The consequences of childhood trauma are long-lasting, with many adults carrying the burden through to adulthood. The anxiety and stress that are linked to unresolved issues can manifest in physical and mental illness. When EMDR therapy is used to help a client confront the trauma, the client is then able to come to terms with their challenging childhood. If you have been living with the dark emotional turmoil brought on by traumatic memories, then EMDR therapy could be the light you can use to chase the shadows away.
Unfortunately, childhood trauma is all too prevalent in our society. Of course, trauma can be damaging at any age, but children are particularly vulnerable because their minds and emotions are still developing and trying to make sense of the world. It’s understandable that adults who experienced childhood trauma are still affected by their memories of the events.
The emotional trauma from years past often manifests and merges with adult emotions, and behaviors. It can also be the root of physical and mental health issues. However, there is help available in the form of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) trauma-based therapy. When used in conjunction with other therapy strategies, relief is achievable.
The Lingering Effects of Childhood Trauma
Sadly, childhood trauma is a common occurrence. At the age of 16, two-thirds of children have already been exposed to at least one traumatic event. The types of trauma often reported on, include:
- Serious illness or accident
- Natural disasters
- Loss of family member from violence
- Witnessing domestic violence
- Psychological abuse
- Sexual of physical abuse
Children are frequently exposed to these events and conditions, and the symptoms and challenges which arise as a result can last for decades. Many adults who went through a childhood trauma live with the after-effects, but overcoming the challenges may be more difficult for those who were exposed to repeated or regular traumatic instances.
Studies reveal that the lingering effects of trauma often stay with an adult well into middle age, and even past it, in some cases.
Just a few of the potential effects include:
- Shorter lifespans. The Centers for Disease Control believe that the effects of trauma can cut short a life by up to 20 years.
- Physical health challenges, including a poorly functioning immune system, greater risk of infection, and insomnia.
- Hard to control negative emotions such as shame, anxiety, sadness, anger, and guilt.
- Increased risk of a mental illness such as depression, disorders, and trauma.
- Greater chance of slipping into substance abuse.
The ramifications of childhood trauma can be serious, but there are treatment strategies that can help decrease the influence of painful memories. EMDR has been proven to be effective at modifying how the brain process traumatic memories. When used as part of an overall treatment strategy, EMDR can help people enjoy a higher quality of life.
What is EMDR and How Does it Achieve Results?
EMDR has been around since the 1980s, when it was developed as a method for treating people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The concept behind EMDR is that people who have gone through traumatic experiences have not adequately processed their memories of the trauma. As a result, traumatic memories continue to be an unwelcome intrusion, cause tension and anxiety, and trigger emotional responses. In some cases, they can manifest as physical sensations that were felt during the traumatic event.
Therapists trained in EMDR work with clients to help them confront and process their disturbing memories, which prompts the brain into storing them differently. EMDR is different to other forms of therapy, which focus on attempts to redirect a client’s emotional response to an emerging memory.
To discover more about how EMDR can help you, read more here: EMDR