Behind every person in the world lies a different story. There can be great things that happen in these individuals’ lifetimes, but there can also be traumatic things that people go through as well. As those people move on with their life after the experience, the physical pain may leave but the memory of what happened never dies. Since everyone is different, the way they choose to go about their life may be different from someone else. Some people may always be paranoid from their traumatic experience and others could try and forget about it and just go about their life day by day. So my question is, what does literature say about adults who have gone through a childhood trauma?
There is more about the effects of a traumatic experience than most people realize. The victims of an experience can go through a series of different consequences or even none at all. The consequences can range from certain disorders to emotionally scarring. The people who have gone through a traumatic experience are all different as are there experiences so what comes next is determined by how traumatized they were from their personal experience.
In some cases, individuals who have been affected by a traumatic experience can eventually start to show symptoms of having a personality disorder. In cases of personality disorders, latent variables can include factors ranging from genetic vulnerability to coexisting environmental risks. Latent variables are how someone starts acting after a trauma; it is not something you can see, you notice it rather. But, you can not always conclude someone to having a personality disorder. Personality disorders come from experiencing many traumas from childhood to adulthood (Paris, Joel).
Every once in a while a news report or maybe in a local news paper has a topic of a child going through some type of traumatic experience. As awful as it seems, children are more vulnerable than adults, so the more severe the psychopathology, the earlier in life is its origin (Paris, Joel). As that child grows up, if they ever went through another or more traumatic experiences, it could damage them mentally, and hurt them for when they reach adulthood. If that actually happens, the child could very likely eventually get a personality disorder. No matter what the age of the trauma that the child experiences, it affects them the same way it would if they were older. Age is not a factor in disorders in individuals who have gone through a traumatic experience; it is if the trauma repeats itself later in that person’s life. So, the more traumatic and negative experiences in a child’s lifetime (or even an adult’s), the greater the outcome of negative consequences.
When children grow up to be adults, the probability of them to receive a personality disorder or anything along the lines of something permanent to happen to them actually decreases. It is said that in general, only about 25% of children exposed to severe trauma develop demonstrable psychopathology as adults. Of course, 25% is still a large probability but at least it is not certain in adults who have went through any traumatic experiences. Only one fifth of adults with histories of childhood sexual or physical abuse, however, develop demonstrable psychopathology. Again, not a high probability but there still is a good chance of an adult who when through a childhood trauma to develop a demonstrable psychopathology.
There may be low probabilities of personality disorders but that does not mean that the individual is immune to getting other disabilities. These traumas that these victim’s had faced left them with various feelings and emotions and if those happen continuously, it could damage the victim mentally. That being said, if you have high levels of stress, fear, and arousal, they can commonly induce learning deficits and memory loss (Joseph, Rhawn). What most people do not know is that these are not uncommon when someone goes through a traumatic experience. In fact, amnesia or partial memory loss is not uncommon following severe stress and emotional trauma. Even high publicized national traumas may induce significant forgetting. Memory loss is a consequence of stress – induced disturbances involving the hippo campus, a structure which normally plays an important role in the storage of various events in long – term memory (Joseph, Rhawn).
When someone goes through a traumatic experience, to help cope with what happened, they seek a therapist. The patients present for therapy with a wide range of symptomotology include anxiety disorders, self – mutilation and suicidal behavior, sexualized behavior in children, sexual dysfunction in adults, substance abuse, complex post – traumatic stress disorder, and dissociative disorders (Brown, Angela and David Finkelhor).
In my research of how adults dealt with a childhood trauma, it was stated that it was how the victim reacts to the trauma that they went through. If their trauma was reoccurring as the got older, the consequences would be much higher rather than if the victim only went through and experience once. But, what I did not find out was the immediate effects of someone who went through a traumatic experience.
In this portion of my literature review, I decided to ask 10 of my teammates about what they think the emotional immediate reactions would be for someone who had gone through some type of trauma (an example that could be an immediate reaction of a trauma could be PTSD). I did not want to go and ask different people if they had gone through a trauma because I did not want to bring up unpleasant memories that the potential victims had been trying desperately to get rid of.
- Data collection process / Who I asked
To go about my research, I asked some of my friends from my soccer team about my question. I decided to ask them because they are from different towns and do not go to Norton so I wanted to know their opinion on my topic.
- Data Analysis
From asking my friends on my team I collected my data. Seven out of the ten people I asked (70%) predicted that the victim would get PTSD, two other people (20%) predicted that the victim would get sleep loss, and one person (10%) predicted that nothing drastic would happen until they gradually got older.
From the findings I found, I concluded that it can be possible to be effected by more than one effect from a trauma. With both answers my teammates said, I think someone who went through a traumatic experience could get both PTSD and sleep loss and probably more than those two effects as well.
All in all, literature has given many facts about what is says about adults who went through a traumatic experience as a child. It gave me more knowledge about what could happen after a trauma; such as it could lead to memory loss or demonstrable psychopathology as an adult. In the seriousness of the trauma and how traumatized the victim was from their experience are also key factors for the consequences of the trauma. Luckily, there are trauma centers that doctors prescribe people to go to which have been proven to lower mortality and significantly decrease morbidity rates for patients that have gone through any sort of trauma (SMITH, J. STANLEY). Traumatization is not to be taken lightly and the victims of it can get serious disabilities or be diagnosed with illness(es).
Finkelhor, David, and Angela Browne. "The traumatic impact of child sexual abuse: A conceptualization." American Journal of orthopsychiatry 55.4 (1985): 530.
Hartman, Geoffrey H. "On traumatic knowledge and literary studies." New Literary History 26.3 (1995): 537-563.
Joseph, Rhawn. "The neurology of traumatic “dissociative” amnesia: Commentary and literature review." Child Abuse Negl 23 (1999): 715-727.
Paris, Joel. "Does childhood trauma cause personality disorders in adults?."Canadian Journal of Psychiatry 43.2 (1998): 148-153.