Trauma and Development
Trauma is a distressful or disturbing experience that often elicits a strong emotional response. Traumatic experiences can be a number of things, such as divorce, abuse, or an accident to name a few. The effects of trauma can be more than an emotional response. If experienced in childhood, trauma can be particularly devastating as it can effect brain development, cognitive abilities, and psychological well-being. It is well documented that there is a relationship between an increased occurrence of mental health issues throughout the lifespan and childhood traumatic experiences (Watts-English et al., 2006). This paper examines ...view middle of the document...
Not only is there a high risk for PTSD but the stress alters the chemicals in the brain, thus impacting the current developmental state (Brooks, 2016). “Neuropsychological research has provided evidence that changes in catecholamine levels following a traumatic event can impede brain region development, which in turn can comprise later cognitive functioning and leave a person susceptible to mental illness” (Cook, Ciorciari, Varker, & Devilly, 2008). A brain that is in a constant state of hyperarousal or is overwhelmed and stressed will turn off certain parts, putting the brain in survival mode. With the brain in survival mode, children will operate primarily with the limbic system, exhibiting more emotional responses to life experiences. These responses can lead to ADHD, learning difficulties, behavior problems, etc. (Brooks, 2016).
Trauma can greatly affect not only the child, those that love them, but society as a whole. Research has shown that “neurobiological associations with adverse childhood experiences are mediated by interpersonal relationships and play a role in adult behavior” (Brewer-Smith & Koenig, 2014). It then begs the question how can a child overcome the traumatic experience if neurobiological factors are in play? In addition to psychological and sometimes pharmacological treatments, spiritual development can become an important factor in helping to create a relaxed mind.
We are created in God’s image by him and for him. It only makes sense that God would provide a way to relax our mind and calm our brain. Research has shown that meditation, prayer, and worship actually calms the nervous system and helps to create a resting state of mind (Brooks, 2016). Brewer-Smith & Koenig (2014) noted that neurobiological systems can be potentially impacted by psychological, social, and...