What is Childhood Trauma?

Childhood trauma can be caused by any situation perceived by the child as frightening and/or overwhelming, and during which the child feels scared and helpless.  This situation is often just a one-time event, such as an injury or a natural disaster.

But it could also be a long-term ongoing stress, such as physical, sexual, or verbal abuse, neglect, exposure to domestic violence, or chronic illness.  All such events have a potential to bring on symptoms of emotional and psychological trauma.

Some of the most frequent and well-known psychological and emotional symptoms of trauma include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Anger/aggression
  • Dissociation
  • Confusion, shock, and denial
  • Guilt and shame

It appears to be less known that a traumatic experience can also manifest itself in a form of physiological symptoms such as:

  • Sleep problems
  • Fatigue and lack of energy
  • Aches and Pains
  • Muscle Tension
  • Racing Heartbeat
  • Lack of focus and concentration

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