Why It’s Essential to Tackle Childhood Trauma, Early
by Alek Sabin
Every year, we are beginning to learn more and more about the effects that trauma in childhood has, as victims get further and further into adulthood. While it’s been known that behavioral issues and development problems can frequently stem from traumatic events that occurred in childhood, new research is coming out that shows how other mental disorders (such as clinical depression, generalized anxiety disorder, and bipolar disorder) can develop out of childhood trauma. Individuals who have experienced childhood trauma are significantly more likely to struggle with addiction in life, which is why it’s something that anyone involved with addiction should be informed about.
This emphasizes the need to get help to children who suffer from trauma while they are still children, rather than assume that it will go away as they reach adulthood. Here are some reasons why it’s important to tackle childhood trauma, early…and in early recovery.
PTSD in adults often comes from childhood events
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has many symptoms that can severely impact a person’s quality of life, including nightmares, aggression, anxiousness, struggles with socialization, and rapid changes in emotion, among other things. Recent studies have shown that a large portion of adults who suffer from PTSD developed the disorder after a traumatic event that occurred during childhood.
Since this disorder has a profound impact on a child’s development into adulthood, and can impact their social, mental, emotional, and even physical health, it is better to deal with these traumatic events when a victim is younger, so that the impact of trauma doesn’t shape behavioral responses, when they are older.
Youth suicide is becoming more common
Suicide is a major killer of young people, today. As a matter of fact, the suicide contributes more to the mortality rate of teenagers and young adults than a combination of cancer, stroke, AIDS, pneumonia, influenza, lung disease, and birth defects. Nearly 3,500 teenagers and young adults commit suicide, on average, every single day in the United States.
When it comes to the indicators of suicide, trauma can be a major factor that leads to a mental state where a young person attempts to take their life. For this reason, it’s important to help a child’s mental health heal from trauma when they are younger, so that this trauma doesn’t develop into something even more sinister.
Complex trauma is more difficult to tackle, later on
It is common therapy practice to consider the environmental influences of an adult patient, particularly from childhood. As stated above, it’s been found that trauma experienced in childhood is a very common source of mental disorders found in adults. However, the problem with dealing with these traumatic events as an adult is that the person has been forced to develop their own coping mechanisms for dealing with that trauma, throughout the course of their life.
This means that the true source of trauma can often be buried throughout other behavioral influences, and can complicate the therapy process. The earlier we are able to tackle trauma in a child, the easier it is to address the source of that trauma, head-on, which makes it easier to identify and move towards healthy progress.
Children don’t just get better from trauma
One of the biggest misconceptions that keep trauma-suffering children from getting the help that is going to enable them to work through their issues is that they will get over it as they get older. While certain traumatic events may not be at the forefront of their mind after several years, the reality is that their development and behavior are going to be influenced by that trauma, which means that it can have a profound impact on a person’s identity, years down the road.
Mental health problems are like any other problems. They don’t just go away. Problems need to be addressed, talked about, and worked on, in any field. This is especially true for therapy, which is why it is so important to get a child to therapeutic and/or psychiatric health when they are younger. It isn’t impossible to deal with these things when they are older, but the issues are buried under less experience, which makes them easier to tackle.
I would like to add a little as Alek’s article brings out some very good points. I am a childhood sexual trauma survivor, and it is not easy to talk about. I even skirted around going into details about what I went through within my current book. However, I am finally able to embrace this part of my life.
Through much processing in therapy, I have been able to learn my past childhood trauma was some of the direct to “roots to my gambling addiction as I was using it to “escape, cope,” and not feel that past hurt little girl. So, it is important to begin the work from the trauma of any kind early in your recovery journey. “Let Go and Let God” as he’ll help you learn to “forgive” yourself. It was never your fault, and you are not alone…