Were you or your lover impacted by high conflict, high stress and abuse as a child? Then, chances are, some of your conflicts, withdraws and aggressive moments are poisoned by those past moments. How can you access how badly your relationship is crippled by those abuses and conflicts? The following article and all the valuable links to research will help you wade through some information that will give you some worthwhile insights, some compassion and ability to change.
32 years of being a Psychologist and doing Psychotherapy with couples and individuals (children and adults) has proven to me that we are connected to the issues of our past until we evolve out of those moments consciously and with compassion and patience.
Educating yourself is always helpful and puts you in control of your reactions more often. Reacting to your current lover or partner as if they are your parent or abuser from your past is the last thing you want to do in order to have the love, fun and support you long to have with your lover/partner/spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend. Listen to these radio shows from Dr. Carol Francis Show to gain even further insights and compassion.
This following blog from this link: http://childhoodholocaust.com/2011/07/17/child-abuse-research-in-review-1/
provides an opportunity for everyone to examine the impact stress caused by child abuse or exposure to conflict can have on a person's brain development and personality. The tests and research to which it refers, is very valuable. Take time to understand your dilemmas in your relationships as they might be aggravated, harmed, twisted or complicated due to the impact of past traumas. Insights, therapy and compassion can help ease the complications.
Greetings everyone. We are going to introduce something different today on this blog. By now you have read all the horror stories that you see daily in the news. This gives you the answer to WHAT is the childhood holocaust that is going on. However, the question remains as to WHY this is happening. I hope with this series called Child Abuse Research In Review that I can give you the reader a deeper understanding of what is happening in these news stories and all over the world.
Why am I qualified to do this? I have a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in psychology. I have studied psychology for most of my life. In particular I have an interest in developmental psychology. So it is with my expertise and knowledge that I wish to guide you through the research that is readily available on these issues. So let’s get started.
Why is child abuse a problem for the child or even after that child becomes an adult? Because it is a major public health problem. Some people may be under the impression that once a child grows up they will somehow magically heal the scars from abuse. As the link above demonstrates, these effects can last into adulthood if left alone. Even the environment the child is placed in can have consequences as to how the that person will respond to similar circumstances as an adult.
Indeed being placed in a abusive environment is a constant source of stress for a child. This study looks at the effects of such stress on children using the example of parental conflict. This study looks at two different approaches a child tends to take in an abusive environment. One strategy will cause the child to elevate levels of a hormone called cortisol, which is thought to increase a person’s sensitivity to stress. Other children react to stressful home situations by slowing cortisol production, which is “regarded as a marker for diminishing experiences of danger and alarm”. While humans do have built-in mechanisms to help deal with trauma, it does come at a cost: “Heightened cortisol levels characteristic are related to lower attention problems but also put them at risk for developing anxiety and depression over time. By contrast, the lower cortisol levels for the other coping strategy in aggressive families were associated with lower anxiety problems; however, at the same time, these children were more prone to risky behavior, including attention and hyperactivity problems.” As the previous links indicate, these problems can continue into adulthood.
The effects of such traumatic events such as childhood trauma can have long lasting effects on the memory and the Hippocampus. PTSD is normally associated with combat trauma, such as what is seen with military personal who return from armed conflict. However, the developing brain of a child being exposed to prolonged abuse can also suffer PTSD symptoms even throughout adulthood. The link above describes the various symptoms.
I realize this is a lot of information so I am going to stop here. But before I sign off I would like to introduce you to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. This study helps to “determine the extent of each participant’s exposure to childhood trauma. Exposure to one category … When the points are added up, the ACE Score is achieved. An ACEScore of 0 (zero) would mean that the person reported no exposure to any of the categoriesof trauma listed as ACEs above. An ACE Score of 9 would mean that the person reportedexposure to all of the categories of trauma listed above. The ACE Score is referred tothroughout all of the peer-reviewed publications about the ACE Study findings.” You can take this for yourself here to find your score. This page on the ACE study website also has links to more studies and information that was presented above.
With that I will sign off for this week. I hope to keep this column running on a regular or semi-regular basis. If you ever have any questions or comments about these posts put them below and I will be happy to answer them. My name is Joey and this has been your Child Abuse Research in Review.