How Your Childhood Trauma May Be Affecting Your Life as an Adult

The traumas of your childhood may still have lingering effects on your current day to day life.

21 Jun 2021

Tag: Childhood Trauma

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Recognizing and understanding your childhood trauma Sometimes the past doesn’t stay in the past. There are times we find it lurking in the background of our relationships, behaviors, and even our professional development.

We can’t always control what happens to us, especially in our childhood, but for those who experience traumatic eventsearly on in life, the consequences and aftermaths might carry on into adulthood. Childhood trauma teaches us to build walls and disengage in manners that could be holding us back from our full potential. It is often a struggle for us to realize its damage and the acknowledgement could come years after the occurrence of the traumatic event. It’s not always easy to look back at these events, but it is a necessary step in the creation of a life you want to live.

Understanding your childhood trauma is the first step to a resolution. Childhood trauma or adversity can leave lasting scars on a person that pose in varying degrees of damage and difficulty. This experience is unique to each individual and should be treated as so. Validation and patience to familiarize yourself with your trauma will make it easier for you to come to terms with it. Afterall there are several forms of trauma such as the loss of a caregiver, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or natural disasters which can all cause a variety of symptoms that follow their survivors for many years to come.

The long-term effects of childhood trauma

Many studies over the years have demonstrated the long-term negative effects of childhood trauma on emotional, psychological, and physiological wellness. This trauma has also been linked to emotion dysregulation and stress-reactivity. When children whose families fall short of fulfilling the basic needs of comfort, safety, and protection, they are likely to develop other methods of coping in order to survive. Here is a list of possible long-term effects:

  • Relationships and attachment  disorders are common for children who learn from a young age that they cannot trust other people. This is especially prominent if the trauma occurs between 6 months and 3 years of age. If the close relationships in a child’s life are unstable or unpredictable, they may find trouble forming healthy attachments and trusting relationships in adulthood. This condition is known as reactive attachment disorder which significantly affects everything from mood to behavior and thus an ability to form social relationships.
  • Physical health and brain chemicals are important factors that greatly affect the way our bodies develop. If a child grows up in an environment where they are often afraid or extremely stressed out, this can change the body’s immune system and brain chemistry causing permanent damage. Later in life as an adult, the child may have difficulty responding appropriately to different levels of stress. These symptoms can show up as irregular mood swings, rapid heart rates, sped up breathing, or “shutting down” entirely. These reactions are often an adaptive response to certain threats. Stressors could also often lead to other methods of numbing such as smoking, substance abuse, etc.
  • Dissociation is an experience where the person feels disconnection between memories, surroundings, actions and sometimes identity. This experience is different for each person and can manifest in different ways at random. Some experience a detachment from themselves in a physical sense, such as an outsider looking in. For others, it may feel like a dream state that leaves them with lapses in their memories. They are left feeling confused and unable to discern between what was reality and what wasn’t. Due to the unpredictability of this experience, children who learn to dissociate as a defense mechanism may have trouble learning and focusing. This can prove to have damage to their academic, social, and professional lives.
  • Cognitive thinking and behaviors  may take effect too in that the child who suffers from trauma may be easily triggered or become hyperreactive. They may struggle with self-regulation of their thoughts and emotions which often translates to a lack of impulse control. Children may have problems thinking clearly and critically. This generally affects them in the long run because they become unable to process their life experiences. They may show a lower ability for language development and abstract reasoning.
  • Self-concept  becomes a serious problem for children who at a young age are taught their self-worth based on the reactions they get from others around them. An abused or neglected child learns to blame themselves for their trauma creating feelings of shame, guilt, low self-esteem, and poor self-image. Their negative experiences can interfere with positive opportunities to learn therefore closing themselves off to growth. They have trouble feeling hopeful and often feel that they are operating in “survival mode” most of the time.
  • In the rediscovery of ourselves and who we want to be, we need to remember to remain compassionate and patient with ourselves. With each step, remind yourself to take it with grace. We may not be able to change the past, especially during a time when we relied so heavily on the people we were taught to trust the most, but there is hope for you to gain back control over your life.

  • If you believe you or a loved one is suffering from the long-term effects of childhood trauma, look to trying Virtual EMDR. This expertly developed and scientifically supported form of therapy gives the power back to you by helping you reassess your traumas. This program aims to help you overcome your problems at your own pace.

“I’m now working all the way back to my childhood trauma.

After I’ve done a session, it’s like I can feel something in my brain is different, the negative emotions lose their power, and I can focus and think more clearly.

I’ve recommended Virtual EMDR to a lot of people – I can’t speak highly enough of it!”

– Jennifer H

Try Virtual EMDR now with the limited time offer code “HEALING10” for 10% off.


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