Trauma, Development, & Spirituality Essay

The topic about trauma and its effects upon human development has been a hot issue of debate among researchers, psychologists, and medical experts. Studies show that “trauma in childhood is a grave psychosocial, medical, and public policy problem that has serious consequences for its victims and for society” (De Bellis, & Abigail Zisk, 2014, p. 185). Trauma in childhood may lead to serious consequences; it can increase the risks of post traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, emotional instability, which later may result in serious developmental delays and antisocial behaviors. Children often experience direct trauma, or witness certain violence, or learn about trauma from other individuals. Complex trauma can influence the individual’s development in multiple ways causing its long-lasting negative effect on a person’s social development, behaviors, interactions with other people, physical and emotional health, skills and abilities, opportunities and life choices, and the overall individual’s potential.

As evidence shows, “in children, motor vehicle accidents, bullying, terrorism, exposure to war, child maltreatment (physical, sexual, and emotional abuse; neglect) and exposure to domestic and community violence are common types of childhood traumas that result in distress, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTSS)” (De Bellis, & Abigail Zisk, 2014, p. 185). Child’s trauma can make its negative effect on behaviors, the concepts of self-worth and self-esteem, social adaptation, cognition, thinking and learning processes, and the overall individual’s health, both physical and emotional. Additionally, individuals who experienced traumas often meet certain challenges in relationships. Study after study shows that trauma often prevents the child from revealing his or her full inner potential and even leads to serious and complicated developmental delays. When a child is exposed to trauma, it causes a number of stress symptoms that negatively affects brain structure and functioning. The consequences of post traumatic stress disorder “are thought to individually contribute to delays in or deficits of multisystem developmental achievements in behavioral, cognitive and emotional regulation in traumatized children and lead to PTSS and co-morbidity” (De Bellis, & Abigail Zisk, 2014, p. 186). In other words, children may begin to experience difficulties in cognition, emotional responses, and behaviors. Genetics, parents’ neglect, lack of psychological support, poverty and inappropriate social and cognitive development are considered the most common determining factors that can cause impairments in brain, which in its turn lead to developmental delays in social and emotional development.

As evidence shows, how traumatic event affects a person depends on many factors, including “characteristics of the individual, the type and characteristics of the event(s), developmental processes, the meaning of the trauma, and sociocultural factors” (Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, 2014). Researchers also explain that spiritual development significantly affects trauma experience, its symptoms, and further impacts on the individual’s life, functioning, behaviors, social and emotional development. The lack of spiritual upbringing negatively influences the way people think, act, and behave. When a person experiences traumatic event, religious and spiritual beliefs can make a strong impact on his or her values, and appreciations, inner potential, self-esteem, and certain life concepts. The individual’s level of spiritual development can reduce the effects of trauma and even help people become stronger, both physically and emotionally. Researchers found that spirituality and certain religious beliefs “can be involved in changing the appraised meaning of a stressful situation by (a) providing a means to make more benign reattributions, (b) helping the individual to see the positive aspects of the stressful situation, and (c) facilitating perceptions of stress-related growth” (Wortmann, et al., 2012, p. 444). Spirituality and religious beliefs are important elements that can counter the effects of trauma. Spirituality helps a person to clearly analyze and appraise the stressful situation, determine positive/negative aspects of traumatic event, increase personal resistance, self-worth, and inner power.

References:

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (2014). Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services. Rockville (MD): Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services  Administration (US). (Treatment Improvement Protocol (TIP) Series, No. 57.)  Chapter 3, Understanding the Impact of Trauma. Available from:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK207191/

De Bellis, M.D., & Abigail Zisk A.B. (2014). The Biological Effects of Childhood Trauma.  Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics, 23(2): 185–222.                  doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2014.01.002        

Wortmann, J.H., Park, C.L., & Edmondson, D. (2011). Trauma and PTSD Symptoms: Does Spiritual Struggle Mediate the Link? Psychological Trauma : Theory, Research, Practice and Policy3(4), 442–452. http://doi.org/10.1037/a0021413

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"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]

"The terms offer and acceptance." freeessays.club, 17 May 2016

[Accessed: June 1, 2020]