The effects of childhood trauma can last well into adulthood. If not dealt with properly, usually by a professional in extreme cases, childhood trauma can color the entire life of the person who has experienced it. This can cause difficulty in romantic and family relationships, and other associated disorders such as alcoholism and drug abuse.
Have You, Your Partner, Or A Loved One Suffered From Childhood Trauma?
There is hope. Childhood trauma can be healed and worked through with therapy, and associated disorders like addiction are absolutely treatable. We always like to remind people: alcohol and drug addiction are treatable disorders. They are illnesses, and illnesses can be treated and managed.
One of the ways these disorders are treated is to treat underlying factors. One such factor, and an important one, is treating the effects of childhood trauma. Below, we’ve put together a list of some of the possible signs of childhood trauma in adults. If you or a loved one displays symptoms of childhood trauma persisting into adulthood, it might be time to speak to a professional about treatment options. These treatments often result in healthier relationships as well as healthier bodies and minds.
What Does Childhood Trauma Consist Of?
Childhood trauma is often associated with abuse, usually by family members or parents. This abuse can include neglect, physical abuse, emotional abuse, and sexual abuse.
But childhood trauma can consist of much more, including parents who are alcoholics or drug abusers, witnessing a natural disaster or other instances of violence in one’s community. Trauma can consist of a single act, like a violent car accident or witnessing an act of violence, or can be repeated, such as cases of neglect or abuse.
Just because someone has experienced these things does not mean they still carry this trauma with them into adulthood— not everyone does. But it is possible and problems are much more likely later in life for those who have experienced this trauma and abuse as children.
One of the first and most recognizable signs of childhood trauma in adults is hypervigilance. Hypervigilance consists of an individual always on guard. This person can be suspicious, even of loved ones, feel as if they’re always “walking on eggshells”, or keenly aware of their surroundings. This can be exhausting, and happens because when those closest to them as children abuse their trust, one learns it’s dangerous to trust others. In a similar way, if children are exposed to traumatic events, hypervigilance is a way the body and mind try to protect itself from future trauma.
Symptom: Depression and Mood Disorders
Childhood trauma can often present in adults as depression and mood disorders. Those who have suffered childhood trauma are up to five times as likely to have a mental or physical disorder later in life. This includes substance abuse disorders.
Symptom: Difficulty In Relationships
Another of the most common symptoms of childhood trauma are difficulties in relationships. When the early and primary relationships between parents or caregivers and children are strained or abnormal, this can cause difficulties later in life. Attachment styles, specifically for romantic partners, can be avoidant, dismissive, ambivalent and disorganized.
Symptom: Poor Self Esteem
Poor self esteem is another factor in childhood trauma in adults. When parents or other primary caregivers have made those they were caring for feel worthless or unloved, those feelings can carry over into adulthood. Poor self esteem can lead to difficulty in relationships.
Symptom: Difficulty Trusting Others
When those that are supposed to be most trustworthy— like parents and other caregivers— hurt children, this can make it difficult not only to trust caregivers, but to trust others as adults as well. When in the early stages of learning one learns not to trust, it can be difficult to trust in the future.
Symptom: Substance Abuse
Substance abuse is another common problem for those who have experienced trauma as children that has not been properly dealt with. People who abuse drugs and alcohol can use it as a way to cope or escape with reality, and especially in cases of abuse or neglect, can start early, entrenching these into the psyche.
Healing Childhood Trauma
If you think you or our loved one may have unresolved childhood trauma and it’s affecting your life, especially if it presents itself as problem drinking or drug use, contact us at Through The Archway at (844) 620-1546. We can provide help and support to those who are dealing with childhood trauma and their associated after effects.
Remember, addiction is a treatable disease, and there is help for you and your loved ones.