We can define trauma as a set of events that cannot be controlled, come unexpectedly, threaten our life and bodily integrity, and also threaten our belief system. In addition to all these features, we also have traumas we experienced in childhood that can affect almost our entire life and we can see more clearly with recent scientific studies that they can be the cause of many health problems we experience.
While reading this article, you will also be encountering a list of some negative life events that you may have experienced in childhood. I would suggest that you pay attention to how many of the items on this list you have experienced and how uncomfortable you feel when you still remember these events today, as well as whether you experience some bodily symptoms when you remember the event or moment.
Common Characteristics of Traumas: Traumatic events are unusual; not because they happen rarely, but because it damages and destroys human adaptation to life. Unlike simple misfortunes, traumatic events generally entail a personal encounter with threats to life and bodily integrity, or violence and death. Trauma leaves people with the most severe form of helplessness and triggers our responses to disasters. When we look at the common characteristics of people who have experienced psychological trauma in general, we see that they experience similar feelings such as “intense fear, loss of control, helplessness and threat of extinction”.
What Health Problems Cause Childhood Traumas: Childhood traumas are negative life experiences that damage children’s developing brains and can alter the way they respond to stress, leading to a collapse of their immune systems, and the effects of which can occur decades later. In addition to a phenomenon that has been proven by scientific studies to cause many psychological, psychiatric and even medical diseases today, we can say that it is actually a threat to societies. Well, if we ask what issues this threat contains, we come across a wide spectrum.
The negative life experiences you were exposed to during your childhood include many topics from emotional, physical and sexual abuse to violence by your parents, substance abuse and divorce, and when we look at the health problems it causes;
-PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
-OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
It has been found to cause many health problems such as
Scientific Study on Childhood Traumas and its Results:When the statistics of these titles, in other words, domestic traumas in childhood, can cause mental health and medical diseases, it has been proven by scientific studies that they are very closely related to each other.
In a study conducted by the Kaiser Permanente Foundation with approximately 17000 (Seventeen thousand) adults with an average age of 50 years, it was questioned whether they were exposed to negative childhood experiences. In this study, the following 10 questions were asked;
1- Whether they were exposed to physical abuse
2- Whether they are exposed to emotional abuse
3- Whether they are exposed to sexual abuse
4-Emotionally neglected situations
5-States of physical neglect
6- Whether any individual in the family has substance addiction
7- Whether they were exposed to violence by their parents
8- If one of the members of the family has a mental illness
9-Separation of parents (Divorce)
10. Whether there is a family member who went to jail
According to the research;
- The number of people who experienced at least 1 of these negative life experiences in their childhood corresponds to 67% of the total number. In other words, when we look at its prevalence, at least 2 out of 3 adults have been exposed to at least 1 negative life experience in their lifetime.
- The more negative life experiences, the greater the risk of chronic health problems.
- People who had at least 5 of these negative life experiences in their childhood;
- For example, the risk of using intravenous drugs such as heroin is 46 times higher than other people (4600, that is, if you have experienced at least 5 of these events, you may very likely become a drug addict)
- The risk of excessive alcohol consumption is 5 times higher (700%)
- The risk of chronic pulmonary obstruction (COPD) is 4 times higher (399%)
- The risk of having vision problems is 3.5 times higher (354%)
- The risk of experiencing heart disease is approximately 3 times higher (285%)
- The risk of having a stroke is approximately 3 times higher (281%)
- The risk of experiencing kidney failure is approximately 2.5 times higher (263%).
- The risk of smoking is 2.5 times higher (250%)
- The risk of having a heart attack is approximately 2.5 times higher (232 %)
- The risk of developing asthma is approximately 2.5 times higher (231%).
- Exposure to sexual abuse before the age of 10 is 8 times more likely (800%) to lead to pregnancy during adolescence
- Being exposed to at least 4 negative life experiences in childhood;
- 5 times more risk of unwanted pregnancy (500%)
- It causes a 12-fold increase in the risk of suicide attempt (12-fold)
- The risk of physical violence against the mother causing adolescent pregnancy is approximately 3 times higher (280%)
- It has been determined that being exposed to 6 or more negative life experiences in childhood shortens human life by 20 years.
One of the surprising aspects of this research is the fact that the majority of the individuals participating in the research are educated individuals and their incomes are at a level that we can accept as medium and above.