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Birgeet Magallanes
Professor Adler
STACC Eng. 100 #72051
2 December 2015
Childhood Trauma in Adulthood
When a child is faced with a frightening situation, the child may develop a traumatic
awareness. The child begins to show psychological signs such as, anxiety, bipolar disorder,
depression and personality disorders that can be unfixableeven in adulthoodif this problem
is not solved adequately by using the proper resources. In the memoir, A Place to Stand, by
Jimmy Santiago Baca, he demonstrated his journey in life while dealing with many challenges to
overcome the barriers he faced like childhood trauma. Bacas childhood trauma initiates when
his parents began to have abundant altercations, his parents abandoning him, and living in many
uninfluential societies that made him believe that stealing and using drugs were acceptable.
Childhood trauma comes to existence in a negative impact on the development of a child, as a
result when becoming an adult commences to grow different psychological disorders that may
affect them throughout their life.
Countless of human beings conclude that children are too young to comprehend what is
happening in their surroundings, however, the child can senses loud noises, violent movements
and other sensations that can cause them to become fearful when exposed to a traumatic event.
The article of National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) points out how childhood
trauma begins to occur at the ages of 0-6. As a result, the children evolve from these traumatic
situations in the form of nightmares, terrifying fears, and actions or reenact the event. NCTSN

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mentions, Young children also may experience traumatic stress in response to painful medical
procedure or the sudden loss of a parent/caregiver (par.2). Caregivers and relatives are the most
important adults in a childs life, since they can help restore security and support. However, there
are children that do not have anyone to care for them, which makes them frustrated and
potentially placed in an association where they would not be able to find the appropriate
guidance. Older children also experiences these behavioral symptoms associated with trauma. In
the contrary, young children cannot express themselves with words even if they feel afraid,
helpless, or beaten. Still, their behaviors demonstrate us with main clues about how they are
affected. NCTSNs article continues to explain, Young children who experience trauma are at a
particular risk because their brains are very vulnerable (par.5). In addition to this article, an
affected area of the brain can have many functions such as memory, attention, thinking, and
consciousness, which may affect the ability to manage emotions, and the child may become more
alarmed and not may feel protected.
What causes Childhood Trauma? It takes time to apprehend what causes this disorder
since there are moments when the child prefers to keep their tough circumstances to themselves.
Which makes people believe they know how the child is feeling but in reality those people do
not understand their pain and circumstances. Nevertheless, childhood trauma is caused by
emotional abuse. Emotional abuse is also known as psychological abuse, is any kind of abuse
that comes from verbal abuse and constant criticism. According to American Humane
Association, Emotional abuse of a child is commonly defined as a pattern of behavior by
caregivers or parents that can seriously interfere with a childs emotional, psychological or social
development (par.1). Three general patterns of abusive behavior include rejection, verbal
assault, and neglect to the child. When a parent/caregiver is rejecting and neglecting a child, the

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child might feel self-conscious about themselves by believing that it is their fault why the
parent/caregiver is not giving them appropriate attention. A child feeling neglected or
emotionally abused often grow up believing that they are flawed in some way. Sadly, once in
their adulthood and becoming a parent, they may continue doing the same cycle with their own
Another reason that causes childhood trauma is abandonment. When a child is faced with
abandonment the child is traumatized by creating terror and panic, because the child feels the
stress of losing an important person in their life; such as the need to belong. Admins article
called Growing Past Childhood Trauma implies, Unlike adults, children do not have the tools
with which to temper the impact of separation trauma. Their hurts, heartaches, and
disappointments can leave a powerful imprint on their developing brains and affect their
emotional responses throughout life (par.15). Admin claims that when a child loses a biological
parent through divorce, death, abandonment, or other reason, the child tends to feel alone in the
world that begins to show psychological disorders (anxiety, blocking, paranoia, etc.).
Based on the causes it is almost impossible for a child to develop problems in adulthood.
Childhood trauma can also be the cause of both depression and heavy drinking in adulthood.
According to the article, by Ian Colman, Colman shows few studies in the effects of stress on the
development of depression and drinking abuse that have experienced traumatic childhood events.
In addition to this article, childhood trauma significantly increased the odds of becoming
depressed (following 1 event: OR= 1.66; 95% CI 1.01, 2.71; 2 + Events, OR= 3.89; 95% CI
2.44, 6.22) and drinking heavily (2+ events: OR= 1.79; 95% CI 1.03, 3.13) (par. 3). This article
illustrates how depression was more influential in those who reported childhood trauma
compared to those with no traumatic events. Heavy drinking affects mostly to those who had

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traumas as a child because they experience many severe mental problems thus believing that
their only solution to cope to those stressful situations is alcohol. The journal of Alcoholism:
Clinical and Experimental Research reports a study how childhood trauma leads to alcoholism in
adulthood by investigating the predominance of multiple types of childhood trauma in treatmentseeking alcohol dependent patients. This journal remarks, Our results indicate that exposure to
childhood trauma, in particular emotional and physical abuse, may be a particularly significant
risk factor for the development of severe alcohol dependence (par. 28). The more serious the
childhood abuse or neglect, the more serious the adult drinking problem was likely to be.
Moreover, the child is likely to associate with an alcoholic society where they can find refuge
and similar circumstances.
When a child is faced with many altercations and emotional abuse at a young age, the
child produces a severe mental fear commonly called Childhood Trauma, which initiates many
types of psychological disorders such as drug abuse, alcohol abuse, anxiety, depression, etc. This
is because not many children are able to have an outlet where they can talk about their tough
circumstances. Instead many kids would just keep it to themselves and develop these problems.
The development of such problems could affect the childs performance in life by harming
themselves or committing suicide. It is important to be aware of how a childs mind is
developing or feeling, because one can prevent these psychological disorders by helping the
child to go to therapy, treatment, or any type of resources.

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Works Cited
Admin, Causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder of Abandonment Part Two.
Abandonmentnet RSS. N.p., 19 Nov 2013. Web. 22 Nov. 2015
Brown, Waln K. Growing Past Childhood Trauma. Reclaiming Children & Youth 19.4 (2011):
13-17. Professional Development Collection. Web. 16 Nov. 2015
Colman, Ian, et al. Stress and Development of Depression and Heavy Drinking in Adulthood:
Moderating Effects Of Childhood Trauma. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric
Epidemiology 48.2 (2013): 256-274. MEDLINE. Web. 16 Nov. 2015.
National Child Traumatic Stress Network, (NCTSN). Early Childhood Trauma. National Child
Traumatic Stress Network (2010): ERIC.Web. 16 Nov. 2015
Trinder, John, Ian Colrain, Christian Nicholas, and Julia Chan. Alcoholism: Clinical and
Experimental Research. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research 291-299 39.2
(2015): n. pag. Web.