Understanding …..

Yesterday’s post had to remind us all of one of the most obvious underlying reasons as to why we are even writing this blog: child abuse.

“The USA Surgeon General states under the category of mental health:
… severe and repeated trauma during youth may have enduring effects upon both neurobiological and psychological development altering stress responsivity and altering adult behaviour patterns … these individuals experience a greatly increased risk of mood, anxiety and personality disorders throughout adult life.

In short, the long-term impact of child abuse is far-reaching, with some studies highlighting that the effects of childhood abuse can last a lifetime (Draper et al., 2007).

A study by (Draper et al., 2007) found:

Child abuse survivors demonstrate
Poor mental health: are almost two and a half times as likely to have poor mental health outcomes,
Unhappiness: are four times more likely to be unhappy even in much later life
Poor physical health: are more likely to have poor physical health.

Childhood physical and sexual abuse
Medical diseases: increases the risk of having three or more medical diseases, including cardiovascular events in women
Relationships: causes a higher prevalence of broken relationships, lower rates of marriage in late life,
Isolation/social disconnection: cause lower levels of social support and an increased risk of living alone
Behavioural health effects: is associated with suicidal behaviour, increased likelihood of smoking, substance abuse, and physical inactivity.

The impact of child abuse does not end when the abuse stops. If you were abused as a child, the long-term effects can interfere with your day-to-day functioning. However, it is possible to live a full and constructive life, and even thrive – to enjoy a feeling of wholeness, satisfaction in your life and work as well as genuine love and trust in your relationships and more. Understanding the relationship between your abuse and your current behaviour is the first step towards ‘recovery’.

Over two decades of research have demonstrated the negative impact of child abuse and neglect on the mental health of children and adults. Adults who report experiences of abuse and neglect as children report differentially low mental health outcomes, including:

depression
anxiety disorders
poor self-esteem
aggressive behaviour
suicide attempts
eating disorders
use of illicit drugs
alcohol abuse
post-traumatic stress
dissocation
sexual difficulties
self-harming behaviours
personality disorders.”
[Source: Adults Surviving Child Abuse]

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