9 Signs You're Dealing with Childhood Trauma video
The effects of childhood trauma are very real and can persist into adulthood if adequate support is not sought. Do not you believe it? Science shows that childhood trauma actually affects your brain.
1. HOW THE BRAIN DEVELOPS
Neural Connections Illustration
Although most of the brain develops while we are in the womb, the brain continues to grow and build itself. New neural connections are formed throughout our lives.
"SCIENTISTS CANNOT SAY EXACTLY WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE BRAIN DEVELOPS AT SUCH AN AGE. BUT IT IS CERTAIN THAT CHILDHOOD IS A CRUCIAL PERIOD OF GROWTH. IT IS ESTIMATED THAT IN THE FIRST YEARS OF LIFE, THE BRAIN FORMS 700 TO 1,000 NEURAL CONNECTIONS EVERY SECOND. AND THESE CONNECTIONS FORM THE FOUNDATION FOR BRAIN DEVELOPMENT. "
2. WHAT TYPE OF TRAUMA IN CHILDHOOD AFFECTS THE BRAIN?
Any type of abuse (physical abuse, sexual abuse and emotional abuse) is very traumatic for a child and all these events affect the development of the brain.
Other experiences that are very traumatic for children include:
- Negligence and / or extreme poverty.
- A violent home.
- Losing a father or a brother.
- Parents with a mental illness or addiction.
- Experiencing a natural disaster or war.
What if you grew up in a "good family environment" but have all the signs of trauma? You may not have received what is known in psychology as "proper attachment." It is very traumatic for a child not to feel loved, supported and safe.
3. LACK OF ADEQUATE ATTACHMENT AND BRAIN DEVELOPMENT
The theory of attachment argues that for a child to grow up to be an adult with confidence in others and can form healthy relationships, you want looked after him during the early years of his life have had a strong bond and trust is needed. Which means that when you were a child, and you cried, or made a gesture or anything else to try to express your needs, an adult must have responded in an appropriate way. Doing things like holding you in your arms, or talking to you ... letting you know that your needs would be met and that you were safe.
"THIS TYPE OF ROUND-TRIP SUPPORT BETWEEN A CHILD AND AN ADULT IS CALLED A 'SERVE AND RETURN INTERACTION' AND IS NOT ONLY IMPORTANT TO A BABY'S PSYCHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT - IT IS CRUCIAL TO THE HEALTHY DEVELOPMENT OF HIS BRAIN. EVERY TIME THERE IS A POSITIVE INTERACTION BETWEEN THE CHILD AND THE ADULT, NEURAL CONNECTIONS ARE BUILT »
If there was no place for these interactions, if the person who took care of you was not trustworthy, he was unable to love you and take care of you - it means that these neural pathways may not have been formed as forcefully, which means that your mental and emotional health can be seen affected as an adult.
4. SO IF MY PARENTS WERE BAD, DID MY BRAIN AFFECT ME?
No parent is perfect, and some research shows that a child needs a variation in the response he receives from adults to realize that he is a separate human being and to advance in learning how to solve a problem and be independent. A little stress is part of healthy development.
It is only when the stress response is triggered too often, or rarely has a chance to "shut down," that the body's physiological reactions can become a threat to brain development.
"IN SHORT, CHILDREN DON'T NEED A 'PERFECT CHILDHOOD.' HOWEVER, CHILDREN NEED TO FEEL LOVED AND ACCEPTED REGARDLESS OF THEIR BEHAVIOR, AND THEY NEED SUPPORT TO COPE WITH STRESS. THEY ALSO REQUIRE ROUTINES, GAMES, HEALTHY SOCIAL CONNECTION AND GOOD ROLE MODELS. "
5. SIMPLY PUT... HOW DOES CHILDHOOD TRAUMA AFFECT THE BRAIN?
As mentioned earlier, childhood trauma affects the way your neural pathways form or stop forming. Trauma can thus cause lasting changes in the areas of the brain that deal with stress, as we have known so far: the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. Animal studies also found that trauma actually damaged neurons.
And not having received the care and affection you required as a child will also make you experience the physiological effects of stress. One of the side effects of the body's primary stress response is a flood of hormones throughout the body, which increases cortisol and norepinephrine levels. These hormones can sometimes be another source of damage to the child's brain architecture.
6. WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS THAT CHILDHOOD TRAUMA HAS AFFECTED YOUR BRAIN?
Adult symptoms that could mean childhood trauma has affected the development of their brain may include:
- Learning difficulties, including concentration problems
- Behavioral problems.
- Self-regulation problems (ability to control yourself).
- Also, emotional and psychological health problems.
- Memory problems.
- Poor planning and prioritization of skills.
- Procrastination .
- Lack of resilience.
- Problems with social skills and relating to others.
Suffering from childhood trauma can also mean that as an adult your body responds physically to stress more than it should . Research on the effects of traumatic stress on the brain found that people with PTSD had higher-than-normal hormone levels in response to stress or dysregulation, including increased levels of cortisol.
7. PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS RELATED TO CHILDHOOD TRAUMA
Depression is one of the effects of childhood trauma on the brain
The effects of childhood trauma type often lead to psychological problems . The following 10 have been linked to the effects of trauma on the brain and include:
- ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) in Adults
- Low self-esteem
- PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- High levels of stress
- Personality disorders such as BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)
- Substance abuse.
8. ARE ALL MY PROBLEMS DUE TO CHILDHOOD TRAUMA?
No, DNA is also a factor. You were born with certain brain circuits. But the way these circuits were developed depends on the service and return interactions you experienced.
"BASICALLY, WE ARE BORN WITH THE POTENTIAL TO DEVELOP BEHAVIORS AND ABILITIES, BUT FOR THESE ABILITIES TO DEVELOP IN YOU, IT DEPENDS ON HOW THEY ARE NURTURED AND WHAT YOUR CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES ARE. SO PART OF IT DEPENDS ON YOUR EXPERIENCES, AND PART OF YOUR GENETIC INHERITANCE. "
This could be the reason why two children may experience the same trauma, but one manages to be resilient , while the other suffers symptoms throughout their lives.
9. WHAT CAN I DO IF I THINK MY BRAIN HAS BEEN AFFECTED?
If by reading the above you recognize the problems and symptoms and the types of experiences that are recorded in the brain as trauma, it is important to seek professional support.
An online psychologist can help you manage the effects of childhood trauma in your adult life, which means that you can have better relationships, and that your moods improve and you will feel more in control of your life.
And therapy can even restart your brain. For example, a 2017 study by King College London used brain imaging to show that Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) increased brain connectivity in the long term.
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