Developmental Trauma

Developmental Trauma

Developmental Trauma:

When we hear the word “trauma” we invariably think of something quite severe; perhaps an accident, rape, physical abuse or attack, natural disaster or combat situation.

Even though the physiological and psychological mechanisms are the same for either shock trauma or developmental trauma, there are a whole range of subtle differences when looking at developmental issues.

Do We All Have Some Developmental Trauma Patterns?

To my knowledge, most of us pick up some patterns of resistance throughout our life journey that shape our characters. That shape our likes, and dislikes, and which have influenced our general decision making and direction in life.

We might still be able to fit into society, fulfill our duties and responsibilities, and prefer to see our difficulties as indicators of our conditioning, rather than that of trauma; nonetheless. our conditioning is pervasive and limiting for the individual and society at large, and comes at the enormous expense of disconnection, disembodiment and a false sense of freedom.

I would argue that our developmental trauma issues are endemic, regardless of whether we refer to them as conditioning or traumas, and have far-reaching consequences which affect our physical and psychological health, as well as our personal and social relationships.

Many of us have difficulties in connecting with other people and maintaining loving, bonding relationships; furthermore, very few of us follow our passions, address our fears and live a life that is fulfilling.

What Experiences Can Affect us?

Unfortunately, we seem to be unable to connect our early life experiences to their effect on our present daily reality, and our way of relating with the world through others. Early life experiences such as difficulties at birth or pregnancy, being unwanted as a child by one or both parents, overindulgent or neglectful parents or carers, divorce, surgery in early life, growing up in a challenging environment, drug abuse or depression which may have led to the suicide of a parent all have lifelong consequences. Being raised during a war, for instance, quite commonly has a profound effect on how we are formed and how we react within relationships and the ordinary social inter-activities of life.

While the mechanisms that are set up to cope with these early stresses are a necessity at the time to survive, they become burdensome obstacles later on in life. The earlier we go through traumatic experiences, the more hard-wired and implicitly codified they become in our body and mind.

To work through developmental trauma issues can be tedious and challenging; nonetheless, the payoffs through increased energy levels are more than worth it!

» Dive deeper into this topic by reading The Trauma Essential Series →

Do you have some form of Developmental Trauma? Leave your comments below.

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  • Tera says:

    Thank you!

  • […] Stress, be it developmental or PTSD, takes up enormous amounts of energy. It is like an identity that needs to be constantly fed to […]

  • Sue says:

    It’s soul destroying caring for family, who in the past, caused you significant trauma & major abandonment trauma.
    Having a really bad day today, having to cancel, a much needed holiday. To care for my disabled,deaf mother, who has no idea, she has dementia.
    Yet again, this post has enabled me to stop & breathe, rather the be angry & resentful & go into the downward spiral of recrimination & depression.
    I’m upset & angry but just acknowledging it & accepting it & dealing with it. Allows me to move on & feel grateful, I am being responsible, thoughtful & caring.
    i feel so much calmer, relieved & dare I say, happier.
    Amazing how clearer everything is when you have a new perspective & approach to relating to others & yourself.
    Thanks, all. X

  • kim says:

    yes i have issues with relationship with other human beings,im not sure if its caused by developmental issues or not,as far back as i can remember,we moved around ALOT my parents were always running from debt and chasing work,so in my young school years i never had the chance to develop friendship or any relationship outside our family unit,besides that strangers or anyone outside the family circle was not welcome,because of the chaos/dysfunction was to be kept behind closed doors or hidden from outsiders,i learnt to distrust outsiders,but i also learnt that you cant trust those insiders either,i have self taught over the years how to handle most relationship to a certain point,then i withdraw/push away or wall myself off from others,its been tough finding a balance,now that my self esteem is stronger im finding it a little easier,so weather thats developmental or what im not sure…