Sunday, October 21, 2012

Trauma and a Child's Psyche!

Trauma invades a child's mind through neglect, abuse, parental divorce, poverty, bad nutrition, chronic parental fighting, and anything else that goes on and on and damages a vulnerable human life. David Brooks in his September 27, 2012 new York Times article, The Psych Approach, reports that the effects of childhood trauma, left untreated into adulthood,  can be staggering: seven times the likelihood of alcoholism, six times more likely to have had sex before age 15, twice as likely to be diagnosed with cancer, four times as likely to be diagnosed with emphysema, increased chance of behavioral problems in school, impaired learning ability, decreased resilience, equanimity, and self control.

Helping a  traumatized child's psyche to heal via therapy, implementing psychological programs in the schools, and increasing parental and community education sets in motion the possibility that traumatized children can make their way successfully in life despite significant early emotional injuries and setbacks. The human psyche is resilient but needs help to heal when there has been trauma. Parents and others in authority can start the healing process by sensitizing themselves to the reality of childhood trauma rather than thinking, like I so often hear, "the kid'll just have to get over it."

Kids don't just get over trauma. They need the assistance of adults who are willing to move past denial and call trauma TRAUMA. This also applies to adults and their own inner child who still remembers and bears the scars of childhood. Consciousness calls us into greater sensitivity to our own inner child, to our own need to obtain the healing we need. Kids don't just get over trauma, but they can be helped to heal by our caring and sensitivity to the reality of trauma and the reality that the first step toward healing is facing truth and knowing that ultimately truth has the potential to set us free!

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