Colloquim: Overcoming the legacy of childhood trauma
Helen Stain is currently Senior Clinical Lecturer at Durham University where the focus of her post is on the research of psychological interventions for youth mental health and includes a clinical role with the NHS Foundation Trust. Prior to this appointment in 2012, Helen was in private practice in Perth, Western Australia, and accepted an academic research appointment with the University of Newcastle based in Orange in rural New South Wales in 2004. As Associate Professor in Psychiatry, Helen was responsible for the rural mental health research program for the Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health, a joint initiative of the University of Newcastle and the NSW Ministry of Health.
We currently know that childhood trauma and subclinical psychotic symptoms are pluripotent risk factors for developing major and severe mental illness. For example, the odds ratios following trauma are 4.4 for PTSD, 2.8 for drug abuse, 2.7 for depression, 2.4 for panic disorder, 1.9 for alcohol abuse, 1.9 for simple or social phobia, and 1.8 for generalised anxiety disorder (Teicher & Samson, 2013) with researchers reporting the average odds ratio for a psychotic disorder of 2.9 in a population cohort (Bebbington et al, 2004) and 2.8 in a meta-analysis of approximately 80,000 subjects (Varese et al, 2012). The development of psychopathology for those who have experienced childhood trauma occurs at a younger age, with more severe symptoms, more comorbid disorders, greater suicide risk and a reduced treatment response (Teicher & Samson, 2013).
Trauma or maltreatment occurring in childhood coincides with the period for a child’s development of relational understanding such as attachment to others, and the reflective awareness of self and others (Holmes, 2002). In addition, childhood trauma itself often involves attachment disruption and interpersonal violence in the context of primary relationships. It can therefore disrupt the acquisition of interpersonal relatedness skills, including the desire for affiliation, and lead to difficulty with social functioning in adulthood. This paper will discuss the impact of childhood trauma on mental health and social wellbeing.
Dr Helen J Stain
The University of Western Australia, Bayliss Lecture Theatre, Chemistry, G33
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:00
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 13:45
Admin Psy <[email protected]>
Tue, 10 Feb 2015 15:37
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