Childhood Trauma/ Complex Trauma
As adults we have an expectation that children have a life that should be innocent and carefree, but what happens when its not?
Years later these early memories of neglect or abuse can still present problems for adults, and even worse, certain behaviours can be carried on in our children. The cumulative effects of verbal abuse, harsh punishments or even witnessing caregivers emotional disturbances can leave a lasting scar on young minds. This is what may develop into what can be referred to as complex trauma.
All of us have different parts of our personalities that function as required to respond to different life situations and we have a natural response system for processing information. Under normal circumstances some instances happen that are disturbing for us for example you accidently touch an electric fence! Naturally you think about this incident, you talk about it, you may even dream about it. But over the next day or so you move on having learned a lesson from what happened without being stuck in the moment.
Trauma is when this natural process fails us. The event is not processed and stored as a memory. It is either relived at certain times, as if it is happening again at that moment. Or a defence behaviour may be developed to prevent the individual being overwhelmed or disturbed again by the memory.
In situations such as this the child may develop an irrational shame, they may develop a defence that tells them “Its better to be a bad kid with good parents, than good kid with bad parents.” (Knipe, 2020)
Every person on this earth has experienced a trauma at some point in their life, in fact it is impossible not to have a traumatic experience at some point in time. Tripping up and having a fall is a trauma as is a relationship breakup. Not everyone who has a traumatic experience will suffer lasting effects or suffer from PTSD. There can be a world of difference between having a single traumatic experience and being traumatised over time.
PTSD is usually defined as an individual being unable to recover after having been a witness to or experiencing an event which was terrifying. This results in flashbacks or nightmares, this can cause the person to be overly anxious or depressed, they may be on edge and mood swings are common. They may try and avoid situations where the trauma may be reactivated or remembered.
In my opinion Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are THE most overlooked and misunderstood conditions within the mental health world.
Lets see if some of this sounds familiar:
Psychiatrists (take some pills).
Psychologists (tell me about your upbringing).
Counsellors (would you like to discuss the traumatic incident and how it makes you feel for the next 12 months).
And all the time keeping the trauma on the surface. If this sounds familiar to you then get in touch with us now to arrange a free consultation call