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PineappleLobster
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27 Apr 2024, 7:25 pm

I have a nice handful of traumatic childhood experiences, and from what i know, most, if not everyone will experience childhood trauma. Do they? Or am i just lacking a bit of knowledge on this


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IsabellaLinton
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27 Apr 2024, 7:31 pm

I'm sure most people have at least a few bad memories from childhood, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's trauma.

Acute PTSD and Complex PTSD have specific identifiers that will affect the person's nervous system throughout their lives, and change the way they interact with the world / other people.


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bee33
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27 Apr 2024, 9:27 pm

I think it probably comes down to how you define trauma. There's a clinical definition, and not everyone will meet that criterion. Then there's a more colloquial use of the word, and many people may feel that some experiences they have had were traumatic or traumatizing in that sense.

There's also the factor that the same experience might be traumatic for one person and merely unpleasant for another person. I would probably say that not everyone has experienced childhood trauma, though probably everyone has had bad experiences of some kind. Those experiences might have helped shape who they have become, but that doesn't necessarily mean they were traumatizing.



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28 Apr 2024, 7:03 am

Out of my group of school friends, I’d say 7 out of 8 of them experienced an event that could be classed as traumatic. The traumatic events they each experienced fell under one of these categories: death of a close friend or family member, abuse, serious illness/accidents.



QuantumChemist
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28 Apr 2024, 10:33 am

Not everyone has childhood trauma, but many do have to deal with it. Otherwise, why would Pat Benitar had made a song called “Hell is for children” in the early 1980s?



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28 Apr 2024, 6:07 pm

I definitely do. I have so much it's awful...and it makes surviving day to day that much harder than it might be otherwise. I wouldn't wish this kind of thing on anyone :(



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28 Apr 2024, 7:12 pm

PineappleLobster wrote:
Does EVERYONE have childhood trauma?
[opinion=mine]

I think so.

A major factor being how well a person deals with trauma and how well they recover from it.

"Why does this always happen to me?", "I am a victim!", and "Feel sorry for me!" signify a person who does not deal well with trauma.

"Well now, THAT surely happened!", "I am a survivor!", and "I am strong and proud of it!" are signs that a person deals well with trauma.

I think how well a person deals with trauma has as much to do with their DNA as with their upbringing.

[/opinion]

Of course, I could be wrong.


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lostonearth35
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29 Apr 2024, 7:30 pm

Trauma may be an overused word these days. But what might not be all that traumatizing to some children might be incredibly traumatizing to others. Like getting sick in front of the whole class at school. You might come back a few days later and everything will seem back to normal, and no one really made fun of you or treated you badly because of the incident. But it starts off slowly. You might start avoiding certain things or being anxious about whatever reminds you of the incident. Like a certain date each month. Or a certain color or object that was in your class on that day. Then it builds to other things, like you can't eat comfortably in public anymore. You avoid watching movies you haven't seen because they just love to have a puke scene and make sure you're not prepared for it. Without even knowing it at first, you have emetophobia.

Of course, that's obviously specific. But like I said, you can be terrified of things others don't think twice about because of trauma. And yet you to try not to chuckle when you hear grown adults saying they're terrified of clowns or puppets, which were in fact a big part of your childhood.



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30 Apr 2024, 3:49 am

I have autism and live with both C-ptsd and ptsd.

I was hospitalised for a year and a half in a psychiatric hospital when I was 15. In the early 80's nothing was known about the potent mix of high functioning autism, trauma and OCD. Such an "Unholy Trinity," took me to the brink and the cruel and inhumane treatment I experienced in hospital was commonplace for many of us in the spectrum.

Because of my experience it is more than understandable that I have come to the view that the word "Abuse" has become debased.

Having high functioning autism in and of itself naturally leads itself to C-ptsd, simply because the world is so hostile to people of difference.

I would not be supprised that in the future there will be hard statics to confirm that people in the spectrum are more prone to psychosis and derealisation. How can it be otherwise when our sensitivities are often ignored, medicated on the one hand and mocked and humiliated on the other.



DuckHairback
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30 Apr 2024, 4:08 am

If you think about what childhood is, what growing up is, it's a constant re-evaluation of the world around you. You're constantly being forced to confront the reality that things are not as you thought they were. I think this continues through adulthood too in a lesser way, but when you're growing up, as your brain is expanding to accommodate bigger ideas and you're endlessly encountering new experiences all the time. Man, that's a lot.

Part of parenting is trying your best to control that exposure until the child is ready for it, so it doesn't come too much, too fast. And when you don't manage that, or you can't due to external circumstances, that's going to be traumatic.

So I think the potential for trauma is there, just in the simple process of growing up as well as all the awful stuff that can happen to you, but it isn't necessarily going to happen. I think fnord is also correct in saying that the way individuals respond to events can determine whether or not it's traumatic. And that depends on a lot of things, like the stability of their environment generally, the support around them and the tools they've been given to deal with it.


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ToughDiamond
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01 May 2024, 7:24 pm

I don't see myself as having childhood trauma, but it depends where the line is drawn between childhood trauma and subclinical bad experiences. And I gather some kids are more resilient to abuse than others.

My mother was a bad-tempered, overbearing, overprotective disciplinarian who hit me a lot and gave me tons of harsh criticism and little or no praise. She was often very unhappy and anxious, and must have had a fairly serious undiagnosed mental health problem. Her relationship with my father became very precarious when I was about 8 years old, and I witnessed several melodramatic scenes in which one or other of them threatened to leave forever. I believed it. Occasionally one of them would actually leave. The worst incident was when Dad told me he was leaving town and that I'd never see him again. He went, but returned after a day or two. Dad was generally quite loving towards me. Mum was very occasionally loving but would quickly and pointedly withdraw it if I did anything to cross her, which wasn't difficult to do. I don't think my parents ever resolved a conflict with each other. It was more a case of the heat gradually dying down and giving way to an uneasy ceasefire.

It looks pretty bad when it's all stacked up like that, but I suppose most of the time things weren't really awful. And as I grew older and stronger, Mum gradually dropped many of her draconian tendencies. I guess she had no choice, because I was standing up to her more, but she might have done that anyway.

As for what it all did to me, I suppose it contributed to the failure of my earlier relationships and gave me something of an abandonment issue. I was somewhat paranoid and overprotective towards my partners. It was a long time before I began to see there was usually a middle line between caving in and starting World War 3. I'd never seen calm assertiveness and conflict resolution between my parents. It may have contributed to my falling behind in my performance at school for a few years. It probably informed my strong suspicion of authority figures - I've mellowed in that respect, but only to a degree, and I think that's realistic enough. I'm not a particularly unhappy adult. I'll probably always be prone to anxiety, but not clinically so.

So, go figure - is that childhood trauma or not?



ToughDiamond
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01 May 2024, 7:38 pm

According to Chat GPT:

Childhood trauma is generally defined as an event or series of events that occurs during childhood or adolescence and poses a threat to a child's physical or emotional well-being. These events often exceed a child's capacity to cope and can lead to feelings of helplessness, terror, and extreme stress.

Clinical definitions of childhood trauma often encompass a wide range of experiences, including:

1. Physical abuse: Acts of violence or aggression that cause bodily harm, such as hitting, punching, or shaking.

2. Emotional abuse: Verbal or psychological mistreatment, including belittling, shaming, or constant criticism.

3. Sexual abuse: Inappropriate sexual behavior or contact, including molestation, rape, or exploitation.

4. Neglect: Failure of caregivers to provide for a child's basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, medical care, and emotional support.

5. Domestic violence: Witnessing violence between caregivers or family members, which can be traumatic for children even if they are not direct victims.

6. Loss of a loved one: Death or separation from a parent, sibling, or significant caregiver can also be traumatic for children, especially if it occurs suddenly or under distressing circumstances.

These experiences can have long-lasting effects on a child's development and mental health, potentially leading to conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and difficulty forming healthy relationships in adulthood. Early intervention and support are crucial for mitigating the impact of childhood trauma and promoting healing and resilience.


The only box I can definitely check is box 2, emotional abuse. The physical abuse didn't seriously injure me. Dad gave me some emotional support, and I didn't lose him for very long, though the circumstances were sudden and distressing. No sexual abuse, no domestic violence.

I'm wondering whether there's a better place than General Autism Discussion for this thread? The matters raised could be quite heavy.



Jakki
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01 May 2024, 7:43 pm

Nope .....after meeting other neighbours children growing up , and other students in my early elementary...realised their family life was considerably different than mine.. middle class during very early 1960s. :roll: Surely did not help having undiagnosed Autism though. But was factually observant from very early on in childhood. Think there were maybe 5 students in a class of twenty five that ,I might suspect.in 5th to 6 th year of school...Woulda thought our teachers would have observed and said something. :roll: but also being Autistic before it was known much , if anything, about it in the USA in those days might have ,been something to do with it too.


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CockneyRebel
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02 May 2024, 9:15 pm

I was raised as my birth gender instead of as a boy which was pretty traumatic. I was also yelled at for certain things that I couldn't help which was also traumatic. I've battled unpleasant memories and flashbacks for many years. I hear voices from my past in my head. I have to be constantly listening to music, watching DVDs or YouTube videos or watching TV to block the words out of my head.


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Jakki
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03 May 2024, 4:41 am

CockneyRebel wrote:
I was raised as my birth gender instead of as a boy which was pretty traumatic. I was also yelled at for certain things that I couldn't help which was also traumatic. I've battled unpleasant memories and flashbacks for many years. I hear voices from my past in my head. I have to be constantly listening to music, watching DVDs or YouTube videos or watching TV to block the words out of my head.


Yes indeed... can relate to parts of this sometimes the simplest things can give comfort...use the TV on to go to sleep most often ..cause of some really less than desireable thoughts and experiences that need to be quieted at night ,,in order for a brain, not to lock into those things, that have happened in the past . But the programs have to be things that are more calming . 8O :roll:


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DuckHairback
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03 May 2024, 5:03 am

As far as I know, most people can reflect on their childhood and pull out unpleasant memories that still have the power to alter our mood even decades after they occurred. And from a distance we might be able to put the events in that memory in a more accurate context, to the point that we can see they were utterly inconsequential, and that others involved (maybe an angry parent or whatever) would have discarded this memory almost immediately because it meant so little to them. But we can't escape the emotional impact that event had on us and if we dwell in that memory a little while, the emotions of it come back to us too.

Is that trauma?

My understanding is that it's more complex than that. Those memories are indeed formative but it's when our behaviour, or our ability to function, in the present is negatively impacted by the things we've felt in the past that we can really speak of trauma.

Psychological trauma is not that different from physical trauma. When you break a leg you spend that time while you're healing developing new movement patterns to compensate so you can continue to function. You will experience subtle bio-mechanical changes (increased muscle mass as the muscles around the wound have to work harder to keep you moving for example). When healing takes a long time, those newly learned movement patterns can become simply how your body works and you'll continue to move that way even after the broken leg has healed. The same is true psychologically. If something breaks, you try to find ways around it, self-protective coping strategies, and they can become your standard operating procedure. I don't know that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly can be.

That's how I understand trauma anyway.


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