Detecting depression caused by untreated childhood trauma may not always be easy, as memories can be blocked for untreated childhood trauma. In fact, untreated childhood trauma may well be the secret behind depression. Childhood trauma comes in many forms. It may be a one-time traumatic event that occurred in the past, or an ongoing series of traumatic events that cause depression in a child. It may stem from growing up in a neglectful, abusive home, or from various forms of physical, sexual, mental or emotional abuse endured in one’s youth.
When depression continues for 3 weeks or longer, it is considered clinical depression, generally requiring professional intervention for healing. The untoward effects of underlying, untreated childhood trauma may be difficult to diagnose and treat, as even the person living with it may not be aware of the toll it is taking on them. Many people do not understand that the mind affects the body, and the reverse is true, the body affects the mind, as well. Depression may be prevalent and persistent, long buried memories can be elusive—even blocked–as one engages in daily adult life.
According to the website for the National Association for the Mentally Ill, NAMI, the following statistics speak volumes about the nature of mental illness such as depression:
- 1 in 5 Americans, or 43.8 million people, will experience mental illness each year.(NAMI)
- 4% will experience mental illness in their lifetime.
- 1% will have post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or another anxiety disorder.
- Of the 20.2 million Americans experiencing substance abuse, 50% have a co-occurring mental illness.
- 80% of young adults who suffered abuse and/or neglect in childhood are diagnosed with at least 1 psychiatric disorder by the age of 21.
Oftentimes, people can pinpoint what is bothering them when they have depression and can get the help they need. Yet, other times, as is the case with untreated childhood trauma, an individual may be fully unaware of the cause of their persistent depression even after seeking out professional help. In those cases, it takes a keen eye to assess the reason for the depression, so the individual can seek out effective treatment, a plan can be put into place, and implemented that will provide relief from the uncomfortable feelings of sadness.
The good news is that for most people who receive effective treatment, including psychotherapy and/or medication, depression is a very treatable mental illness. With timely, effective treatment, most people can go on to resume relationships with friends and family, return to doing the things they previously enjoyed, and live in peace and contentment. Exercise, taking walks, prayer, practicing positive thinking, eating healthy, socializing, staying busy, having hobbies, and staying connected with friends are all common, effective personal strategies for good physical and mental health.
Yet, depression is just part of the mental health story…
(C) Copyright 2018 | Adele M. Gill | Distributed by News Consortium
Adapted from the new inspirational self-help book, ‘From Broken to Blest: Embracing the Healing that Awaits You’ by Adele M. Gill and Dr. Verna Benner Carson, now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble in print and ebook.
Adele M. Gill, RN, BSN, ABDA is a retired RN/BSN, a Chaplain, a board certified disability analyst, the author of The Inspiration Café blog, http://theinspirationcafeblog.net, and 3 inspirational books including her new inspirational book, ‘From Broken to Blest: Embracing the Healing that Awaits You,’ written with Dr. Verna Benner Carson, She has also written many articles. Adele is a tireless mind-body health advocate living in Maryland. To contact, send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.silverliningcommunications.net
To be continue–See PART II: The Trifecta