How Childhood Trauma & Neglect  Adversely Impact Adulthood Multiple studies attest to the lasting impact of childhood trauma, violence, and neglect. The residual effects carry through into adulthood and continue to hinder quality of life.

Childhood neglect and trauma manifest both physically and mentally. Left unchecked (or never fully uncovered in the first place) unresolved trauma is likely to impede someone’s likelihood of meeting their potential; finding genuine authentic connection and fulfillment in life.

A recent study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine highlights this reality: Adults who experience high Adverse Childhood Events as measured by the ACES quiz are more likely to suffer from:

  • physical mobility impairment issues
  • cognitive impairment
  • functional disability as it pertains to day-to-day living

According to the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, “Exposure to trauma during childhood can dramatically increase people’s risk for 7 out of 10 of the leading causes of death in the U.S.—including high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer.”

This statistic is especially heartbreaking because children don’t have a choice. They have no say over which environment they’re born into, and even kids who grew up in what’s considered “privileged” households, are not immune to trauma.

What are the impacts of childhood trauma?

What can be especially damaging is the meaning assigned to a traumatic event – how individuals interpret it – what they think it says about them.

Oftentimes, children feel as though they were targeted or singled out because they’re not good enough. They’re flawed. Their parents’ divorce is because of them.

Without the ability to understand the adult world – without having the life experience to draw from and make rational decisions which emancipate them from being responsible for other people’s feelings – these deep wounds in childhood have the potential to become extremely influential throughout the rest of development. Undealt with, they are very likely to continue influencing choices and decisions well into adulthood.

Those who experienced childhood neglect and trauma are more likely to:

  • Suffer from addiction
  • Have an insecure attachment style
  • Suffer from anxiety and depression
  • Experience a “Knock on” effect; find it challenging to get ahead in life

The Good news is people are also resilient.

Past events don’t have to dictate the future, and the sooner people recognize how their wounds and unresolved issues are hindering them, the sooner the healing process can begin.

Many people still feel slightly icky with the prospect of facing childhood trauma. Sometimes there’s shame involved, or a fierce loyalty to family.

Past events don't have to dictate the future.

Some people feel as though people can only experience trauma in war, or in extremely painful life or death scenarios. You may have heard of “big T” or “capital T” trauma – the awful life-threatening life-altering things no human being should ever have to endure.

Yet trauma isn’t one-size-fits-all, and that doesn’t take away from the more subtle forms that can still have a lasting impact.

Kids are often subject to things that are unsuitable. Things that cross boundaries, that are inappropriate, and that they don’t have the frame of reference to properly process and understand. Wounds sustained in childhood usually come from trusted caretakers, which gives them even more power to pierce the psyche.

It can be totally liberating and life changing to come to terms with what’s held you back, no matter how small or inconsequential it seems now. The best way to do this is by seeing a therapist.

Our team of experts are located in Northern California. At our Roseville and Fair Oaks locations, we’ve helped countless people reconcile with their past; ditch the heaviness that’s held them back. As a result, many discover purpose, meaning, and find peace. 

Therapy in Roseville, CA, Fair Oaks, CA, or Online in California:

Want to discover purpose, meaning and find peace. Give us a call.If you are ready to change your life for the better, we can help. To begin therapy at our Sacramento area locations or online, follow these steps:

Services Offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:

Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. Our couples services include: Couples Counseling, Counseling after infidelity, sex therapy, co-parent counseling, family therapy, divorce counseling, intensive couples retreats, and premarital counseling. Our individual therapy services include, anxiety treatment, therapy for children,  teen therapy, depression treatment, and individual relationship counseling. Our therapists offer online counseling in California to treat a variety of mental health concerns. Please reach out to our Sacramento area therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you or your loved ones.