Developmental Trauma Disorder (DTD)
While challenges provide opportunities for learning, they can, at times, also be overwhelming. Whenever this is the case, the overwhelm is typically characterized by structures involving resistances.
To a degree, everyone suffers from some form of developmental trauma; however, when a child is exposed to multiple and prolonged traumatic events, the likelihood for Developmental Trauma Disorder is highly increased.
History of Developmental Trauma Disorder
The diagnosis of Developmental Trauma Disorder is relatively new. It seeks to clarify and identify a range of anxiety and dissociative disorders and place them under one umbrella, instead of attributing a variety of conditions to one person.
PTSD & Developmental Trauma Disorder
While Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be highly complex, it is far surpassed by Developmental Trauma Disorder in terms of depth, impact and complexity.
Furthermore, persistent symptoms of PTSD are often related to Developmental Trauma issues.
The likelihood of Developmental Trauma Disorder setting in takes place mostly in and around the first decade of a person’s life. It forms characteristics that include various protective mechanisms and the urge to reenact the trauma. Unless the tendency to repeat the trauma is recognized, the response to the environment is likely to repeat and replay the original traumatizing, abusive, but familiar relationships and incidents; hence the relationship between PTSD and Developmental Trauma.
Cause and Effect
Developmental Trauma Disorder comes into play after multiple and chronic exposures to traumatic events. Most often the exposure is at an interpersonal level (i.e. family and community). Inflicted trauma presents itself as ongoing verbal, emotional and physical abuse, neglect, and compromised attachment bonds.
Early life traumatization interferes with neurobiological development and quality of information processing. Studies link adverse childhood experiences to depression, suicide attempts, drug abuse, sexual promiscuity, domestic violence, cigarette smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, STDs, liver disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes in adulthood.
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