What Can Happen to Abused Children When They Grow Up –
If No One Notices, Listens or Helps?
For purposes of this document, abuse and trauma are defined as: interpersonal violence in the form of sexual abuse, physical abuse, severe neglect, loss, and /or the witnessing of violence.
Prepared by The Office of Trauma Services,Maine Department of Behavioral and Developmental Service’s State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333 Phone: 207 287-4250, TTY 207 287-2000, fax 207 287-757 January, 2001
If no one notices, listens or helps, childhood abuse can lead in adult years to:
SERIOUS MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS
The mental health system is filled with survivors of prolonged, repeated childhood trauma:
·50 to 70% of all women and a substantial number of men treated in psychiatric settings have histories of sexual or physical abuse, or both. (Carmen et al, 1984; Bryer et al., 1987; Craine et al., 1988)
·As high as 81% of men and women in psychiatric hospitals with a variety of major mental illness diagnoses have experienced physical and/or sexual abuse. 67% of these men and women were abused as children (Jacobson & Richardson, 1987)
·74% of Maine’s Augusta Mental Health Institute patients, interviewed as class members, report histories of sexual and physical abuse. (Maine BDS, 1998)
·The majority of adults diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (81%) or Dissociative Identity Disorder (90%) were sexually and/or physically abused as children. (Herman et al, 1989; Ross et al, 1990)
·Women molested as children are four times more at risk for Major Depression as those with no such history. They are significantly more likely to develop bulimia and chronic PTSD. (Stein et al, 1988; Root & Fallon, 1988; Sloane, 1986; Craine, 1990)
·Childhood abuse can result in adult experience of shame, flashbacks, nightmares, severe anxiety, depression, alcohol and drug use, feelings of humiliation and unworthiness, ugliness and profound terror. (Harris, 1997; Rieker&Carmen, 1986; Herman, 1992; Janoff-Bulman & Frieze, 1983; van der Kolk, 1987; Brown & Finkelhor, 1986; Rimsza, 1988)
·Adults abused during childhood are:- more than twice as likely to have at least one lifetime psychiatric diagnosis- almost three times as likely to have an affective disorder- almost three times as likely to have an anxiety disorder- almost 2 ½ times as likely to have phobias- over ten times as likely to have a panic disorder- almost four times as likely to have an antisocial personality disorder (Stein et al, 1988)
·97% of mentally ill homeless women have experienced severe physical and/or sexual abuse. 87% experienced this abuse both as children and as adults.(Goodman, Johnson, Dutton & Harris. (1997) Continue reading “Our Nations Shame”