The Meadows specializes in treating trauma. Abuse is one form of trauma. Often times, childhood trauma that occurred because of child abuse is overlooked as a core issue when people enter treatment for addictions or other mental health disorders. Sometimes people minimize what they experienced as children, deny that they were abused, or believe that it happened so long ago that they are (or that they should be) “over it” or it is no longer relevant.
It is estimated that each year three million cases of child abuse are reported to authorities in the United States (source: Childhelp.org). Childhood abuse comes in many forms and can be anything from physical abuse, sexual boundary violations, neglect of medical and physical needs, to emotional and social maltreatment and injustices.
By Tian Dayton, Senior Fellow at The Meadows
Children experience a great deal of emotional pain when they watch the parents they love, look up to and need in order to feel safe and secure exhibit the kind of behavior that is part of addiction.
Children experience deep anxiety.
“Trauma leaves fingerprints on the victim. These don’t fade when the bruises do.”- Dr. Ellen Taliaferro
Childhood trauma has a lasting effect on an individual’s life. The trauma which is either physical, sexual or emotional in nature, creates a devastating ripple effect on every aspect of the individual’s adult life.
According to one study, more than 21,000 child abuse survivors, age 60 and older in Australia reported a greater rate of failed marriages and relationships.
Although post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is often associated with members of the military, veterans, police officers, emergency personnel, and people who have faced life-threatening situations, the disorder can be triggered by any overwhelming experience, including years of emotional abuse and neglect in childhood.