Tag Archives: Behavioural Difficulties And Childhood Trauma

Childhood Trauma Leading To Addiction And Crime



We have seen in previous articles published on this site that, if we have experienced significant childhood trauma, we are at increased risk of becoming addicted to illegal drugs as a result in order to help dull our emotional pain / dissociate from our problems (this is not only because our lives our more likely to be stressful if we have experienced childhood trauma, but also because the experience of childhood trauma can damage the development of a part of the brain called the amygdala which, in turn, makes us more susceptible to, and less able to tolerate, the effects of stress).



Unfortunately, too, if we become addicted to illegal drugs, we then become at increased risk of becoming involved in crime (over and above the crime of buying and taking illegal drugs). Below, I explain some of the main reasons why this is so :

Why Drug Abuse Puts Us At Risk Of Becoming Further Involved In Crime :

– some drugs can decrease inhibition, increase impulsivity and increase the propensity to become violent (though obviously not an illegal drug, this is especially true of alcohol – and the experience of childhood trauma also makes it more likely we will abuse alcohol for the same reasons that we may become addicted to illegal drugs)

– the desperate need to acquire money quickly to buy the drugs that feed the addiction

– buying illegal drugs brings the addict into contact with the criminal world which exposes him/her to the danger of becoming ‘sucked into’ a more general, criminal lifestyle.

The Development Of The Vicious Circle :

Not only does drug abuse increase one’s risk of becoming involved in crime, but the reverse is also true : being involved in crime can increase one’s likelihood of becoming / remaining an addict. This is because the money that can be accumulated through criminal endeavours can be used to start a drug habit, maintain a drug habit, increase frequency of use of drug, increase dosage of drug per session, and allow the addict to buy a new types of drugs s/he couldn’t previously afford or to which s/he previously did not have access.

And, if s/he goes to prison due to crime, s/he is likely to encounter a thriving drug culture – indeed, many prisoners state that it is even easier to acquire drugs inside jail than it is outside.

The childhood trauma / addiction / crime association is more likely to affect males than females (eighty per cent of all crimes are committed by males). However, females are more likely to turn to prostitution in order to sustain their drug habit.

Overcome Addiction : Self Hypnosis Downloads.

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

Patterns of Behaviour Stemming from Childhood Trauma. Part 2.

problem behaviors due to child trauma

behaviours caused by childhood trauma

In Part 1 of this post I examined how the following behaviour patterns can result in later life due to the experience of childhood trauma : people pleasing; excessive need for control; neediness; insomnia; having weak boundaries; and making unhealthy partner choices.

In this part, I will consider the remaining behaviour patterns, presented on the list in Part 1, which can result from childhood trauma; these are :

– neurosis

– eating disorders

– addictions to sex/relationships

– bipolar disorder


low self-esteem

suicidal behaviour

addictions to drugs/alcohol

chronic physical ill-health

severe depression

Let’s look at each of these in turn :

– NEUROSIS : this can manifest itself in a number of ways, such as:

a) constantly being anxious that others dislike us or are trying to avoid us

b) sometimes having a distorted perception of reality (although not bad enough to be labelled as psychotic ).

c) being excessively anxiety prone in general

d) having phobias

e) having a nervous tremor and/or tics

f) often feeling fearful in situations most people would find relatively easy to deal with

g) a tendency to be excessively sensitive and to over-react

h) excessive smoking

– EATING DISORDERS : two well known eating disorders which may emerge (more commonly in females) are anorexia and bulimia.  Also, many people in psychological pain over- eat, or eat compulsively, for its calming and comforting effects which, in turn, can lead to obesity or even morbid obesity.

– ADDICTIONS TO SEX/RELATIONSHIPS : for many people, addictions are a temporary escape from acute psychological pain but leave us feeling even worse in the long run, these can include feeling constantly compelled to have promiscuous, but essentially empty, sex or to obsessively pursue relationships which do us no good. By masking the pain caused by psychological symptoms, they can also prevent us from taking action to address the root cause of them. But addictions can only mask our pain for so long – reality needs to be dealt with sooner or later (and, of course, the later we leave it, the more difficult it generally becomes).

Many have not one, but multiple, addictions (eg nicotine, coffee, alcohol, drugs, sex , damaging relationships etc). We use our addictions to constantly try to keep the pain of the past at bay, thereby preventing us from living fully in the present.

– BIPOLAR DISORDER : this very serious disorder has been linked to experiences of childhood trauma and can involve very extreme fluctuations in mood; for example, a sufferer of this condition may feel elated and euphoric on one day and then feel in a state of suicidal despair the next. These moods can overtake sufferers ‘out of the blue’ and individuals who are affected by this illness tend to be far more governed by their feelings in life as opposed to rational thought and logical planning. Sufferers show marked instability, and, without treatment, can find it almost impossible to keep their lives in a state of equilibrium. If a person suspects s/he may suffer from this condition, it is essential to seek appropriate professional advice.

The final six behaviours given on the list above are covered elsewhere on this website, simply click on them in the above list to be taken directly to the relevant articles.

I hope you have found this post useful.

Best wishes, David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).