauma of a Troubled Childhood is Difficult
Adults who experienced trauma as a child may not immediately recognize the source of their pain. Children often see trauma as a normal part of life because they lack any other frame of reference that shows them otherwise. This problem is common when the abuser is a caregiver.
Most often, the realization that their childhood may have been a troubled one only comes when they experience the reality of healthy families, or when acting as caregivers themselves.
Unfortunately, the longer a person waits before seeking help, the harder it will be for them to heal. People who suspect they may have developed issues because of childhood trauma can take a test as part of the Adverse Childhood Experiences study to find out where they fit on the spectrum. It’s an excellent tool for gauging your risk of developing related health problems.
A co-occurring issue can also help cloud the real source of the problem. Alcoholism and drug abuse are often symptoms of a painful childhood, but dealing with a drug or alcohol addiction can become the sole focus. No attention is given to what may have caused the addictive habits in the first place.
Sadly, unless more exploration is given to discovering the source of trauma-based addiction, dealing with it can become a cycle of rehabilitation, followed by more substance abuse, and back again. All too often, fellow addicts can provide a surrogate family that fills the void left by the pain.
There are indications that childhood trauma can create long-lasting biological damage. Scientists are now aware that trauma at a young age can produce physiological changes in the brain and alter its structure.
Brown University conducted a study in 2012 which revealed trauma such as abuse, or the loss of a parent could change the programming of stress regulating genes. This development in the brain could be responsible for increasing the risk of a child developing depression or anxiety in adulthood.
According to another study conducted in 2013, the brain may also be influenced by trauma in a way that makes it difficult for a person to tame their negative impulses.
Trauma may also affect the neurotransmitters of the brain. When drugs or alcohol are used, the effect created by the reward centers of the brain are amplified and make dependency a more likely outcome.
These new insights into how the brain responds to trauma serve to highlight the difficulty people face when attempting to heal from a tough childhood. However, a big part of the process of solving a challenge comes from understanding it, and much of this new information is leading us towards more effective treatment strategies. The more knowledge we have, the better armed we will be in combating the issues.
The way to healing from the past will often mean exploring memories many people may find too painful. Others may be willing to try but have difficulty sorting through a kaleidoscope of jumbled memories. Many childhood trauma victims will have their recollection obscured by overarching anxiety. When you can’t see the source of the pain, it becomes a lot harder to free yourself from it.
Closure can be frustratingly just out of reach and getting the responsible parties to admit their part in the trauma will be impossible if they are no longer alive. Healing can be harder to achieve if there’s no hope for developing a healthier relationship, or the abuser is no longer around to be held accountable.
People will seek out relationships that fill the missing pieces to reconcile with their past. Quite often, they will go to unreasonable lengths to keep the peace or earn love from others while neglecting their own needs. In some circumstances, this behavior can lead to further abuse.
In abusive situations, children can learn to shut themselves off from their emotions. To them, feeling numb is preferable to the pain. In later life, these learned behaviors can not only make it hard to build meaningful relationships but can also add complications to the healing process.
Inner voices may be hard to silence because young children will believe the lies they are told about themselves, such as they are worthless, stupid, ugly, or a loser. They consider themselves unworthy and incapable of creating a better life, even when they become adults.
The above scenarios can put up obstacles to healing, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be navigated around. Treatment and therapy have proven effective for many people who have gone on to create better lives for themselves.
Many have been responsive to treatments such as cognitive behavioral therapy for changing negative thought processes. Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) is another effective psychotherapy method that helps people retrieve, process, and work through childhood trauma.
To discover more about how you can heal your past and live your best life, visit here: Trauma Treatment.