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Posted Sat May 12th, 2012 8:13pm Post subject: Childhood trauma and mental illness research

I have posted this on WordPress but I attach it here as well because I feel that it is very important

Last year I began a pilot study that was to be preparation for my personal research to establish the correlation between childhood trauma and the development of a mental illness later in life. My method was to ask psychologists and psychiatrists what percentage of their patients had endured a childhood trauma that had probably sparked an existing predisposition to the development of a mental illness.

It is widely accepted today (Whittaker, 2010, p,13) that while some people have a genetic predisposition to develop mental illness, this is only a potential. It needs childhood trauma of certain kinds to become actual. This is the same with people who, for example, have a genetic disposition to develop diabetes: if they follow a strict and healthy diet, suitable to keep diabetes away, they will not develop diabetes.

Following these ideas, it made sense to propose in my research that if children have a healthy upbringing, free of stress and traumas, they will grow up healthy and better able to cope with personal problems of a psychological nature. This would lead to a substantial reduction in the number of mental illness cases in our world.

At present I am still asking questions to psychologists and psychiatrists of various countries in the world. So far I have received a reply from 36 psychologists and 4 psychiatrists. According to their records, it appears that about 70% of the patients of these psychologists and psychiatrists have endured childhood trauma, which has probably sparked the gradual development of a mental illness.

While we cannot come to a definite conclusion that the traumatic experiences are the cause of mental illness in these patients, it is plausible to think that this may be so and that by reducing childhood trauma we may be able to reduce mental illness. 70% of the patients of 40 practicing therapists is a very substantial figure, which rings alarm bells. In addition, 32 practicing therapists – out of 40 – believe that there is a definite link between childhood traumatic experiences and later development of mental illness. Of these Australian psychologists and psychiatrists we have Dr. Cidi Olujie, Dr Paul Corcoran, Dr Bob Rich, Dr David Butler (and many others), who strongly agree that there is a substantial positive correlation between childhood trauma and the development of a mental illness later in life. It is inspirational to me to know that these professionals are working to inform and educate people about this possible link so that something may be done in the future.

I know how to fall asleep...
I am learning how to fall awake...

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Posted Mon May 14th, 2012 8:59am Post subject: Childhood trauma and mental illness research

Seems pretty obvious to me. Problem is, children who've endured trauma, have parents who also endured that trauma, or have caused it, and are not equipped themselves to deal with or get help for their kids.

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Posted Sat May 19th, 2012 7:14pm Post subject: Childhood trauma and mental illness research

It seems a very simplistic view, its not after all difficult to imagine that a child who has grown up in an abusive/deprived environment has a greater chance of developing mental health issues in later life or that those circumstances further exhasperate an existing condition.
Im in agreement with Frazzy in that in many cases deprivation and/or other abuses are often repeating themselves through generations and the parent(s) themselves are as children often with raw unmanaged feelings and a need to be "held" and as such do not have the inner reserves to deal with a demanding and often violent child.
Change can and has been proven to happen when the right support and access to services are put into place. This is where schools can (if they choose to step away from purely punitive ideolagy) have a huge and positive impact, and this is where the education would be of most use. Unfortunatly theraputic practises are very rarely warmly embraced by those who view "the disruptive child" as something to be removed,sent out,excluded.
How can anyone further deprive a deprived child?
It is indeed hard and often painful work to do otherwise but it is the work that if parents/carers are part of can bring about change and hope that the cycle can be broken.

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