What to do when Childhood Trauma becomes a Scar for Life?
Dr. Nisha Vidyasagar, Clinical Psychologist, Unified Brain Health Care
A traumatic childhood can have lasting emotional and psychological consequences. But all is not lost. There is hope and it is possible to look back into our past, without it being painful.
What is trauma in childhood?
Any event that makes a child feel helpless and unsafe will be perceived as a trauma. This could involve situations like - physical, sexual and/or emotional abuse; separation from a parent, loss of a loved one, a disability that affected your self-esteem, learning problems, being bullied, a serious illness, a detached or even an over anxious parent. Such events tend to have an impact on present happiness, self-esteem, relationships and other areas of our life. It is important thus to identify its role and minimize the hold of this early trauma on our life.
How does childhood trauma manifest itself in the present?
Unresolved trauma surfaces when we are stressed out. Or when something reminds us of it. It comes out in the form of symptoms of anxiety, depression, an eating disorder, obsessions, addictions, worries, and/or paranoia. We can also experience relationship difficulties, trust issues, fear of failures or of being judged, low self-esteem, and anger outbursts.
How to cope with childhood trauma?
Though it has a lasting impact, the scars of trauma can be healed.
For healing to occur, the first step is to acknowledge the trauma.
Do not minimize or ignore it. It happened. Do not blame yourself for it. Reach out for help. Talk about it to a trusted family member or friend or a professional. Talking is therapeutic. It makes you look at the traumatic events from a new perspective and helps you accept it. Accepting does not mean tolerating it or agreeing with it. It means deciding what to do about it so that it does not affect your present or future.
Learn to let go of the trauma and do not allow it to interfere in your life.
Practice self-compassion. Let go of any guilt feelings and helplessness you have by taking charge of your life now. Taking control means letting go of your bad habits and unhelpful thoughts.
Be patient with yourself. Accepting and letting go takes a lot of time and hard work. So pat yourself for whatever little progress you make in working through your issues.
If you are struggling with letting go of your past and you are experiencing emotional issues which are impacting your happiness, relationships and/or work, get help from a mental health practitioner for dealing with it. If you or your loved one needs support reach out to our team of mental health professionals at UBHC. Contact Us or Book an Appointment
Unified Brain Health Care is one of a kind integrated Neuro Rehabilitation Centre in Chennai for adults and children offering in person and online therapy in Cognitive Neuropsychology, Clinical Psychology, Psychiatry, Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Clinical Nutrition, Career Counselling, Fitness Coaching and Educational Intervention. We also offer Family and Marriage Counselling, help for PCOS, care during pregnancy, post-pregnancy care for new moms, infant and early childhood stimulation, infant and young child nutrition, care for caregivers and promote holistic brain health.