Has Childhood Trauma Haunted You into Adulthood? Here’s How You Can Defeat the Past
Even without being particularly too keen about it, you must have noticed that the conversation around childhood trauma has been gaining more and more traction in recent times.
You’ve seen it on social media, heard about it in talk shows and also in certain social gatherings, and with increasing frequency.
As most people would agree, it is important for society to hold this discussion, especially with the far-reaching consequences of childhood trauma.
A Public Health Issue
Just this month, the CDC reported on the devastating effects of such trauma, admitting that ACEs (adverse childhood experiences) are indeed a public health issue. Preventing them, the institution said, has got to be a priority for each and every American.
The causes of childhood trauma take many forms and shapes, and according to the CDC include witnessing violence such as GBV, emotional and physical abuse, attempted or successful suicide by a family member, junkie parents, among numerous others.
In its report, the nation’s public health institution announced the results of an ACEs survey, revealing that 63.9% of the study group (17,337 adults) had been subjected to at least one adverse experience as a child. 12.5% of this group had suffered at least four ACEs.
There’s an undeniable connection between adverse childhood experiences and adult health, as the CDC explains. The more trauma you experience, the more likely you are to succumb to unhealthy habits such as heavy drinking and smoking, and you’re also at a higher risk of suffering from conditions such as diabetes, asthma, depression, and heart disease.
The institution also says that there’s a connection between such trauma and cancer, before going on to reveal that of the causes of death in the US, the ten leading ones are associated with ACEs.
If you’ve been a victim of an adverse childhood experience, this piece must have you thinking that you are doomed. Fortunately, there’s no truth to that. Dr. Kelsei LeAnn, a therapist based in Houston, is using social media as a platform to normalize this discussion, and she gives insights on just how you can move past whatever skeletons that are buried in your closet.
Accept That it Happened
Speaking to SELF, LeAnn says that the first step into getting over the traumatic experience is to accept that it actually happened. Burying it at the back of your mind won’t do you any favors according to the therapist. Whatever form of abuse it was that you experienced, even verbal, was traumatic, and you have to accept its occurrence before you can win the war against it.
Next, you have to figure out what triggers the effects of the trauma you experienced. Think of things that depress you, make you angry, destroy your mood, make you anxious, make you feel belittled; you get the point. Once you do that, LeAnn explains that you can then categorize them and separate your current truth from events that happened in your past.
All the same, she says that healing from ACEs can never happen overnight. It has got to be a process, and you have to give yourself time. She advises you to focus on a single thing at a time, instead of trying to fix everything all at once.
If you were subjected to emotional abuse and violence at home, you could decide to focus on emotional wellness first, then proceed to deal with the effects such violence had on you. This way, you’re assured of a successful result.
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