Early Childhood Trauma…Me?
You may instinctively say…..
- No….I can’t have….
- I have resolved all of my childhood issues….I have had therapy numerous times before..
- I am too old to let childhood issues bother me
- This is just an excuse for my/others behaviour
I see many clients who will say any or all of the above when we start therapy. Some clients are keen to just focus on the here & now and resist going back into their early years. Sometimes the resistance you feel may well be a signpost of where the root of the problem actually lies. The body seldom lies as! This video is by Bessel Van Der Kolk & may be of interest:
What is Childhood Trauma?
Childhood trauma can be diverse. What effects one child may not effect another. For example siblings brought up in an abusive home by the same parents, in the same home, may well adapt in different ways. 1 sibling may exhibit signs of trauma, another may not. A child’s sense of safety in the world is established in the womb and those vital early years where they are dependent upon their adults to keep them safe & secure. If this safety aspect of care does not happen or is less than optimal, then childhood trauma may well follow that young child into adulthood. This is a list of some events that may lead to trauma, it is not exhaustive or diagnostic:
- Childhood Trauma can be:
- Physical/sexual abuse
- Living with domestic violence
- Having a parent with mental health issues
- Having a parent with addictions
- Birth Trauma
- Being an unplanned/unwanted child
- 1 off traumas such as an accident/injury
- A child who is undergoing content operations or is ill
- Incubator babies
- Victims of bullying
- Being exposed to any of the above even if you are not directly effected by violence etc
The signs of Trauma
The signs that a child or an adult may have been exposed to trauma can be:
- Hyper vigilance
- Self sabotaging behaviours
- Inability to make or keep friends
- Disliking themselves
- Impact on learning due to an inability to concentrate
- Being too clingy when having relationships
- Lack of trust
- Feeling that the world is not safe
- Trauma can Effect your health
A study showed (1) that childhood trauma may increase your risk of :
- Coronary Disease
& self harm & suicide
What are the indicators that you may have childhood trauma?
For many people, growing up and having more control over your life can allow you to put the past behind you. Therapy may well have allowed you to move on with positivity. But in some cases, the early wounds travel with you. If you are experiencing some of the below, you may have unresolved early Trauma:
- Low self esteem
- Issues with relationships
- Inability to bond with others
- Feel anxious all the time but don’t know why
- Sleep disruption
- Sadness but don’t know why
So Can I Get Help?
YES!! Early Childhood Trauma can be helped. You may have been for therapy before & feel..’Why is it going to be different this time?’…Therapy can help. New understanding of trauma is evolving all of the time. New approaches are being developed. You can move on. You can feel more grounded & more able to connect with yourself & others.
If you would like to see if I can help, then please contact me!
I make every effort to ensure that the advice & information on this weds is accurate & up to date. As the advice is general & not individual I cannot accept any liability for actions arising from its use nor can I be held responsible for the contact of the pages referenced by an external link.
- Gilbert LK, Breiding MJ, Merrick MT, et al. Childhood adversity and adult chronic disease: An update from ten states and the District of Columbia, 2010. Am J Prev Med. 2015;48(3):345-349. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2014.09.006