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  1. Find out about ADVERSE CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCES (ACES):

Taking the ACE test can help us to understand which of our childhood experiences may have caused us the most psychological damage. This is important as gaining insight into the possible causes of our emotional difficulties is a vital first step in our healing journey.

 

It is often also extremely helpful to discuss the results of the ACE test and the findings of the ACE Study itself, with your GP (in the UK) or other appropriate medical professional and ask whether they feel your present difficulties might be linked to your childhood trauma.

This can help ensure your condition is properly diagnosed and treated with relevant, trauma-informed therapy. If your health professional is unaware of your childhood adverse experiences, there is an increased risk of being misdiagnosed and, as a consequence of this, of receiving sub-optimal treatment.

2) Write about your traumatic experiences:

I started this blog in order to aid my own recovery. Writing about our childhood experiences can help us to process our trauma and to ‘own’ our story. This can be extremely therapeutic and could, for example, take the form of a blog or a memoir. For more about this, see my post: The Therapeutic Benefits Of Starting A Mental Health Blog.

3) Consider SOMATIC THERAPY:

Prolonged and repetitive stress during childhood can be extremely damaging to our body’s physiology and cause our autonomic nervous system to become dysregulated. This can result in hypervigilance and other debilitating symptoms. Undergoing somatic therapy can prove a very effective way of addressing such problems (see also¬† TOP-DOWN AND BOTTOM-UP WAYS OF TREATING THE EFFECTS OF CHILDHOOD TRAUMA).

In relation to somatic therapies, you may be interested to read my article about when TRAUMA SENSITIVE YOGA may be particularly suitable for treating trauma.

4) Consider EEG NEUROFEEDBACK

One frequent symptom resulting from severe and protracted childhood trauma is overactivation of the brain’s fear-circuits leading to feelings of being constantly ‘on red alert.’Neurofeedback can help us to dampen down the firing of the brain’s neurons and, accordingly, make us feel calmer and safer. To read about how neurofeedback can help us to recover from childhood trauma, click HERE.

5) Try to engage with social support

It is very important to feel connected to and socially supported by others during one’s recovery journey. Loneliness can exacerbate the symptoms of psychiatric conditions such as depression, anxiety, paranoia, and social anxiety.

A meta-analysis (Harandi et al., 2017) reviewed 64 studies concluded that there is a significant, positive correlation between social support and mental health (i.e. those receiving a good level of social support tend to have significantly better mental health than those whose social support is of poorer quality). The study also concluded that social support was of particular importance to certain subgroups of the population including women, the elderly, and students.

6) EMDR

This stands for EYE MOVEMENT DESENSITIZATION AND REPROCESSING. You can read about it here: Prince Harry Tries EMDR To Help Process Childhood Trauma. What Is It?

7) Mindfulness meditation


REFERENCE

Harandi TF, Taghinasab MM, Nayeri TD. The correlation of social support with mental health: A meta-analysis. Electron Physician. 2017;9(9):5212-5222. Published 2017 Sep 25. doi:10.19082/5212

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