The Effects of Childhood Trauma

While trauma is a normal reaction to a horrible event, the effects can be so severe that they interfere with an individual’s ability to live a normal life, years after the traumatic incident is over. According to Dr. Gabor Maté who is one the world’s leading experts on trauma recovery, “We live in a society that validates and rewards our false self, not our true self”. The majority of us have experienced some form of trauma while growing up which often contributes towards a loss of self. What we end up looking for in turn, is a re-connection with Self. Deep within most of us, there is a desire to re-connect with our true nature. However, while we remain unconscious of our trauma, we continue to compensate this re-connection with self through various ego driven addictive behaviours (i.e. drugs, alcohol, cosmetic surgery, status, good looks, power etc.) that will provide us with the attention and love we never received as children.

This short video is helpful for those interested in gaining a better understanding of early childhood trauma and how it affects you as an adult.

If, at a young age we experience fear expressing our needs and emotions, we become conditioned to unconsciously repress them as adults in order to survive. This is an automatic defense tactic, so that we don’t feel the emotion consciously. In turn we end up carrying this habit into adulthood. However, our primitive nervous system still registers the fear of experiencing that emotion or need. In turn, the fear stimulates the stress response and that’s when the back pain, neck pain and other TMS (mind/body symptoms) are in turn produced by the primitive nervous system as a protective output.

The problem arises when we misunderstand the pain messages from the body sent by the primitive autonomic nervous system. For example when back pain is seen to be a structural back injury (despite no recent incident or injury occurring). In turn help is sought from a back surgeon, a physical therapist or a chiropractor as opposed to a counsellor or a therapist who is trained to understand the mindbody relationship. The solution lies in addressing the underlying fear which is producing the symptoms.

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