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Recovering from Childhood Trauma

Table of Contents

How to recognize signs of childhood trauma and heal from your past.

Key Takeaways:

  • Bad experiences during childhood can stick with you for the rest of your life. 
  • There are ways to heal from childhood trauma, but it takes work.
  • CBT, DBT, and yoga are effective ways to treat childhood trauma in adulthood. 
  • Performing inner personal work is as important as therapy and professional help.
  • Facing the issue and finding proper help is the first step to healing.

Not many people had a perfect childhood. Young parents can make a lot of mistakes, leaving most people with a few difficult memories of growing up. Some people have it even worse and barely make it through childhood alive. 

Abuse and neglect can cause many health problems far into adulthood. The good news is that these problems are solvable. The first step is recognizing the signs. This article explores childhood trauma, some signs to look for, and how to start healing as an adult. 

What Is Childhood Trauma?

Trauma experienced in childhood is more than severe abuse or abandonment. It can also be caused by witnessing a terrible event, such as a natural disaster or violence. 

What is traumatic to one child may not be to another. Several factors determine how a child reacts to a potentially traumatic event, including:

  • Age
  • Mental development
  • Cultural and ethnic factors
  • Previous experiences
  • Whether their needs are met

Long-lasting mental damage can occur after just one traumatic event. Immediate therapy is the best course of action. Mental health issues can develop later in life if traumatic events aren’t addressed in childhood. 

Signs of Childhood Trauma in Adults

A child’s brain cannot properly process horrible events. It isn’t developed enough to manage trauma’s heavy emotions and psychological confusion. It manifests itself in adulthood in myriad harmful and destructive ways. 

Childhood trauma is often repressed into the subconscious and forgotten about by the conscious mind causing issues such as anger problems, behavior issues, and depression. Some signs and symptoms of childhood trauma in adulthood include:

Trust

Childhood trauma can make it hard to trust other people long after adulthood arrives. It’s impossible to have healthy relationships when you can’t trust anyone. 

Lost Memories

People with bad childhood memories will often forget them. It isn’t a purposeful action. The subconscious mind blocks out painful memories as a survival mechanism. 

Dissociation

Survivors of violence and abuse often dissociate from their thoughts and emotions to cope with painful memories. People who dissociate typically have trouble recalling past experiences or forgetting them altogether. They also tend to have false memories, which is the brain’s way of filling in the missing memories. 

PTSD

Traumatic experiences at any time typically result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This disorder causes multiple negative personality and behavior changes, such as depression, insomnia, loss of focus, no interest in regular activities, and hallucinations.

Somatic Issues

Stomachaches, headaches, muscle spasms, and other bodily pains are typical of trauma survivors. There is often no root cause for these types of complaints. 

These signs are the most often manifested, but others may occur. Symptoms of childhood trauma in adulthood are highly personal and dependent on the experiences and characteristics of the survivor. 

Healing from Childhood Trauma

Healing from such a deep-seated issue can seem impossible, but you can do it. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for someone else, however. The good news is that there are all sorts of ways to heal from childhood trauma, and you can choose those that work best for you.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

This type of therapy helps people stop negative thought patterns associated with their past. It consists of various activities designed to expose the falsities in those thought patterns and mitigate their effects. 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

EMDR therapy treats trauma using repetitive eye movements to face troubling memories with new eyes. The exercises help connect current events to associated events in our memory, allowing us to tap into the emotions at the time. This therapy is intended to solve untreated traumatic memories. 

Emotional Freedom Technique

It’s wonderful to have a method of immediate relief when emotions get out of hand. EFT is a self-administered therapy that involves tapping specific pressure points throughout the body to release negative emotions stored in the body.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy 

Survivors of violent crime, acts of nature, and catastrophic illness can behave in inexplicably harmful ways against themselves and those around them. DBT addresses extreme behavior disorders caused by intense untreated trauma, such as suicidal ideology, self-harming behaviors, eating disorders, and substance abuse. 

Yoga

Yoga heals trauma differently from CBT or other talk therapies. It promotes mindfulness, breath control, and focus. All things that are required to recover from childhood trauma. It also helps boost self-esteem and confidence. 

Yoga reminds you that you have supreme control over your body, including its reactions and emotions. It’s helpful whenever you feel depressed or inadequate.

Getting help is the key to healing from life’s tragedies. A professional can help you find therapy for childhood trauma that will work for your situation but doing the inner work yourself is a big part of healing.

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Healing from Childhood Trauma Can Start Today

Today is the first day of the rest of your life, as the saying goes, and it’s the perfect time to address old emotions and toxic behaviors so you can move on to something better. 

The Counseling Center Group™ can help you learn how to control your emotions and change your behaviors. We provide therapies for groups, couples, individuals, and families. 

The Counseling Center Group is dedicated to helping you live a life you love. We are committed to providing relatively short-term treatments to achieve positive, long-lasting results. 

Our therapists use structured, evidence-based methods to help you reach realistic goals efficiently. The Counseling Center Group is here for you – to learn more about DBT or therapy in general, contact us today. 

https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/ct-yoga-can-help-childhood-trauma-20170503-story.html

https://www.apa.org/pi/families/resources/children-trauma-update

https://istss.org/public-resources/trauma-basics/what-is-childhood-trauma/remembering-childhood-trauma

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