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Painful Memories? Are You Suffering from Past Childhood Abuse?

Aug 17, 2007
As a psychologist and counselor in Cary, Illinois, I find that there can be up to 22 warning signs that indicate you are suffering now from the trauma of past childhood abuse.

First, what are these signs?

1. Exposure to serious physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment as a child

2. Memories of parents who were physically or emotionally neglectful resulting from their chemical dependency, chronic absenteeism, over-reactive tempers etc.

3. Childhood characterized by chaos, frequent moves, abusive spousal partners, frequent substitute caretakers, too many step-siblings etc.

4. Memories of emotionally repressive parents

5. Memories of parents or parental figures who were rigid, perfectionistic, demeaning, hypercritical, fanatically religious, substance abusers and/or threatening

6. Childhood memories associated with irrational fears, suppressed rage, low self-esteem, depression, identity conflicts etc.

7. The use of maladaptive coping mechanisms such as, multiple personality states, psychogenic fugue, amnesia, trance states and/or depersonalization

8. Avoidance of discussion associated with the traumatic event

9. Inability to recall important aspects of the abuse

10. Feelings of detachment or dissociation

11. Inability to experience a full range of emotions normally

12. Saturation with an angry or pessimistic attitude

13. Sleep and/or dream disturbances

14. Chronic irritability

15. Concentration impairment

16. Inexplicable pervasive worry

17. Short temper

18. Feelings of depression or despair

19. Abuse of alcohol or drugs

20 Transient or fleeting suicidal thoughts

21. Chronic conflict in relationships

22. Difficulty in functioning normally because of free-floating anxiety

If you experience any of these symptoms, it would behoove you to seek therapy or counseling.

But what will your counseling accomplish? How will it benefit you?

1. It should reduce the dysfunctional impact that the abuse has on your life.

2. You will be able to implement effective coping skills to fulfill normal responsibilities with less discomfort and begin to participate constructively in relationships.

3. You will be able to remember instances of the abuse without being overwhelmed by anger and anxiety.

4. You will be able to reduce the escape and denial behaviors prevalent in your everyday life and begin to implement constructive behaviors that promote healing and normal living

5. You will be able to fall asleep faster and not be awakened by disturbing dreams of instances of the abuse.

6. You will be able to replace negative, pessimistic thinking with constructive, self-enhancing and more optimistic thinking processes.

7. You will be able to implement anger control techniques to subdue your irritation and anger.

8. You will be able to eliminate any of your abuse of mind-altering substances

9. You will be able to implement relaxation training as a coping mechanism for the tension, stress and anxiety relating to your childhood pain.

10. You will be able to significantly reduce the resentment and futility which saturates your thinking about the past.

11. You will start seeing the future as hopeful and positive rather than bleak and depressing

12. Upon repeated re-telling about your dysfunctional past you will be able to do so increasingly with gradually reduced anxiety

13. You will start feeling a reduction in any of your vindictive feelings associated with the past. You will be able to use relaxation and positive imagery to reduce any anxiety or sleep problems related to the trauma

14. You will be able to identify and reduce any catastrophic expectations or headaches caused by the trauma

15. You should be able to approach previously avoided situations with much less stress.

16. You should have a thorough understanding of the results of abuse and be able to progressively reduce the negative impact of any relapses.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert marriage counselor and psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt or learn more about counseling at: http://www.nextdayappointment.com
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