Adults who had Stress in Childhood (1)

Childhood stress can cast a long shadow.  Thanksgiving week is an appropriate time to look at the issue since this holiday is often a challenge for my patients who are still in touch with their families of origin.

The childhood stress may have been obvious and personal (abuse, neglect), or indirect (parental substance abuse or violence between parents) or more subtle (“nothing I did was ever good enough” one of my patients told me).  The common denominator often is a significant reduction in the child’s self-esteem with associated emotional pain that may be deeply buried.

This can lead to a number of problems including:

  • Choosing bad partners (who may perpetuate the childhood stress survivor’s poor treatment)
  • Addictions (provide relief of emotional pain)
  • Short temper
  • Eating disorders
  • Self-mutilation
  • Depression & Anxiety
  • Caring for others but neglecting oneself

In the next post I will review some research findings in this area.

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