In the attempt to break the stigma around mental health, you may be taking the opportunity to examine your own mental health and past. Taking a childhood trauma test can help you better understand yourself. This test should be used for reflection and contemplation on experiences, not as a diagnostic tool. Having a low or high score shouldn’t affect your decision to seek help if you need it. A therapist can help you learn how to heal from your childhood trauma. They can also help you learn the best techniques to cope and live your life to your fullest potential.
What are traumatic experiences in childhood?
A traumatic event is a frightening, dangerous, or violent event that elicits strong physical and/or emotional reactions. These reactions can be but are not limited to terror, helplessness or physiological responses. A traumatic event occurring in childhood, before age 16, is also known as an adverse childhood experience or ACE. An ACE is experienced by at least 65% of children. More than 40% of children experience more than one ACE by the age of 16.
10 examples of childhood trauma
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Physical neglect
- Emotional neglect
- Domestic violence
- Separation and or divorce of parents/guardians
- Incarcerated household member
- Substance use by household member
- Surviving and recovering from severe accidents or illness
This is not a complete list and should only be used as a general guideline of trauma examples.
Potential impacts of childhood trauma
Childhood is the foundation upon which our lives are built. Traumatic events can cause toxic stress, which can lead to changes in brain development. Childhood trauma can also lead to long-term health conditions, an increased need to take chances or engage in risky behavior, and/or socioeconomic impacts. Childhood trauma also increases the risk of being involved in situations with child welfare services, justice systems and mental/physical health services.
Warning signs of trauma responses
- Increased risk of developing depression/anxiety
- Difficulty self-regulating
- Difficulty forming and or keeping attachments
- Difficulties at work
- Risky behaviors — alcohol/drug use, cutting, inappropriate sexual activities
- Behavioral regressions
10 childhood trauma questions
If you are still uncertain if you have experienced childhood trauma, read and answer the following questions referencing yourself prior to the age of 16.
- Did you witness an adult in your household experience physical or emotional abuse or threats of violence with a weapon by another adult?
- Did you live with someone in your household who was addicted to alcohol or illegal drugs?
- Did you have a household member face incarceration?
- Did you ever experience homelessness or food scarcity?
- Did an adult household member frequently shove, hit, or throw items at you, leaving you with bruises or other injuries?
- Did an adult or other person at least 5 years older than you touch your body inappropriately sexually or force you to have a sexual encounter?
- Did you lose a caregiver or other immediate household member?
- Did you experience war or were you a refugee from conflict?
- Did you have a household member serve a deployment with the military?
- Did you experience a national disaster such as a hurricane or tornado, causing your family to lose your home?
Interpreting your childhood trauma score
It is important to remember this test is strictly informational and not diagnostic. Each yes you answered is considered a traumatic event that could have had an impact on your childhood development and current mental health. Seeking mental health treatment can help. This type of care can help you understand that your feelings are valid. It can help you learn to work through the traumatic experiences you have been through, help you reach your full potential, and help you understand that you’re more than your trauma or diagnosis.
Lightfully wants to help you begin to heal from your childhood trauma
Our mission at Lightfully with people is to show compassion and help change their lives. We work hard to provide our clients with top-notch care. We are proud to offer a variety of services to best serve the needs of our clients. Our therapists can offer their extensive experience of helping clients navigate healing from their childhood trauma.
Mental health treatment is a tool to help you make sure you have what you need to work through your struggles with your mental health and achieve a better future. Our licensed, clinical expert therapists see more than a diagnosis, they see the whole complex human.
Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step to heal from your childhood trauma, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together toward the fullest and brightest version of you.
Contact our team today to find out all the ways we can help you live brighter.