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.
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