Childhood trauma and anxiety in adults: What's the connection?
December 03, 2022
Childhood trauma can have a lasting impact on an individual's mental health. Traumatic experiences can trigger anxiety and panic in individuals who may not have experienced these feelings before. Individuals who have experienced childhood trauma may be more likely to experience anxiety and panic attacks in adulthood. If you know someone who is dealing with childhood trauma, this blog post will help you understand what they are going through and how you can help them.
Childhood Trauma and Present-Day Anxiety and Panic
Anxiety and panic attacks may be more common for people who experienced trauma as children. The main reason for this is that these adults may be more likely to experience triggers that remind them of the trauma they went through as children. Triggers could be places, sounds, or even something as simple as a smell that can bring back the negative feelings associated with the memory. This will trigger a fight or flight instinct that manifests itself as anxiety or panic.
What Can Be Considered Childhood Trauma?
Childhood trauma is any event that causes psychological damage to a child. This damage can be physical, emotional, or mental. Childhood trauma can occur in many different ways, such as:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Witnessing violence
- Being involved in a car accident
- Natural disasters
- The death of a loved one
How Does Childhood Trauma Impact Adults?
Adults who have experienced childhood trauma may have a difficult time regulating their emotions. They may feel constantly on edge and be easily triggered by things that remind them of their trauma. This can lead to anxiety and panic attacks. Childhood trauma can also impact an individual's ability to trust others and form healthy relationships. Adults who have experienced childhood trauma may have a difficult time trusting people, which can make it difficult to form and maintain close relationships.
Changes in Brain Structure
Childhood trauma has also been linked to changes in brain structure. Studies have shown that individuals who have experienced childhood trauma have a smaller hippocampus, which is the part of the brain responsible for memory and learning. They also have a larger amygdala, which is the part of the brain responsible for the fight-or-flight response. These changes in brain structure can lead to problems with memory, learning, and anxiety.
How to Help Someone Who is Dealing With Childhood Trauma
If you know someone who is dealing with childhood trauma, there are some things you can do to help. First, you must provide a safe and supportive environment for them. This means being patient and understanding, and not pushing them to talk about their trauma if they are not ready. It is also important to let them know that you are there for them and that you support them. Finally, you can help them find resources and support groups to help them deal with their trauma.
Treatment for Childhood Trauma
If you or someone you love is struggling with the effects of childhood trauma, there is help available. Treatment for childhood trauma can involve therapy, medication, and self-care. Therapy can help you to process your trauma and learn healthy coping skills. Medication can help to relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Self-care is also important for managing the effects of childhood trauma. Self-care activities can include exercise, relaxation techniques, and journaling.
Childhood trauma can have a profound effect on a person’s life. If you or someone you love is struggling with the effects of childhood trauma, there is help available. Treatment for childhood trauma can involve therapy, medication, and self-care.
Find a counsellor today at Mindsum. We have therapists that offer treatment for anxiety, depression, personality disorder, PTSD, autism, ADHD, bipolar disorder and other mental health conditions. Contact us and get the help you need today!