Did you know that childhood trauma can negatively impact your adulthood? It’s tempting to think that if something happened long ago, it will no longer affect you.
But sometimes, traumatic events from your childhood can have a great effect on you later in life. Especially as children, we’re all moldable, vulnerable and impressionable. We may not have much control over traumatic situations as children but as adults, that can begin to change. How can childhood trauma affect you as an adult? Let’s look at a few ways.
Affects on Your Emotional Health
As an adult, your emotional health can struggle because of childhood trauma. Feelings of sadness or anger may seem like they’re taking over at times. This can create unhealthy emotional tendencies in your relationships.
You may be perplexed at times by your frazzled or fluctuating emotional state, wondering where it all came from. It could be as easy as looking into your past to find out.
Affects on Your Psychological Health
When someone survives abuse or trauma as a child, there’s the possibility for higher rates of anxiety, suicide, depression and self-harm. Childhood traumas also can lead to the misuse of alcohol or drugs. If you’ve gone through childhood trauma and are experiencing any of these resulting symptoms, consider reaching out for help.
Affects on Your Physical Health
When a child is exposed to trauma, they may develop what’s called a heightened stress response. This can lead to sleep difficulties, affect the regulation of emotions, lower immune function and increase the possibility for physical illness in adulthood.
It can become a vicious cycle because, when your physical health is ailing, it’s hard to do those day-to-day tasks that keep you and your family going. Because emotional, psychological and physical health are so closely intertwined, it’s important to get to the root of what may be causing your difficulties as an adult.
Personal Relationship Disruptions
Childhood trauma can lead to two potential relational disruptions as an adult. First, you may prefer to avoid relationships at all costs. Being social can bring on a tidal wave of stress for individuals who lean towards the desire to isolate. In the long run, this attempt to protect oneself actually leads to more harm than the inherent risks of interacting with others would have.
The other possibility is that you don’t isolate but habitually gravitate towards unhealthy relationships since that’s all you know. This doesn’t have to be you. You can find healthy adult relationships and grow as a person.
Maybe you’ve never spoken about your traumatic life event or perhaps you have. Either way, if you feel your traumatic childhood event could be holding you back and hindering you as an adult, find a trusted counselor who will walk with you down the path of healing.
The OC Relationship Center is skilled and experienced at helping individuals struggling with the after-effects of a traumatic childhood. If you could use some help, feel free to schedule an appointment with us. We offer counseling in Mission Viejo and Newport Beach, CA.