Childhood Trauma Questionnaire - Are You at Risk for Addiction?
Using the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire
How is Childhood Trauma Connected to Addiction?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, trauma during childhood is an event that causes a significant level of distress or discomfort. The condition typically transforms into lasting physical or mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety disorders. You will comprehend the relationship between trauma and addiction in this ACE Questionnaire.
Research proves that childhood trauma links to the brain’s functioning. There is a heightened risk of disorders due to the connection between trauma and brain functioning. Examples of these mental conditions include substance abuse and PTSD.1
How Many Children Suffer From Trauma?
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIMH), over one-third of adolescents with a significant report of abuse experience a substance use disorder before their eighteenth birthday. Studies also prove that 7-8% of the US population experience a level of PTSD, which may connect to addiction.2
In one study, researchers analyzed data from 1,420 participants. Results proved that individuals with trauma had negative experiences in adulthood like addiction, mental illness, and other health problems. They were also interviewed at ages nineteen, twenty-one, twenty-five, and thirty. Around 30.9% of the individuals claimed to face one traumatic event, 22.5% experienced two traumatic events, and 14.8% experienced three and above.3
How is Childhood Trauma Defined?
Childhood trauma is a traumatic event that poses a threat to the conventional life of a child. Events that cause this trauma include frightening, violent, and dangerous occurrences. In this ACE Questionnaire, it is crucial to note that some children cannot experience healing between different traumatic events, affecting their mental health.
The term ACE is commonly used to describe the condition. ACE means “Adverse Childhood Experiences” in full.4 It describes the traumatic experience in an individual’s life before the age of eighteen and that the person can recollect as an adult. ACEs negatively affect a person’s health, wellbeing, and other significant opportunities like jobs or education.
Trauma affects individuals differently, depending on certain factors. In most cases, it causes separation anxiety, moodiness, decrease in appetite, aggression, and fear in preschool or elementary-age children. For teenagers, those signs and other conditions like irritability, academic issues, and depression are prevalent.
Unresolved trauma during childhood can cause different problems for adults. For example, females that experienced sexual abuse may show significant symptoms of PTSD, fear, shame, guilt, humiliation, distorted self-perception, and chronic pain.
10 Types of Childhood Trauma in the ACEs Study
Trauma affects adults in different ways, depending on the surrounding factors of the traumatic event. For this reason, different types of childhood trauma are imperative to understand. Here are ten of the various types in the ACEs study:
Verbal abuse and physical abuse cause a great deal of pain to children, resulting in a significant level of pain when remembered. Children that undergo traumatic experiences, including parental domestic violence or physical neglect, experience confusion.
It is essential to stay aware of the different types of ACEs study, including the diverse behavioral signs that accompany them. Significant examples of emotional, physical, and behavioral symptoms include poor concentration, panic attacks, eating disorders, impulsiveness, and more.
How Common is Childhood Trauma?
Childhood trauma is a prevalent condition in adults around the world. According to a survey by the World Mental Health Initiative involving twenty-one countries – including the United States of America, Belgium, China, and Japan – 40% of 51,945 adults had Adverse Childhood Experiences. 5
According to research, 75.6% of chronically depressed patients between the age of twenty and sixty in Germany reported a childhood traumatic experience, and 37% reported multiple kinds of traumatic experiences during childhood. Trauma during childhood is also linked to bipolar disorder; according to the study, 49% of the patients suffered from bipolar disorder.6
Getting Help for Trauma and Addiction
Trauma and addiction cause a significant level of discomfort and pain, both physically and mentally. Fortunately, the condition is treatable with appropriate mental health or medical intervention. Note that the treatment for trauma and addiction focuses on identifying triggers and developing substantial coping strategies, which helps in reducing symptoms.
Significant examples of treatment modalities for trauma include:
Cognitive Processing Therapy
Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is typically the first line of treatment when treating PTSD, especially for lasting effects of trauma in older adults. Studies also prove that trauma-sensitive interventions with cognitive-behavioral techniques and family support are effective. Children, teenagers, and adolescents benefit more from trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT).7
EMDR is also an effective therapy that helps treat trauma. It involves the use of repetitive eye movements to repattern thoughts or memories from a traumatic event. The phases of EMDR include history, preparation, assessment, desensitization, installation, scan, closure, and evaluation.
EMDR is an effective and empirically validated treatment that addresses unprocessed memories linked to adverse experiences in life, including trauma. NET, PE, play therapy, and art therapy are also very effective for trauma.8
What Your Score on the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire Means?