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How Does Childhood Trauma Influence Adulthood?

male therapist explains how does childhood trauma influence adulthood to troubled looking woman

Experiencing trauma as a child may continue to affect you as an adult if you don’t get help. Childhood is when people establish their core beliefs about how the world works, what relationships look like, and whether they are valuable people worthy of love and security. Being an adult with childhood trauma can lead to difficulties with personal and work relationships or setting and attaining personal goals. If you are experiencing the negative effects of childhood trauma in adulthood, the Imagine Boise trauma therapy program in Idaho can help. Call Imagine Boise today at 888.597.2807 for more information about our program.

What Is Childhood Trauma?

Every child deserves a stable, loving family that provides unconditional love and protection. Unfortunately, not every child receives that level of care. The reasons are varied, and it’s not always because parents were neglectful or abusive. Some of the causes of trauma include:

  • Witnessing violence, including domestic violence
  • Physical or sexual abuse
  • Severe illness or serious medical emergency
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Extreme poverty, homelessness
  • Witnessing a traumatic event or hearing about a traumatic event that affected a loved one
  • Surviving a natural disaster
  • Living in or fleeing from a war zone
  • Having a parent with substance use disorder or other untreated mental illness

Even adults have difficulty processing these types of events. Adults may develop depression, PTSD, or other issues after surviving trauma. Children haven’t yet developed the filters adults have. With no other point of reference, they may blame themselves for traumatic events that are out of their control.

Being an Adult with Childhood Trauma: What Does It Look Like?

Living with unresolved childhood trauma in adulthood can affect almost every aspect of your life. Children who feel unsafe or unloved grow up to be adults who feel unsafe and unloved.

Adulthood and childhood trauma don’t look the same for everyone, but survivors of childhood trauma are at a higher risk of developing mental health disorders.

Signs of Trauma-Related Mental Illness

Trauma survivors may suffer from a variety of mental illnesses, including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and detachment disorders. All of these issues and more can begin early in a person’s life and become more severe as they grow into adults.

If you’re concerned about the mental health of a young person you know, watch for these signs:

  • Mistrust of others
  • Hypervigilance
  • Poor self-image
  • Self-harming
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger, aggression
  • Obsession with safety
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Focus on death or dying
  • Fears and phobias

The symptoms of mental illness in teens and adolescents can be mistaken for purposeful poor behavior. It’s important for parents, teachers, and other care providers to be aware of any trauma in the child’s past before deciding on a course of action. Awareness of mental health in teens and adolescents is critical because it can lead to anxiety, depression, or even suicide if not addressed.

Can a Happy Adulthood and Childhood Trauma Exist Together?

Being an adult with childhood trauma and being well-adjusted isn’t something that just works out for most people. However, overcoming early trauma and growing into an emotionally healthy, confident, successful adult is possible.

Trauma therapy helps young people process the events they’ve been through. A trained trauma therapist can ascertain a teen’s mental health and create a personalized treatment plan to help them recover. Without appropriate treatment, teens may turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with the negative and frightening emotions they experience due to past events.

Find Healing for Childhood Trauma at Imagine Boise

At Imagine Boise, we understand the powerful impact that trauma can have on a child’s life. With the right support and evidence-based treatments, childhood trauma doesn’t have to affect the quality of adulthood. Our trauma therapy program is specifically designed to help teens and adolescents process the traumatic events they have experienced and move forward with confidence.

Call Imagine Boise today at 888.597.2807 for more information.