Children may experience a variety of experiences that qualify as psychological trauma; these could include neglect, abandonment, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and physical abuse; witnessing abuse of a sibling or parent; or having a mentally ill parent. Childhood trauma is frequently defined as serious adverse childhood experiences.
These occurrences have significant psychological, physiological, and societal repercussions and can have detrimental, long-lasting implications on health and wellbeing, including antisocial behaviors, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and sleep difficulties.
Similar to this, children whose mothers went through traumatic or stressful experiences while pregnant are more likely to suffer mental health problems and other neurodevelopmental issues.
According to a 1998 study by Kaiser Permanente and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on adverse childhood experiences, traumatic experiences as a child are the main contributor to a variety of social, emotional, and cognitive deficits that increase the risk of engaging in unhealthy self-destructive behaviors, becoming violent, becoming a victim again, developing chronic health problems, having a short lifespan, and dying young.
The likelihood of issues from childhood to adulthood grows as the number of negative events does as well.
After the first study, over 30 years of research have supported this.
Today, parents and kids are frequently screened for ACEs by many governments, healthcare professionals, and other organizations.
Stress brought on by traumatic events as a kid raises an individual’s allostatic load, which in turn affects the immune system, neurological system, and endocrine system.
Chronic stress exposure increases the risk of unfavorable medical outcomes by a factor of three or four.
Childhood trauma is frequently linked to poor health outcomes due to chronic stress, such as depression, high blood pressure, autoimmune disorders, lung cancer, and early mortality.
Childhood trauma has a detrimental effect on emotional control and stunts the development of social skills, among other things.
According to research, kids who grow up in traumatic or dangerous home circumstances often exhibit excessive internalizing (like social withdrawal or anxiety) or externalizing (like aggression) as well as suicidal conduct which also addictions are.
In adulthood, mood and anxiety problems are connected to physical and sexual abuse, whereas personality disorders and schizophrenia are linked to emotional abuse, according to recent studies.
Additionally, research has shown that rather than focusing on individual diseases, mental health effects from childhood trauma may be best understood through a dimensional framework (internalizing and externalizing).
Trauma experienced as a child might make people more susceptible to mental illnesses such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), attachment problems, depression, and drug misuse.
Critical and sensitive developmental periods in children can lead to altered brain functioning that is adaptable to a hostile environment but challenging in more welcoming ones.
Recent studies have discovered a connection between physical and sexual abuse, According to research by Stefania Tognin and Maria Calem, 65.6 percent of patients with clinically high risk for psychosis and 23.1 percent of healthy controls (HC) both experienced some form of childhood trauma.
The study’s findings indicate a connection between the impacts of childhood trauma and having a high chance of developing psychosis.
results for adults. Usually, this psychosis or even developing another personality is just the mind’s way of surviving those horrible crimes or traumas experienced in the past.
Feelings that began with trauma in childhood but persisted as an adult may include anxiety, concern, humiliation, guilt, helplessness, hopelessness, sorrow, sadness, and wrath.
Additionally, those who experience trauma as children are more likely to struggle with anxiety, despair, self-harm, suicide, PTSD, drug and alcohol abuse, and interpersonal issues.
There are more consequences of childhood trauma than merely emotional ones.
Trauma survivors are more likely to develop asthma, coronary heart disease, diabetes, or stroke.
That’s why is very important to learn how to express your feelings and use adequate therapy that can really find and release these unsolved traumas and feelings.
Additionally, they are more likely to have a “heightened stress response,” which can make it harder for them to control their emotions, impair their immune system, cause problems sleeping, and raise their risk of contracting a variety of physical diseases throughout adulthood.
Epigenetic marks, which chemically alter gene expression by either silencing or activating genes, can be left on a child’s DNA by childhood stress.
This can change basic biological functions and have a negative impact on one’s health throughout one’s life.
According to a 2013 study, those with PTSD brought on by adult-onset trauma exhibited distinct neuropathologies than those with PTSD brought on by childhood trauma.
Another recent study in rhesus macaques revealed that early-life adversity-related DNA methylation alterations lasted throughout adulthood.
Those who have experienced war trauma or abuse as children are more likely to develop trauma-spectrum disorders including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Traumatic stress has also been linked to changes in the immunological and neuroendocrine systems, increasing the risk for physical illnesses.
Survivors of childhood and adult trauma have been found to have epigenetic changes in genes controlling the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis as well as the immune system.
Traumatic events may even have cross-generational repercussions, affecting both psychological and biological factors in the following generation.
Since biological changes linked to PTSD and/or other stress-related disorders have also been noticed in the offspring of trauma survivors who do not themselves report trauma exposure or psychiatric disorder, parental trauma exposure has been found to be associated with a greater risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as mood and anxiety disorders, in offspring.
Epigenetic changes brought about by stress exposure have been seen in animal models, and it has been proposed that these processes underlie the susceptibility to symptoms in children of trauma survivors.
It has been shown that abnormalities in gametes in utero, variances in early postnatal care, and/or other early life events affected by parental exposure promote enduring behavioral responses to stress and epigenetic changes in adult offspring (Yehuda, Daskalakis, Bierer, Bader, Klengel, Holsboer, and Binder, 2015).
These modifications may have long-lasting effects on the stress response and increase the danger to one’s physical health.
Furthermore, parental anguish, the prenatal and postnatal environment, as well as epigenetic markers passed down through the germline, might all pass on the impacts of parental trauma to the offspring.
While there is great promise for epigenetic research to further our knowledge of the effects of trauma, it is important to interpret the results carefully since epigenetics is only one piece of a complicated jigsaw of interrelated biological and environmental components.
economic and social costs
It is challenging to estimate the social and financial consequences of child abuse and neglect.
Some expenditures are obvious and directly tied to maltreatment, such as hospital bills for treating wounds from physical abuse and foster care expenses incurred when children must be removed from their homes because they cannot be kept in a safe environment with their relatives.
Other consequences include reduced academic success, adult crime, and persistent mental health issues, which are less directly related to the prevalence of abuse.
The economy and society are impacted by both direct and indirect expenses.
IMPACT across generations
Demyelinated neurons are one epigenetic imprint that people might pass on to their offspring.
A demyelinating disease is any condition that causes damage to the protective covering (myelin sheath) that surrounds nerve fibers in your brain, the nerves leading to the eyes (optic nerves) and spinal cord. When the myelin sheath is damaged, nerve impulses slow or even stop, causing neurological problems
The consequences of trauma can be passed down to succeeding generations of children from survivors of childhood trauma.
This is referred to as trans-generational trauma or inter-generational trauma, and it can show up epigenetically as well as in parenting styles.
Genes and gene expression can also change as a result of environmental stress and developmental trauma exposure.
According to a growing body of research, children who endure trauma and violence in intimate relationships not only put their future well-being in jeopardy but may also suffer long-term effects that continue far into adulthood.
These enduring effects may include emotional control problems, which may then be transmitted to succeeding generations through interactions between children and parents and acquired behaviors.
A number of detrimental effects in adulthood are strongly predicted by childhood exposure to maltreatment.
However, not all kids who experience a potentially traumatic event go on to struggle with their physical or mental health.
As a result, there are a number of characteristics that lessen the impact of potentially traumatic occurrences and shield a person from experiencing mental health issues after being exposed to one.
We refer to these as resilience factors.
In the 1970s, research on kids who developed adaptive skills while dealing with hardships began, and it is still going on today.
“The process of, the ability for, or consequence of successful adaptation despite challenging or threatening conditions” is how resilience is defined.
The idea of resilience came forth as a result of studies that showed how positive emotions, particularly those related to reactions to trauma, had a restorative and protective influence on the experience of negative emotions more generally.
Instead of concentrating on weaknesses in a person who has suffered a traumatic incident, this study has helped to design therapies that promote resilience.
It has been discovered that resilience reduces the likelihood of suicide, sadness, anxiety, and other mental health issues brought on by early exposure to stress.
The relative level of functioning of a person with high resilience does not considerably change after exposure to a potentially traumatic event. Instead, it remains close to the level of functioning that was present before the exposure.
Furthermore, compared to someone who could be seen to be less resilient, the same person might be able to bounce back quicker and more successfully from a potentially unpleasant experience.
The level of functioning in children is defined as their continued display of behavior that is deemed developmentally acceptable for their age group.
The existence of mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions is another indicator of the level of functioning.
Factors influencing resilience
Cultural characteristics like financial position are among the elements that influence resilience, and having more resources available often correlates to greater resilience to trauma.
Furthermore, the chance of suffering unfavorable consequences as a result of childhood trauma depends on the magnitude and length of the potentially traumatic incident.
Gender is one element that has no impact on resilience since both men and women are equally susceptible to risk and protective variables.
Additionally, cognitive ability does not predict resilience.
When assessing a person’s relative resilience, attachment has been found to be one of the most crucial aspects to take into account.
Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) were more likely to be handled by children who had strong relationships to adults and adaptive coping mechanisms.
Resilience seems to be fostered and maintained through secure bonds at all stages of life, including adolescence and maturity.
A particularly effective predictor of resilience is having a secure bond to one’s peers throughout adolescence.
It is believed that these safe attachments reduce the degree to which abused children view others as being unreliable in the setting of abuse.
To put it another way, while some mistreated children may start to believe that others are dangerous and unreliable, children who are able to build and sustain good connections are less prone to believe this.
Throughout infancy, adolescence, and adulthood, children who endure trauma but also have good connection with a variety of groups of individuals (basically, parents, peers, romantic partners, etc.) are very resilient.
The emergence (or non-emergence) of adult psychopathology as a result of childhood trauma is also influenced by personality.
After being exposed to a potentially traumatic incident, those with low neuroticism scores are less likely to have negative consequences including psychopathology, criminal behavior, and poor physical health.
Additionally, it has been discovered that those who score higher on extraversion, conscientiousness, and openness to experience are more resistant to the effects of childhood trauma.
One of the most pervasive myths about resilience is the idea that those who exhibit it are somehow exceptional or unusual.
Children frequently exhibit resilience, or the ability to successfully adjust.
This is partly a result of how naturally adaptable childhood growth is.
As a result, resilience is increased by taking precautions against elements that might degrade a child’s innate resilience.
According to studies, children who have experienced trauma benefit from surroundings where they feel safe and can firmly bond to a healthy adult. These environments can help children become more resilient.
Therefore, strengthening parent-child relationships is especially helpful at reducing the potential harmful impacts of trauma.
Furthermore, resilience experts contend that effective adaptation is a developmental process that lasts a person’s entire lifetime rather than just an outcome.
Therefore, effective resilience promotion must be continuing throughout a person’s lifespan.
All children are affected differently by trauma.
While some traumatized children endure severe and persistent issues, others may just experience minor symptoms and heal more rapidly.
Studies have shown that children can and do recover from trauma despite its widespread effects and that trauma-informed care and therapies outperform “treatment as usual” in terms of results.
Offering services or assistance in a way that meets the unique needs of those who have suffered trauma is known as providing trauma-informed care.
Bullying is any unwarranted behavior intended to cause bodily or psychological harm to someone who is seen to be weaker physically or socially.
Bullying is a type of harassment that takes place in person or online and is frequently recurrent and chronic.
Childhood bullying may cause pain, grief, and educational harm that may have an impact on adolescents later on.
Children’s safety may be at risk if they participate in bullying as victims, bullies, bullies/victims, or witnesses.
Bullying may affect how the HPA axis functions, and how a person functions as an adult, and it can increase the chance of developing an eating disorder.
It raises the risk for mental health issues including anxiety, depression, agoraphobia, panic disorder, substance misuse, and PTSD as well as physical issues like inflammation, diabetes, and heart risk.
Contrary to bullying, which is often directly perpetrated on the kid, trauma from community violence is more often the result of exposure to violent acts and behaviors in the community, such as gang violence, school shootings, riots, or police brutality.
Exposure to community violence, whether direct or indirect, has been linked to a variety of detrimental effects on children and adolescents’ mental health, such as internalizing trauma-related symptoms, behavioral issues in the classroom, drug addiction, and suicide thoughts.
Additionally, evidence suggests that violence tends to breed violence; adolescents and young children who experience acts of communal violence regularly exhibit greater levels of hostility at all developmental stages, including early and middle childhood.
Complex trauma develops as a result of exposure to numerous, recurrent victimization episodes or other traumatic events.
Compared to people who have only had one or a few trauma exposures, people who have been exposed to several kinds of trauma frequently exhibit a wide variety of issues.
People who have undergone complex trauma, for instance, have cognitive challenges (dissociation), emotional, physical, behavioral, relational, and self-attributional issues.
Disaster-related traumas include the death of loved ones, disruptions brought on by homelessness and suffering, and the dissolution of community structures, in addition to the experience of natural and man-made catastrophes.
Natural catastrophe exposure is a highly stressful experience that can have a variety of adverse adaptation implications, especially in youngsters.
Natural catastrophe exposure raises the likelihood of poor psychological health in kids and teenagers.
After exposure, psychological problems often go better gradually; this is not a quick procedure.
violence between intimates
Similar to communal violence, intimate partner violence-related trauma can develop through exposure to domestic violence, frequently from violence committed against one or more family members or caregivers, rather than being directly perpetrated on the kid.
Direct physical and mental abuse of the child frequently goes along with it.
Early-life exposure to violence and threats against caregivers is linked to serious negative effects on a child’s health and development.
Children may have psychological anguish, behavioral issues, self-regulation issues, social interaction issues, and disordered attachment, among other outcomes.
Compared to children who experienced non-interpersonal traumas, those exposed to interpersonal violence had a higher risk of developing long-term mental health issues.
For younger children, the effects of seeing intimate partner abuse may be more severe.
Younger children are more emotionally and physically entirely reliant on their caretakers than older youngsters.
They require this to grow normally in terms of neurological, psychological, and social development.
Their susceptibility to seeing violence towards their caretakers may be influenced by this reliance.
Medical trauma, also known as “pediatric medical traumatic stress,” is a term used to describe a group of psychological and physical reactions that children and their families have to experience pain, injury, serious disease, medical procedures, and intrusive or scary treatment experiences.
Medical trauma can result from a single medical incident or from a series of related medical events.
Children interpret information differently since their cognitive abilities are still growing.
Perhaps they feel that being in pain is a punishment for something they did wrong or that their injuries were somehow their fault.
Due to their unpleasant medical experience, children may develop changes in their attachment to their caregivers.
This does depend on the child’s age and comprehension of their medical issues.
A young kid, for instance, would feel betrayed by their parents if they had to take part in actions that led to and contributed to the child’s suffering, such as giving them medication or taking them to the doctor.
The parent-child connection is also stressed as a result of parents’ feelings of helplessness, guilt, or incompetence.
Child physical abuse is the act of striking, slapping, or otherwise abusing a child inflicting bodily damage or injury.
This abuse is thought to be intentional.
Mild bruises to shattered bones, fractured skulls, and even death are all possible injuries.
Fractures, cognitive or intellectual deficiencies, social skill deficits, PTSD, other mental problems, increased aggressiveness and externalizing behaviors, anxiety, risk-taking behavior, and suicidal conduct are some of the short-term effects of physical abuse of children.
There are a number of long-term effects, such as a lack of trust in others, low self-esteem, anxiety, bodily issues, rage, hostility that is internalized, depression, interpersonal issues, and drug misuse.
Childhood trauma associated with refugees can come from the displacement process, including the interruptions and transitions of resettlement into the destination country, as well as from conflict, persecution, or violence in the child’s country of origin.
Studies on refugee youngsters reveal significant levels of exposure to trauma associated to conflict and have discovered grave negative effects on children’s mental health.
Children who are refugees may have behavioral issues, mood and anxiety disorders, PTSD, and adjustment issues as a result of trauma.
Separation stress is an attachment bond breakdown that impairs brain growth and can be fatal.
A youngster may experience severe stress if they are often separated from a caregiver.
In contrast to the usual mourning process, traumatic sorrow is characterized by the child’s inability to deal with day-to-day challenges or even recall a deceased loved one outside of the context of their passing.
This is frequently the case when a quick sickness or violent conduct caused death.
Traumas are usually very complex and in many layers and the best way for our professionals is to start by making first free conversation to find out what kind of symptoms and goals the patient has. We make also mind practice to find out what negative thoughts are subconsciously stopping you from healing.
See more about the First free conversation:
Autonomic Response Testing technique
Usually, the treatment includes always Psychokysiology as based on scientific studies it always takes away chronic stress with help out in
The Autonomic Response Testing technique communicates with our autonomic nervous system as there is all the information on what has caused the distribution or discomfort but also how to solve it.
Psykokinesiogy helps to find out what is stopping the natural healing process:
Also our following course Basic course of emotions to children is a great way to start understanding your feelings subscribe to our newsletter to get the first episodes!