How Does the Impact of Childhood Trauma Affect Mental Health 24 Apr 2023
How Does the Impact of Childhood Trauma Affect Mental Health?

BY: ritasha varsani

Adolescent Psychotherapy / child psychologist

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Childhood trauma exposure can have a harmful effect on the brain’s development at a time when it is most susceptible. Maltreatment of children occurs more frequently than is reported. Childhood adversity can include incidents like emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, neglect, and the unexpected death of a parent or other guardian. Adversity in early childhood increases the likelihood of developing psychological and behavioural issues later in life. Adults who were maltreated as children have been found to have higher rates of depression, suicidality, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, and violent conduct. Thankfully, all these issues could be treated if the child is given good psychotherapy in Dubai

How to cope up with the early life stress?

Childhood traumatising experiences also enhance drug usage and dependency. Those who have undergone childhood trauma start using drugs significantly earlier in life. Stressful situations might have a greater effect on a person’s life if they are exposed to them as a youngster. An individual may be more susceptible to developing psychiatric illnesses or addiction if they combine childhood trauma with divorce or unemployment.

But, not all kids who encounter stress in their early lives go on to acquire mental illnesses. It would appear that factors other than your past experiences—such as your genes, coping mechanisms, and brain regulation—have an impact on how you handle stressful situations. Stress and emotional control are aided by brain chemicals like oxytocin and cortisol. There are various adolescent counselling services which help youngsters to cope up with the early life trauma and stress in the best way possible.

Some information about oxytocin

The brain naturally produces the hormone oxytocin. It is sometimes referred to as the “love hormone” since it promotes sociability, emotional control, and bonding between romantic partners as well as between mothers and their children. Individual differences exist in the quantity of oxytocin present in the brain. Oxytocin regulation varies between men and women, yet it’s critical to everyone’s day-to-day functioning. Even our reactions to stress are impacted by variations in the oxytocin gene.

The oxytocin system, which begins to grow in the womb and continues to develop after birth, can also be influenced by environmental variables. According to our experiences, important changes happen during infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Early childhood experiences can mould the oxytocin system in either a positive or harmful way.

How does childhood trauma or early life stress impact adolescents?

Research has shown that early trauma alters how the oxytocin system develops. The hypothalamus and the amygdala, which are significant brain areas for the generation of oxytocin and, correspondingly, the regulation of emotion, are affected by early life stress on oxytocin levels. During early life trauma, even the oxytocin receptor’s functionality is changed. Humans who have been subjected to childhood trauma exhibit similar alterations. Later in adulthood, oxytocin levels were lower among males who had experienced childhood stress as well as women who had been subjected to child maltreatment. The results of behaviour are impacted by these long-lasting alterations. Rodents that experience early adversity have more anxious and depressed behaviours throughout maturity.

According to research, early childhood stress can affect the oxytocin system’s development, making people more likely to become drug dependent and less able to handle stress. In consequence, a well functioning oxytocin system can provide increased resistance to addiction and excessive drug use. The impact of childhood trauma can definitely impact an adolescent in a big way but a good child psychologist Dubai will definitely be able to understand their problems and treat them so that they eventually forget their past and enjoy their present.

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