Stress Illness Brochure (3)

Continuing with Part 3 of the Stress Illness brochure:

II. Stress From The Child Within Us

This kind of stress comes from inside and is less obvious than outside stresses that come from everyday living.  It affects us as adults, but it started when we were children.

It began, for many people, when they were abused physically, sexually, verbally or emotionally as children.  Some people had to deal with parents abusing alcohol or drugs, violence at home, brothers and sisters putting them down or their parents neglecting them.

For a few, there was someone who stood by them through a tough childhood and helped them understand that they were valuable people.  If you were one of these lucky people, you may have been able to leave the sadness from your childhood in the past.

For many others, though, there is still a struggle to control their anger and bad memories.  They still hunger for self-respect and self-esteem and feel enormous stress because no matter how much they get, it is never enough.

For people suffering from this kind of stress, one or more of the following may have happened in the past or be happening now:

  • Would not want a child you care about to grow up as you did
  • Long-term personal relationships that turn out badly
  • Abuse of drugs (including prescriptions) or alcohol
  • Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia
  • Worries about how to discipline your children
  • A feeling that life is good, but that something could go terribly wrong at any time
  • Fears that you are fooling people about your abilities and that someday they will find out that you are not as talented as they had thought.
  • Feeling that nothing you do is ever quite good enough, no matter how careful, detailed or perfect you are.
  • Feeling that you really are a valuable person who did not deserve the bad treatment you received as a child.  This can make you feel angry, though some people have a lot of anger inside without knowing it or knowing what to do about it.

Help for this kind of stress can be found in mental health counseling, in books written for abuse survivors, and in support groups found through a church or subgroups of Alcoholics Anonymous.

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