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The Impact of trauma in adult behavior

The impact of trauma in adult behavior

By, Luuk L. Westerhof, MSc


Childhood trauma is often thought of as something that happened in the past and doesn’t have any bearing on the present. However, the reality is that childhood trauma can have a lasting impact on adults and their behavior.

Childhood trauma is any event that happens in childhood that is psychologically or physically harmful. This can include anything from physical abuse to emotional neglect. Trauma can also come from being witnesses to violence or having a loved one die.

The effects of childhood trauma can be wide-ranging and can impact every area of an individual’s life. It can lead to problems with mental and physical health, relationships, work, and more. Keep reading to learn more about the lasting impact of childhood trauma and why adults behave the way they do.

What is adversity?

Adversity is any difficult or unpleasant situation that an individual must overcome. This can include physical or emotional challenges. It can also include the life events that cause psychological distress, such as physical or sexual abuse, the death of a loved one, natural disasters, or poverty. Adversity is a part of life and can be a formative experience. It is not something to be feared but rather embraced as an opportunity to grow and learn.

What is the difference between abuse and neglect?

Abuse and neglect are two very different things. Abuse is any intentional harming of another individual, either physically or psychologically. Abuse can include physical assault, sexual assault, emotional/psychological trauma, and other forms of mistreatment. Neglect is when a caregiver fails to provide the necessary care and nurturing for a child, either due to ignorance or because of a lack of resources. Neglect can take the form of emotional neglect or physical neglect, such as not providing sufficient food or medical care.

How do abuse and neglect impact children?

Abuse and neglect can have a serious and long-lasting impact on the emotional and psychological development of a child. This can lead to increased anxiety, depression, and other emotional issues. Not only does it hurt the child’s emotional development, but it can also have a lasting impact on their physical health as well.

What are the long-term effects of childhood trauma?

The long-term effects of childhood trauma can include a variety of physical and mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, substance use, and difficulty forming attachments. It can also lead to problems with self-esteem and interpersonal conflicts. Additionally, the strain of trauma can put an individual at an increased risk of developing other psychological disorders, such as bipolar disorder or personality disorder.

How can you overcome the effects of childhood trauma?

The good news is that it is possible to overcome the effects of childhood trauma. Mental health professionals, such as therapists and psychiatrists, are trained to help individuals who have experienced trauma. Treatment can include psychotherapy, medications, and other forms of supportive therapy. Additionally, there are several support groups and self-help resources that can assist individuals struggling with the effects of trauma.


The lasting impacts of childhood trauma can have lasting effects that can affect an individual in every aspect of their life. It is important to understand the difference between abuse and neglect and how it can affect a child and their development. It is also important to be aware of the long-term effects of childhood trauma and how it can lead to mental and physical health problems. Lastly, it is possible to overcome the effects of childhood trauma and lead a healthy life. With the help of medical professionals and support groups, it is possible to find the aid and support needed to overcome the effects of trauma.

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