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Benefits of Addressing Unresolved Trauma: In Childhood or Adulthood

Updated: May 26, 2021

In the UK 1 in 5 children will experience some kind of abuse by the age of 16. The trauma experienced can impact a child into adulthood as they experience feelings they are unable to associate with what had happened in their childhood.

“Childhood trauma is often described as serious adverse childhood experiences” - Wikipedia

Types of Traumatic Events

Every human is built differently, what can be a trigger to one may not be to another. Below are some experiences that could lead to you to have unresolved trauma:

Traumatic Memories

We all have memories, which occur when specific groups of neurons are reactivated. The hippocampus, which is located in the brain's temporal lobe, is where episodic memories are formed and indexed for later access. Episodic memories are autobiographical memories from specific events in our lives, as the number of adverse experiences increases, the likelihood of stimulus reactants in a particular pattern of neuronal activity, certain neurons become active in more or less a particular sequence leaving the memories to be stored by changing the connections between neurons and therefore increasing the risk of problems from childhood through adulthood.

Nerve cells connect together in certain patterns, called synapses, and the act of remembering something is just your brain triggering these synapses. Any stored memories in the brain whether intentionally or unintentionally can have profound psychological, physiological, and sociological impacts which can leave negative, lasting effects on health and well-being.

“traumatic experiences during childhood are a root cause of many social, emotional, and cognitive impairments that lead to increased risk of unhealthy self-destructive behaviors,[2] risk of violence or re-victimization, chronic health conditions, low life potential and premature mortality” - Kaiser Permanente

How to Deal with traumatic events

Our top 5 tips on helping a child deal with traumatic events:

  1. Make the child feel safe

  2. Act calm

  3. Maintain routines as much as possible

  4. Pick the right time to talk about what happened

  5. Understand that every child copes in different ways

Our top 5 tips to help an adult deal with traumatic events:

  1. Don’t be ashamed to name it

  2. Accept it, feel and embrace the experience

  3. Speak to someone about it

  4. Know it’s not your fault

  5. Live your truth and let it go

Benefits of dealing with trauma

Research has found that a lot of times there's this weird juxtaposition, in which people are experiencing the negative effects of trauma, but at the same time reporting some positive effects especially when they seek counseling after. We are not saying that this happens to everyone but it has been reported that post-traumatic benefits of addressing a traumatic experience are you:

  • Can build stronger relationships

  • Have an awareness to new possibilities

  • Experience increased personal strength

  • Spiritual enhancement

  • Have a greater appreciation for life

If you or someone you know is experiencing any signs and symptoms of dealing with a traumatic event, please contact the helplines below:

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