Understanding Childhood Trauma’s Long-Term Effects

Childhood trauma can have long-term consequences, such as heart disease or substance misuse issues, in later life. According to recent findings, it may potentially hasten the aging process. However, here’s where parents should step in to help avoid problems in the future.

Childhood trauma can cause a wide range of problems in later life. Adversity can cause a variety of mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), substance addiction disorders, suicidal thoughts and behaviors, eating disorders and other forms of emotional and physical malaise.

Trauma increases a person’s likelihood of developing obesity, chronic pain, heart disease, diabetes, and early death, among other health issues. According to a study in 2018, stress-related diseases including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), are also linked to autoimmune disorders, which can arise without a biological basis.

New research published by the American Psychological Association in August 2020 also indicated that childhood stress from abuse or violence could speed up the aging process of the human body. Children who have been subjected to violence or abuse as infants are more likely to have early puberty, as well as accelerated cellular and brain aging, according to research.

A Case-by-Case Approach to Trauma Treatment

No matter what their gender, sexual orientation, color, religion, or socioeconomic background, anyone can suffer from the effects of childhood trauma. Despite the fact that women are twice as likely as males to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), parents and doctors should treat each child on an individual basis.

The reason for this is that a person’s personality influences how they respond to adversity. People who are more outgoing may show symptoms early, making the discomfort more apparent, but they may also be labeled as “troublemakers,” which can be harmful to their reputation.

Being ostracized by your classmates or peers at school, having issues with authority because you’re always in trouble, and receiving messages that you’re a horrible kid all add up to the negative repercussions of bullying.

Internalizing the pain, on the other hand, may show up later in life, after years of fabricating a story about the trauma.

A Child’s Guide to Coping with Adversity

However difficult the situation may be, experts say it’s critical to make an effort to understand children and reassure them that it’s okay to be unhappy. It’s harmful to downplay anyone’s experience as “not that horrible.” In our society, we tend to place these judgments from the outside world on everything, and this leaves individuals feeling slighted. Unseen and subtle factors might have a long-term detrimental effect.

Schools and authorities are beginning to use more trauma-informed methods when it comes to children who are struggling to behave or perform at a high standard. This can be done by parents as well. Instead of responding, “I’m going to punish you,” a parent can turn around and inquire, “What is going on to cause you to do these things?” Help the child find other ways to express themselves that isn’t damaging.

It is critical for parents to seek professional help if they suspect that their child has been traumatized, regardless of how they appear to be behaving. If they are “in trouble” or have done something wrong, they should explain why they are being punished. In order to encourage a child to open up, tell them it isn’t their fault.

A parent’s job can be made more difficult if they believe they are to blame for their child’s distress, such as when they go through a divorce or are at fault in an accident. Parents need to step out of their own emotional response and say, “I could be unhappy about this, but I have to be a parent right now.”

The End of the Story

Poor job performance and chronic discomfort are just two examples of the consequences of untreated Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). However, if parents take the correct actions following a child’s trauma, they can help them overcome their issues and prosper in the future.

Helpful related articles: Your Child’s Recovery From TraumaType 1 Diabetes May Be Linked to Childhood Trauma, Seeing A Therapist for Your Child