Does Childhood Trauma Result in Depression Research Paper

Pages: 5 (1637 words)  ·  Style: APA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  Level: High School  ·  Topic: Psychology

¶ … childhood trauma result in depression in later years?

Childhood suffering, for example physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence, parental loss or neglect, can have ongoing consequences that can go all the way into adulthood. However, there are some experts that believe the opposite and that emotional trauma does not result in depression. These specialist argue that childhood trauma it only a temporary situation and that it can just go away. They argue that emotional trauma is not the result of unusual worrying events that break a person's sense of security, making them feel abandoned and weak in a dangerous world. However, researchers are discovering the effects of emotional trauma on the stress-response systems that influence depression later on in life. Other argue that it has no influence on stress response systems at all and that it would have to be overwhelming circumstances for it to get that far. With that said, this is a counter argument paper that does support the fact that early childhood trauma does result in depression in later years.

Some experts such as Friedman (2103) argue that on the whole, humans have been able to handle positively with disastrous stressors for example wars, earthquakes, rape, genocide, and torture. He believes that people are able to bounce back without it causing any kind of depression later on in life. He goes on to support his argument by mentioning that the evolutionary development has played a vital part in this respect by picking, conserving, and fine-tuning a number of psychobiological adaptive instruments that have encouraged survival of the human class. In other words human beings are resilient and that they can handle certain events in childhood. However, that does not make much sense.

The reason that argument is flawed is because research shows that traumatic experiences most of the times has something to do with safety or a threat to life, but any condition that leaves a person feeling by themselves or overwhelmed can be traumatic, even if it has nothing to do with physical harm. It is not the tangible truths that define whether an event is emotionally traumatic, but a person's personal emotional experience of what they went through. The more frightened and helpless a person might feel, the more probable a person is to be distressed later on in life. However, some professionals think that humans are well-prepared psychobiological even in childhood to respond to the numerous different types of stressors that are encountered in the sequence of a lifetime without resulting in depression in later years.

However, that argument does not hold any weight either because in the biggest study yet to utilize brain scans to display the effects of child abuse, researchers have discovered detailed changes in main areas that center around the hippocampus which is a part of the brains of young adults who were abused or mistreated in childhood. The results do shows that these changes could possibly leave sufferers more weak to depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and addiction the study proposes (Brewin CR, 2008).

The research for this study clearly showed that child maltreatment frequently leads to conditions such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, so the researchers precisely involved individuals with those diagnoses. On the other hand, the study excluded sternly addicted individuals and persons on psychiatric medicines, for the reason that brain changes connected to the drugs could cause the findings to be flaw.

Largely, around 30% of contributors had underwent major depression at some time in their lives and 8% had been identified with post-traumatic stress disorder (Constance J. Dalenberg, 2010). Nevertheless among the 18% of contestants who had underwent three or more kinds of child abuse or trauma -- for instance, verbal abuse neglect and physical abuse, -- the condition was much damaging. Most of them -- 63% -- had suffered depression and 50% had had full or incomplete post-traumatic stress disorder (Terr, 2013).

The result of that emotional trauma were able to be seen in their brain scans, whether or not the young adults had created diagnosable syndromes. In spite of their mental health rank, previously mistreated youth showed decreases in capacity of around 7% on regular in two parts of the hippocampus, and 5% declines in zones called the presubiculum, and subiculum compared with individuals who had not been ill-treated (McFarlane, 2013).

However, some experts argue that all adverse events in childhood are not emotionally traumatic. They believe that very painful stressors for instance rejection, divorce, failure, grave illness, economic reverses and the like do not cause depression later on in life. They argue that really bad psychological responses to such changes of life are described as Adjustment Disorders instead of post-traumatic stress disorders that can occur later on in life. This dichotomization among shocking and other stressors is founded on the supposition that even though most persons have the aptitude to manage with normal pressure in childhood, their adaptive capacities could possibly be overcome by a traumatic stressor.

Part of their argument is that clinical experience with the post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis has exposed that most individuals who are unprotected to a catastrophic event in childhood do not develop post-traumatic stress disorder or depression later on in life. Undeniably, there are huge individual dissimilarities concerning the volume to manage with an emotional traumatic event, and dissimilar individuals may have altered psychological reactions to the same disastrous occasion. Such thoughts have encouraged an acknowledgement that emotional trauma, like emotional pain, is not an external occurrence that can be totally represented. Similar to pain, the traumatic experience is sifted through a cognitive and emotional procedure called assessment (Constance J. Dalenberg, 2010). As a result, the same event might be assessed by some as a harsh threat, while others will reflect it a challenge with which they can handle.

Even though there may be some truth to that argument, it is clear that emotional trauma works on people differently because not everybody is the same. It cannot be assumed that individuals who are unprotected to a catastrophic event in childhood do not develop post-traumatic stress disorder or depression later on in life because research clearly shows that emotional stress is looked at as being a risk factor for depression in general. Research to support this argument reveals that inside the body's stress-response system, the stress hormone cortisol is a chemical that does act on the hormone corticotropin freeing factor (CRF). However, when CRF is introduced into the brains of animals for research, these animals starting showing behaviors that carefully parallel indications of depression (Brewin CR, 2008). In clinical studies, depressed patients that had childhood emotional trauma show intensified levels of corticotropin freeing factor. They also display lesser than usual stages of oxytocin, recognized as the "feel-good" hormone that endorses trust and bonding. The hippocampus is recognized as the area of the brain embroiled in emotion and memory. A little hippocampus is a well-established sign of chronic stress. In recent studies, small hippocampus capacity was witnessed in depressed women who had experienced childhood emotional trauma, however not in depressed patients without a past of childhood distress.

Also to support the argument that childhood trauma result in depression in later years, is because other findings show that childhood suffering triggers an interruption in specific neural networks which are connected to a larger chance of developing substance abuse difficulties, or depression later on in life. Researchers studied 35 adolescences, 20 of whom had gone through some kind of emotional childhood trauma but were not identified with a current psychiatric illness. In the study, childhood emotional trauma was described as any kind of important abuse or abandonment enduring six months or longer, or a key emotional traumatic experience like a life-intimidating disease, observing domestic hostility or having a parent die before the age of 10. Also, it… [END OF PREVIEW]

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