Childhood Trauma, Causes and Effects: A Comprehensive Guide for the Sufferer and the Caregiver.


The sexual abuse of children is an epidemic across the world. It’s hard to know how many children are actually abused, but it has been estimated that one-in-four girls and one in six boys will experience some form of abuse before they turn 18. Sexual abuse can lead to serious mental health issues like depression, addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Childhood trauma also has physical effects like cancer, heart attack, and suicide. If you or someone you know is suffering from the effects of childhood trauma, take a look at this guide to learn more about what causes it and how to help.

The Effects of Childhood Trauma


Childhood trauma can lead to a number of mental and physical health problems. In some cases, the effects can be devastating.

Studies have found that childhood sexual abuse is linked with an increased risk of cancer, heart attack, suicide, depression, drug addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Childhood sexual abuse is also a factor in diseases like chronic pain and asthma.

This type of trauma can have a lasting impact on children because they’re still developing their brains and coping skills when they’re abused. The abuse might result in mental health issues like PTSD or depression later in life.

It’s important to note that the individuals most likely to experience this type of trauma are those who repeatedly experience it through childhood or adolescence (e.g., children living in single-parent households).


Causes of Childhood Trauma


Childhood trauma can be caused by a variety of things, from neglect to abuse. It can happen in a child’s home, school, or community. Some of the most common causes are:


  • Domestic violence

  • Childhood sexual abuse

  • Physical abuse

  • Neglect

  • Incarceration of a parent

  • Incarceration of a child

  • Hospitalization or other medical trauma for the child or parent


How to Help a Child Suffering from Childhood Trauma.


Childhood trauma is the result of any type of maltreatment children suffer, which can range from neglect to physical or sexual abuse. It can also happen in the form of emotional abuse — being ignored, verbally abused, or told they are worthless. Childhood trauma can lead to serious mental health issues like depression addiction, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The effects of childhood trauma are not just limited to mental health. Childhood trauma has physical effects as well that will last into adulthood — such as cancer, heart attack, and suicide.

If you have a friend or family member who needs help with childhood trauma, take a look at this guide for information about what causes it and how to help someone suffering from its effects.



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