The Effect Of Childhood Trauma On Brain Development

1055 words - 4 pages

According to the Center for Disease Control, one in every three girls and one in every five boys are sexually abused by an adult at some time during childhood. Child abuse is a vicious cycle. After a child is abused it puts a deterrent on his or her ability to succeed in life. Examples of this are adults who were abused as children are twice as likely to become abusers themselves. The majority of people in prisons were abused as children. It is no wonder why childhood trauma has such a horrible impact on a person’s personality and brain. Trauma is a serious consideration in special education. When a child is exposed to a traumatic event, such as abuse, neglect or death, it can have a lifelong effect on their mental health. Although there are numerous effects followed by childhood trauma the brain chemistry of neurotransmitters is most affected.
First a person might ask what neurotransmitters are. A perfect example is a lock and a key. Neurotransmitters are keys and each one activates different receptors (locks). Today there is known to be sixty chemicals that play a role in transferring information throughout the brain and body, each of which differently effect thought, feeling, and behavior. During childhood is when a person is most impressionable. Therefore when a child has suffered any physical, sexual, or emotional abuse these instances play a major role on the connections to their brain and the way that person will react to any given situation. If a child was frequently abused their brain would continuously be in high stress alert. According to The Healing Center- On Line, studies on the physiological effects of trauma have found profound and substantial effects within multiple interconnected neurobiological systems. Exposure to extreme or constant trauma related stressors result in abnormal patterns of neurotransmitter and hormonal activity, and permanent changes in neuronal organization. Trauma can range from a variety of situations.
Although abuse is one of the most heartrending forms of child trauma it is not the only kind. Even if a child grows up in a kind, loving, and non-abusive environment they are still very likely to experience a traumatic event. Trauma is defined as an event more overwhelming than a person ordinarily would be expected to encounter. For example, while a divorce in the family is stressful, it would not be considered a life-threatening traumatic event. In contrast, one parent killing the other would. Childhood trauma can be closely related to other serious emotional disorders both in childhood and later on in adulthood. It is not uncommon to discover that a child who is brought to a mental health professional for problems such as major depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and /or violent behavior has also experienced an intense, terrible trauma or series of traumatic events. Someone who survives a traumatic situation is then presented with the struggle...

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