Child Psychological Trauma

Psychological traumas of childhood

The aim of any psychotherapy is to help put aside the past, good or bad, and to set aside a good or bad future to just be there. To be means to develop your uniqueness, your ability to be alive, to be alive, to be alive to everyone you are, here and now. (с) (Carl Whitaker)

Today we will talk about psychological traumas, sometimes, in everyday psychology, the consequences of these traumas are called “psychological complexes”.

And first of all it will be a question of children’s psychological traumas and what influence they have on the further adult life.

Psychological trauma is a reactive mental education (a reaction to significant events for a given person) that causes long-term emotional distress and has a long-term psychological impact.

Causes of psychological trauma

Injury can be caused by any significant event for a person, and there are a huge number of sources:

Family conflicts.

  1. Serious illness, death, and death of family members.
  2. Divorce of parents.
  3. Hyperopaedics on the part of elders.
  4. Coldness of family relationships and alienation.
  5. Material and domestic disarray.

Does the person know about his/her psychological traumas? Knowledge alone is not enough. People ask for psychological help to regard their negative experiences or unconstructive ways of behavior, but do not connect their current state with psychological traumas, especially in children.

In most cases, the psychologically traumatic impact is implicit, hidden.

It is usually the inability of the immediate environment, especially the mother, to provide an atmosphere of trust and emotional security for the child. A traumatic situation can be hidden behind a seemingly safe home environment, in particular, a situation of hyperopics and hyperprotection, when no one even suspects that the relationship between parents and children lacks very important sensual and behavioral components.

Important parental figures often suffer from various forms of personal disorders, constant family conflicts, tense relationships, signs of domestic and psychological violence, and impede full-fledged emotional interaction in the family and, as a consequence, the normal mental development of offspring.

Life Scenarios

Eric Bern, a well-known psychologist, suggested the idea of “life scenarios” that dictate our actions and our behavior in general.

This is an unconscious life plan that we borrowed from parents and that gives us the illusion of control over our situation and life.

Usually, by the age of 7, this scenario is already in place, and in the future a person builds his or her life in many ways conditioned by the influence of this unconscious scenario. Solving his life problems, a person is forced to solve the problems of his parents, grandparents and grandparents. It is necessary to understand that this is not a detailed copy of the generic scenario, but the general direction and constant work on mistakes, their own and their ancestors.

This situation is exacerbated in childhood by the policy messages of parents to their child, when parents, out of “good intentions” inspire their children to set how to live.

A directive is a hidden order, implicitly formulated in the words or actions of the parent, for failure to comply with which the child will be punished.

Not explicitly (flogging or necklaces, silent blackmail or swearing), but indirectly – by the parent who gave this directive, but indirectly by his own sense of guilt. And the child cannot realize the true reasons for his guilt without the help of others. After all, it is by following the guidelines, he feels “good and right.

Negative settings (directives)

The main directive in which all the others could be included is:

  • “Don’t be yourself. The person with this directive is constantly dissatisfied with himself. Such people live in a state of painful internal conflict. The rest of the directives below explain this. Here are brief examples of such directives (they can be counted in dozens and each of them can be analyzed in detail):
  • “Don’t live. How many problems did you bring us when you were born?
  • “Don’t believe yourself. We know better what you need in this life.
  • “Don’t be a child. Be serious, don’t be happy. And a person, becoming an adult, can not learn to fully rest and relax, because he feels guilty for their “childish” desires and needs. In addition, such a person has a hard barrier in communication with children.
  • “Do not feel. This message can be transmitted by parents who are used to restraining their feelings. The child learns to “not hear” the signals of the body and soul about possible troubles.
  • “Be the best. Otherwise you won’t be able to be happy. And since it is impossible to be the best in everything, and do not see this child happiness in life.
  • “You can’t trust anyone, believe me! The child is accustomed to the fact that the world around him is hostile and survives in it only cunning and treacherous.
  • “Don’t do it! As a result, the child is afraid to make any decisions on their own. Not knowing what is safe, he has difficulties, doubts and excessive fears at the beginning of each new business.
  • “Don’t be yourself. The person with this directive is constantly dissatisfied with himself. Such people live in a state of painful internal conflict. The rest of the directives below explain this. Here are brief examples of such directives (they can be counted in dozens and each of them can be analyzed in detail):
  • “Don’t live. How many problems did you bring us when you were born?
  • “Don’t believe yourself. We know better what you need in this life.
  • “Don’t be a child. Be serious, don’t be happy. And a person, becoming an adult, can not learn to fully rest and relax, because he feels guilty for their “childish” desires and needs. In addition, such a person has a hard barrier in communication with children.
  • “Do not feel. This message can be transmitted by parents who are used to restraining their feelings. The child learns to “not hear” the signals of the body and soul about possible troubles.
  • “Be the best. Otherwise you won’t be able to be happy. And since it is impossible to be the best in everything, and do not see this child happiness in life.
  • “You can’t trust anyone, believe me! The child is accustomed to the fact that the world around him is hostile and survives in it only cunning and treacherous.
  • “Don’t do it! As a result, the child is afraid to make any decisions on their own. Not knowing what is safe, he has difficulties, doubts and excessive fears at the beginning of each new business.

But how badly do psychological traumas affect today’s lives?

I will only cite two examples that have been confirmed by scientific research, although there are many more studies. The World Health Organization has conducted research among people who had some kind of psychological trauma as children. It turned out that it was much harder for these people to make a career than for those who did not have strong emotional distress when they were children.

It turns out that mental disorders in childhood lead to a slowing down of a person’s social development – it becomes more difficult for him or her to make friends, adapt to new groups and get along with people. According to Dr. Norito Kawakami of the University of Tokyo, who led the research team, scientists found a clear link between childhood depression, lack of attention, physical or mental abuse and low levels of adult wealth.

The results of the experiment are valid for both men and women. The study interviewed nearly 40,000 people from 22 countries, aged 18 to 64 years. Scientists collected information on each respondent’s income, social status, and education, while also clarifying the mental health status of those interviewed from birth. Indeed, child sorrows give rise to a desire to withdraw from the world, and a successful career in most cases cannot be achieved in isolation…

Another study conducted by BioMed Central’s health centre specialists and published in Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy. For example, a study led by Dr. Tara Strine shows that adverse childhood events, whether emotional, physical or sexual, can lead to nicotine addiction. Again, the treatment of cigarette addiction should begin with the treatment of childhood injuries.

More than 7000 people participated in the study, approximately 50% of whom were women. Taking into account previously identified risk factors, such as alcohol consumption and smoking by parents, physical and emotional injuries that occurred in childhood, took first place in the risk group. However, a similar picture was observed only in the female sample. For example, women whose histories revealed traumatic childhood events were 1.4 times more likely to be affected by this addiction. In men, however, the researchers believe that a wider range of protective and compensatory mechanisms has yet to be studied. The results of the study show that psychological stress is the mechanism that triggers the link between women’s childhood traumas and tobacco use. The risk is particularly high for those who have experienced emotional or physical violence.