Childhood trauma can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental health in adulthood. According to a study by Psychology Today, adult survivors of complex childhood trauma can struggle with processing what they survived in childhood, which can lead to a host of emotional, psychological, and physical symptoms. One of the largest impacts on adult functioning after surviving chronic childhood trauma includes feelings of anxiety and depression. Existing research finds that adults with histories of childhood trauma are at an increased risk of developing fibromyalgia.
The effects of childhood trauma are often longstanding and chronic. Adult survivors of complex childhood trauma can struggle with processing what they survived in childhood, which can lead to a host of emotional, psychological, and physical symptoms. Equally common are histories of toxic romantic relationships, poor choices in friends, and patterns of self-sabotage based on shame and guilt for what they survived.
According to Verywell Mind, adults who experienced trauma as kids are much more susceptible to depression and mood disorders, as well as thoughts of suicide. They are also likely to abuse alcohol and other substances. Finally, they are more prone to developing chronic illnesses, like diabetes and heart disease, later in life.
It is important to note that childhood trauma can manifest in different ways in different individuals. Some may receive an incorrect diagnosis, while others may receive comorbid diagnoses. Yet, symptoms of depression and anxiety also mirror core symptoms found in Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), in which existing research supports as caused by a combination of biology and environment, including severe and chronic childhood neglect and abuse . However, because of social stigma that often surrounds BPD, many with histories of complex childhood trauma may go without a proper diagnosis or intervention required for healing. Others may receive a prescription for an antidepressant or an antianxiety medication which may numb troublesome symptoms, but cannot provide full support or treatment.
In conclusion, childhood trauma can have a lasting impact on an individual’s mental health in adulthood. It is important to seek professional help if you or someone you know is struggling with the effects of childhood trauma. There are many resources available to help individuals cope with the effects of childhood trauma and to help them heal and move forward. Remember, it is never too late to seek help and begin the healing process.