Physical Health of Adults Who Experienced Childhood Trauma
Nowadays, people has just began to be careful about their psychological and mental health. However, it is important to consider that physical health is related with what we experience now and in the past. The topic that i explain in this paper mostly about physical health of adults who experienced trauma when they are children. This is highly significant to me because we all experience some problematic situations in our life and not all of them turn into a trauma. However, when it became one, people has to live with what trauma brings along such as psychological and physical symptoms at that time or in future.
Trauma is everywhere in our lives and everyone experience the event in their own way. It is not affect only one part of the time, consequences of it might continue through all our lives. The point that i’m going to explain in this paper is mostly about this lifelong process. Great number of studies demonstrate that childhood traumatic events have some negative effects on physical issues in adulthood.
A traumatic event is any event which overwhelms our core capacity to cope. It results in an experience of personal threat to our safety and integrity of our identity. According to DSM-IV criteria, the definition of PTSD involves statements such as ‘the person’s response involved intense fear, helplessness or horror (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). The developmental phase of trauma incidence is the exposure to trauma that could be associated with potential psychopathological risk (Barnett et al., 1993, English et al., 2005). The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in recurrent, intrusive images, thoughts or dreams. The trauma itself is not an event but a response to an experience in which the individual’s response has been compromised.
A crucial determinant and predictor of wellbeing over the lifespan is adverse childhood experiences (Hege et al., 2020). Cumulative retrospective self-reports of child adversity prior to the age of18, including maltreatment and family dysfunction, is included in adverse childhood experiences (Racine et al., 2021). We all know that the childhood trauma is associated with psychological problems and mental health. However, what we consider less is physical health issues might come up with years after the trauma. Child traumatic stress refers to the physical and emotional responses of a child to events that threaten the life or physical integrity of child or of someone critically important to the child.
It is well recognized that, through positive experiences that improve the development of biological systems, conditions from the beginning of life as well as conditions during childhood form the basis for lifelong health and well-being. Early life stress is also increasingly shown to disturb the growth of brain architecture, other maturing organs, and metabolic functions that have detrimental health, morbidity, and mortality implications later in life in the absence of protective factors and resilience. Examples of factors and circumstances of significance for toxic early life stress that significantly affect children are adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), which form the basis for intergenerational transmission of trauma, as well as life and health as adults (Andersson et al., 2020).
When we talk about childhood traumatic events, it does not have to include only injury or violence, it includes inappropriate sexual experiences which affects developmental process of children. ACEs are more likely to be identified among individuals living in neighbourhoods and communities. This can contribute to ACEs playing a major role in children experiencing increased adverse health effects from an intergenerational context by social determinants of health. Research has shown that ACEs can also lead to one’s parenting behaviors and activities, which in turn have a major influence on children’s health and well-being in the household (Hege et al., 2020).
As people, we have a lifelong developmental process which requires to understand where psychopathology is derived from. Understanding and interpreting the problems and results related with it is important fort his developmental process. Any child who experience trauma wants to be understood and share some feelings such as he or she is not alone. However, depending on many things in that moment like family, social opportunities or Professional help, the child might not going well in that process. Years that the most important of a person’s life affected negatively and the effects of it might continue through a lifetime. Physical and psychological reasons, problems and outcomes may lead us about what did that person experience and how can he/she cope with this. Developmental psychopathology can help us about that point to examine the risk factors and outcomes seperately and then finding some connections between them.
When we try to interpret the situation about a child, we cannot look at it from only one specific perspective; we have to see things differently. Any adult may experience some health issues in different areas however, what we should do is look inside of the person deeper. Everyone lives many things in life but how they experience and cope with it is different. Everything changes and develops; so the humans. Many factors that related with each other constitute a situation and while the situation affects the person, the person affects it too. Even a small change in factors might affect the result of situation and we have to determine where the situation is pathological or not. Considering all of the above, adverse child experience include many factors, links and dynamics inside of it. When the situation like this came up, as a psychologist, we try to see things seperately first, and then finding the connection between situation itself and how the person experience it.