Experiencing early childhood trauma is never easy to deal with. Those who suffer loss, abuse, neglect, and other traumatic experiences early in life can often suffer from serious psychological and emotional disorders for a lifetime to come. According to SAMHSA:
Child trauma occurs more than you think. More than two thirds of children reported at least 1 traumatic event by age 16.
Childhood trauma can truly hold people back and hinder them from reaching their true potential. When a person experiences such damaging things during such a critically developmental time in their life, it makes it very easy to put up walls, making it very hard to find the healing they need. Healing the wounds from childhood trauma is one of the hardest but most imperative things we can do to create the life we want as an adult.
Understanding What Childhood Trauma Looks Like
Childhood trauma can be caused by any situation where a child perceives that they are in an as very overwhelming, frightening, or dangerous. Traumatic events cause children to feel helpless in a way that is beyond their mental and emotional processing. Situations that can cause trauma can occur from many different kinds of events such as:
- Physical abuse from anyone who has authority over you. This includes bruises, cuts, burns, and even broken bones.
- Physical neglect when caregivers fail to give resources we need to survive like food, clothes, or a place to live.
- Emotional abuse such as threats or shaming.
- Sexual abuse
- Loss of a parent or loved one.
- Natural disasters or accidents such as floods, fires, or hurricanes or motor vehicle accidents.
- A dysfunctional household from things like domestic violence or a parent with a mental illness or even substance abuse
- Medical trauma
Events like these, and many more, can have a huge impact on a child’s life. They can manifest in many different ways that follow you into your adulthood. You might experience symptoms such as:
- Anger problems and aggression
- Confusion and denial
- Lack of focus
- Tension in the muscles
- Fatigue and lack of energy
- Sleep problems
Symptoms such as these can become evident in many strange ways throughout your adult life, no matter how much time has passed, and can display in behaviors such as attachment disorders, passive-aggressive behavior, inconsistent self-concept, poor behavioral control, victimization, and altered states of consciousness.
How to Heal From Early Childhood Trauma
Once you have identified and accepted the trauma in your life, you can begin to heal from it. There’s no one solution for coming back from trauma, but there are solid techniques to help you take the necessary steps in the right direction. Some methods you can utilize are:
- Learning stress reduction techniques like mindful breathing, relaxation, and meditation to help re-center and refocus yourself.
- Seek out support to help you get the strength you need to put the pieces back together. It is common for trauma survivors to become isolated.
- Manage your sleep by creating and maintaining a healthy sleep cycle.
- Allow yourself to get close with people. Isolation is very common with people who experience early childhood trauma.
- Remind yourself that you are no longer in danger. Unresolved trauma can leave you in a constant fight or flight mindset. Take time to comfort yourself.
- Try a support group. Many people experience childhood trauma. It can be helpful to have other people who have experienced the same things as you to talk and relate with.
- Find a medical professional. Trauma can cause a lot of physical symptoms and finding healing from your physical ailments is also important.
- Utilize a trauma therapy. Understanding and facing pain of your past isn’t something that can always be done alone. A professional can help you get to the base of your problems.
Life can be very challenging and we all need support from time to time. For mental health and trauma support for yourself or a loved one, therapy can be a great approach for you. At the Counseling Center for Growth and Recovery, we offer a caring, supportive and directive approach to treating trauma. We are here to help you heal from emotional / psychological wounds that keep you from living a life of peace, joy, and purpose. Not only do we offer one on one counseling services to help you get over your childhood trauma, we also offer workshops and support groups all at affordable rates.
Dealing with childhood trauma isn’t an easy thing to face. Luckily you do not have to face it on your own. We are ready to help you or a loved one overcome the pains and struggles in your life every step of the way. Now is the time to get the help you need. Let us help you do it.