Articles About Childhood Trauma And Related Topics

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Over 850 free, concise articles about childhood trauma and its link to various psychological conditions, including : complex posttraumatic stress disorder (complex PTSD), borderline personality disorder (and other personality disorders), anxiety disorders, depression, physical health conditions, psychosis, difficulties forming and maintaining relationships, addictions, dissociation and emotional dysregulation (such as dramatic mood swings and outbursts of rage). The site also comprises articles on treatments for childhood trauma and related mental health problems as well as articles on posttraumatic growth and other relevant topics. There is a search facility on the site to facilitate exploration of subjects covered.

Relationship Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (ROCD)

relationship obsessive compulsive disorder (ROCD)

We have already seen, in other posts that I have published on this site, that significant and protracted childhood trauma can put the individual who suffers it at higher risk of developing various psychiatric problems later on in life, including obsessive-compulsive disorder (if you would like to read my article – Childhood Trauma And Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)– by clicking HERE.

In this particular article, however, I will concentrate upon a variant of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) called relationship obsessive  – compulsive disorder (ROCD) ; in those afflicted by this psychological condition the individual’s obsessive-compulsiveness is centered around a relationship with another person (this relationship may be current or in the past).

What Are The Symptoms Of Relationship Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (ROCD)?

The person suffering from ROCD experiences chronic, distressing, intrusive thoughts, images and urges that are not wanted and that interfere with the individual’s day-to-day functioning. Often, too, these obsessive thoughts / images / urges contravene the individual’s conscious beliefs, values and moral principles.

When particular urges / images / thoughts arise, the individual may feel compelled and driven to carry out certain behaviors /actions in an (irrational) attempt to prevent these urges / images / thoughts from leading to some dreaded consequences and to reduce anxiety.

Obsessions connected to relationships that the ROCD sufferer may experience :

  • whether they really love their partner or not / whether or not they are ‘right’ to love their partner
  • whether their partner really loves them or not (e.g. the individual with ROCD may constantly seek reassurances, their partner’s approval etc.) / whether their partner is ‘right’ to love them
  • whether or not they are in the ‘right’ relationship
  • whether their partner is having an affair / being unfaithful
  • intense anxiety about ending a relationship
  • intense focus upon the partner’s faults (as opposed to concentrating on the good in him/her)
  • constantly thinking (despite the relationship being good) they could be missing out on the opportunity of finding someone better
  • constantly fearing they’re not good enough for their partner and it is only a matter of time before s/he realizes this

 

Possible causes of ROCD :

Various factors may combine and interact with one another to cause ROBT ; these include :

Cognitive – dysfunctional styles of thinking (for more on this, see my previously published article entitled : Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Childhood Trauma).

Biological – their may be a genetic component. Also, there may be chemical, structural and/or functional abnormalities in the brain (to read my article about FUNCTIONAL AND STRUCTURAL  NEUROPLASTICITY, please click here). Or, to read my previously published article about PHYSICAL BRAIN DIFFERENCES IN THOSE WHO SUFFER FROM SEVERE ANXIETY, please click here).

Psychodynamic – fear of abandonment stemming from childhood trauma (for more on this, see my previously published article entitled : ‘Abandonment Issues’)or from low self-esteem stemming from childhood trauma (for more on this, you may wish to read my previously published article entitled : Childhood Trauma : A Destroyer Of Self-Esteem.

 

Possible Treatment For Relationship OCD :

These include :

  • cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • mindfulness-based cognitive behavioral therapy
  • exposure response prevention therapy
  • anxiety management techniques

 

RESOURCES :

10 Steps to Overcome Insecurity in Relationships | Self Hypnosis Downloads

OCD Treatment | Self Hypnosis Downloads

 

RELATED ARTICLES :

 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

Types Of Abuse

what is childhood trauma?

Types Of Abuse And Childhood Trauma :

There is no one, absolute and precise definition of childhood trauma. However, experts in the field of its study generally agree that an individual’s traumatic experience will be related to one or more of the following three types of abuse (or, including NEGLECT, 4 types of abuse) :

1) Emotional abuse (In relation to this, you may wish to read my article : Why Parents Emotionally Abuse And Its Effects)

2) Physical abuse (in relation to this, you may wish to read my article : What types of parents are more likely to physically abuse their children?)

3) Sexual abuse

In the past it was generally agreed amongst clinicians that sexual abuse had the most significant adverse impact on the child’s subsequent development. However, it is important to point out that more up-to-date research shows emotional and physical abuse can be just as damaging (some children will experience a combination of two or more of the three types).

The exact nature of the abuse will be inextricably intertwined with the developmental problems which emerge in the individual as a result of it.

childhood trauma

Neglect :

There is a problem, though, with the categorization method. This is because the three individual categories do not tend to take account of neglect. Neglect may involve a parent or carer doing nothing to intervene to prevent the child from being abused by someone else, or a parent burdening a young child with their own psychological problems which the child is not old or mature enough to cope with. A parent or carer might neglect a child knowingly or unknowingly.

How Common is Child Abuse?

It is difficult to know the true figures as childhood abuse is often covered up or unreported. Also, accurate figures are hindered by the fact childhood abuse cannot be precisely defined.

However, current estimates in the UK suggest about 12% of children experience physical abuse and 11% experience sexual abuse.

So if you have been abused as a child, you are far from alone. And, it is very important to remember that those who have suffered childhood trauma, including severe and protracted childhood trauma, CAN and DO recover.

N.B. For other statistics relating to childhood trauma,, you may wish to read my article : CHILDHOOD TRAUMA : THE STATISTICS

Childhood Trauma And Personal Meaning :

Whilst it is impossible to precisely define child abuse, what is important is the PERSONAL MEANING the sufferer ATTACHES to it. In other words, recognizing the problems a person has developed as a result of the abuse and providing therapy to help the individual deal with those problems is more important than precisely defining the traumatic experience which caused the problems, and arguing about whether it technically qualifies as abuse or not.

Events in childhood which cause trauma are often referred to as ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES (or ACEs) in the literature. To view an infographic of ACEs, please click here.

To read more about the ACEs study, click here.

 

 

Other Resources Related To Childhood Trauma :

eBook :

Childhood_trauma

Above eBook : How Childhood Trauma Can Physically Damage The Developing Brain now available on Amazon for instant download 

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

The Importance Of Limbic Resonance In Early Life

One way of describing the brain is to represent it as comprising three parts which developed at different times during our evolutionary history :

  • The reptilian brain (this is the most primitive part of the brain) : this part of the brain is involved in basic functions such as breathing and heart rate.
  • The limbic system (sometimes referred to as the mammalian brain) : this part of the brain is involved with emotions.
  • The neocortex (this is the most recently evolved part of our brains) : this part of the brain is involved in higher level mental processing.

This three part model of the brain is often referred to as the triune brain and is depicted in the image below.

 

The concept of limbic resonance relates to, as the term suggests, the brain’s limbic system (sometimes referred to as the brain’s emotional centre).

What Is Limbic Resonance?

The concept of limbic resonance was first introduced in the book entitled  A General Theory Of Love and, in simple terms, refers to the idea that emotions are contagious and that, therefore, the emotions of others have a powerful effect upon our own inner state.

Due to our capacity for emotional resonance, our own internal, emotional state does not exist as an independent entity, but, instead, is dependent upon the emotional states of others, particularly those to whom we are very close. For example, if someone around us is anxious and fearful, we sense this and it may have an adverse effect upon our own inner state ; in other words, the negative emotions of others can ‘infect’ us (and, likewise, the positive emotions of those around us (such as warmth, compassion and love) can ‘nourish’ us.

Limbic Resonance And Babyhood :

Limbic resonance is of crucial importance in relation to how we relate to our primary carer (usually the mother) when we are babies / infants.

Limbic resonance is normally achieved between baby and mother via deep eye contact; However, if the process goes wrong and  our mother is consistently,  poorly attuned to us at this early stage of our lives, failing to attend to our basic needs, our brain’s chemical composition and its limbic system’s ability to interact with the reptilian brain and neocortex (see above) in a manner conducive to emotional health and well-being (referred to as ‘limbic regulation’) may be seriously disrupted leading to impaired development of the personality as well as emotional difficulties in later life.

LIMBIC REVISION

If, when we were very young, the poor quality of our relationship with our mother meant that she was unable to satisfactorily attune to us and to provide consistent, attentive, warm, loving care, the authors of A General Theory Of Love, (Lewis, Amini and Lannon) suggest that the resultant psychological problems we are at risk of developing  may be effectively treated with the use of a therapy known as LIMBIC REVISION.

 

RESEARCH THAT HELPS US TO UNDERSTAND THE VITAL IMPORTANCE OF LIMBIC RESONANCE IN EARLY LIFE :

In relation to this, you may wish to read my previously published article :

The book referred to in the above article, A GENERAL THEORY OF LOVE,‘ can be purchased from Amazon (see below):


David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

Strong Feelings Of Guilt In Childhood Can Affect Brain Development

Research suggests that children who are prone to feelings of intense, excessive guilt are at increased risk in adulthood of developing various psychiatric disorders. These include :

   – bipolar disorder

   – depression

   – anxiety

   – obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)

A longitudinal study (Belden et al.), published in JAMA Psychiatry, involved a group of 306 children of school age identified (through primary caretaker reports) those from the group who had a propensity towards showing excessive signs of experiencing guilt.

When brain scans of the children were undertaken it was found that, of the original group of 306 children, those who had been identified as being prone to suffering excessive guilty feelings during their childhoods had, on average, SIGNIFICANTLY SMALLER ANTERIOR INSULAE than the children from the group who had NOT shown signs of excessive feelings of guilt during their childhoods.

 

What is the anterior insula and what are its functions?

The anterior insula, part of the brain’s insular cortex and involved in the brain’s limbic system, plays a large role, amongst other functions, in our subjective emotional experience, including compassion and empathy, as well as in our self-awareness and interpersonal experience.

The anterior insula and psychopathology

In relation to its involvement with how we experience our emotions, the anterior insula is also involved in psychopathology (various mental disorders). Indeed, anterior insulae that are of significantly reduced size have been linked to schizophrenia, depression, anxiety disorders.

Implications

It was inferred from the above that extreme feelings of guilt in childhood are associated with smaller anterior insulae which, in turn, increases the risk of the later development of mental disorders such as depression.

Conclusion 

This study adds weight to existing research that has previously shown a link between feelings of extreme guilt in childhood and the later development of psychopathology, especially internalizing mental disorders such as depression and anxiety.

Therefore, if a child is suffering from extreme guilt feelings, early therapeutic intervention is vital in order to reduce the risk of the development of further psychiatric problems in later life.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

 

 

 

Effects Of Child Abandonment

What Is Child Abandonment?

Child abandonment can take two main forms :

  1. Literal, physical abandonment (e.g. a mother leaving her baby on a stranger’s doorstep or other place where the baby will be found by a member of the public with the intention that there is no further contact between the mother and her offspring).
  2. Extreme neglect and emotional abandonment over a protracted period of time

Reasons Why A Parent Might Abandon His / Her Child :

What Are The Adverse Effects Of Being Abandoned As A Child?

The possible repercussions for the abandoned child are :

Irrational feelings of guilt relating to having been rejected

Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (Complex PTSD)

Abandonment issues

Separation anxiety

Attachment disorder (e.g. reactive attachment disorder and disorganized attachment disorder)

Dysfunctional adult relationships

Borderline personality disorder (BPD)

‘Clingy’ dependency

Privileged Abandonment? Emotional Effects Of Boarding School On The Child

‘Privileged Abandonment’ :

Whilst attending a boarding school is frequently regarded as a privilege by many in society, research by Duffell highlights the fact that the child’s experience of undergoing such schooling can all too often also involve inducing in him/her profound feelings of abandonment and neglect.

Indeed, Duffell, who has worked with many ex- boarding school pupils who have been adversely psychologically affected by their experience, refers to the concept of ‘privileged abandonment.’

In particular, Duffell highlights the fact that, very often, no matter how emotionally painful the child finds it to be separated from his/her parents, s/he is inhibited from showing such emotion due to the fear of being mocked, ridiculed and bullied by his/her peers as a result.

Usually, too, the child learns that s/he is prevented from reporting any bullying or abuse s/he may suffer whilst at school due to a prevailing culture secrecy and denial as well as fear of potential consequences.

privileged abandonment

Fear Of Appearing Ungrateful :

Because, as alluded to above, so many in society regard those who attend boarding school as ‘privileged’, or, even, ‘spoiled’, this makes it more difficult still for the child at boarding school to complain about feeling abandoned and frightened for fear of giving an impression of ingratitude; this may well especially be the case if the parents manipulate the child by emphasizing the sacrifices they have been compelled to make in order to pay for his/her education.

Denial :

As adults, many individuals may enter a state of denial about the adverse psychological effects their time at boarding school had on them, pushing the emotional torment it caused them at the time out of their conscious minds and below the level of awareness ; this may explain why it is not uncommon for those who suffered considerably as a result of their schooling to send their own children to boarding schools where they may undergo similar experiences of suffering.

Duffell and other researchers suggest that the adverse effects on the individual of attending boarding school may include him/her :

  • developing a disdain for displays of emotion and vulnerability both from others and from him/herself
  • developing a rigid, over-emphasized sense of importance in relation to self-reliance and not being dependent upon others
  • developing a ‘durable’, but ‘brittle’ and ‘defensive’,  personality
  • lack of emotional development due to the necessity, whilst growing up at boarding school. to repress feelings of emotional dependency
  • lack of trust in relationships in adulthood
  • fear of abandonment in adulthood
  • shame about feeling / showing signs of vulnerability / dependence, including within intimate, adult relationships, leading to problems within such relationships

RESOURCE :
Overcome Fear Of Abandonment : Self Hypnosis Downloads

You may also wish to read my previously published article : Abandonment Issues.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).

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