Recovering From Childhood Trauma
Childhood trauma is a traumatic event that happens at the age of 17 or younger before you become an adult.
Your body is remarkably resilient and can make heroic attempts to cope with traumatic events and their immediate aftermath. But, longer-lasting, negative physical and emotional impacts can creep up throughout life.
An intense fight-or-flight response to a particular event often causes physical health risks associated with childhood trauma.
While coping with childhood trauma can be challenging, health care providers can help guide you in the right direction. Healing childhood trauma as an adult can lead to significant improvements in your overall health and wellness.
Examples of Childhood Trauma:
Examples of childhood trauma may include:
- A chronic absence of basic needs, including affection, food, shelter, and education
- Experiencing systemic and institutional racism
- Displacement through chronically moving, removal from a childhood home, persistent homelessness, natural disasters, or acts of terrorism
- Experiencing emotional, physical, or sexual abuse
- Chronic and extreme stress in the childhood home, like witnessing domestic violence, the volatile separation or divorce of caregivers, untreated mental health conditions of one or more family members, or parental incarceration
- Loss of a beloved family member or friend in childhood
How to Heal From Childhood Trauma as an Adult?
Accept what happened to you
Accepting the reality of how things have impacted you is particularly difficult, as you might experience guilt and sorrow for feeling like you are putting down your caregivers or the situation in which you were raised. The difficult reality can be accepting that you can hold both experiences, the good and the bad.
Be Patient With Yourself
When you need to cope with childhood trauma, it’s important to be patient and kind to yourself. Shame and self-criticism are common symptoms of adults who have gone through traumatic childhood experiences. You might be hypercritical of your actions and judge how you handle your trauma, which can lead to hopelessness and anger. The key here is to recognize that you were not responsible for what happened to you in childhood. The experience has left a scar and you’re just trying your best to heal.
Take care of your health
Your ability to cope with stress will increase if you are healthy. Make a daily routine that allows you to get plenty of rest, eat a well-balanced diet and exercise regularly. Most importantly, stay away from alcohol and drugs. These might provide temporary relief but will inevitably increase your feelings of depression, anxiety and isolation and can worsen your trauma symptoms.
Seek support and don’t isolate yourself
A natural instinct that many trauma survivors have is to withdraw from others, but this will only make things worse. A big part of the healing process is connecting to other people, so make the effort to maintain your relationships and seek support. Talk to a trusted family member, friend or counselor and consider joining a support group for survivors of childhood trauma.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive processing therapy is a type of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that helps clients alter their unhelpful beliefs that are connected to their trauma. It is commonly used to treat PTSD. This treatment will teach you about PTSD thoughts and how to properly process your trauma.
There is always a will to heal , especially with the help of Dr. Carla. a mental health therapist, that will support you in overcoming your childhood trauma.