Psychological Effects Of Child Abuse

Child Abuse has become a scary statistic in the past few years and this is only the reported cases that we hear about. It’s been said that some child abuse is condoned in certain cultures and even done as part of rituals, but from a human perspective any child abuse remains unjustifiable. There are different forms of child abuse; emotional, physical and sexual. No matter what form, the trauma associated to childhood abuse is something that stays with the abused for the rest of their lives.

Abused become abusers

It’s hard not to blame an abused person for becoming an abuser when this is all they know. Adults who have experienced child abuse are often affected psychologically leaving them unable to adapt within personal or professional relationships. When placed within a difficult situation they over react. They often incorrectly interpreting social cues and become overwhelmed. This results in an extreme reaction which starts the same cycle of abuse that they experienced as a child.

No basis of feeling protected

A child who is abused is left feeling unprotected and vulnerable. Whether the parent is the abuser or not, the child expects the parent to love them, care for them and protect them. If the parent is not the abuser the hope is that the parent will be able to identify that there is an issue but very often this is not the case. A child who is left feeling more rejected after being abused will either develop anxiety disorders or possibly even depression, or the opposite extreme becoming aggressive and resorting to drugs or alcohol to subdue the empty feeling that remains.

We still have a choice

From a psychological perspective it is practically impossible to break the cycle of abuse without some serious external help. However, there is hope. As a parent you can look for the “different” behaviour in your child. Don’t brush off aggression or withdrawn behaviour; a child should run, play and laugh. If you find yourself in a situation where you are an abuser, you do have a choice. Talk to someone you feel you can trust and seek further help before it’s too late. You need to break the cycle.

A child who has their needs met sufficiently becomes emotional stable, secure and ensures proper brain development. Continuous exposure to stressful events has a lasting negative effect on the child. Children who are abused often experience more than one type of abuse within their lifetimes resulting in deep negative psychological effects.

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