Detecting depression caused by untreated childhood trauma may be challenging, as untreated childhood trauma memories can be blocked for many years, even decades. This sort of trauma may well be the secret behind depression and PTSD for many people, and it comes in many forms. It may also be the secret to mind-body healing. It may be a one-time traumatic event that occurred in the past in childhood, or an anjinging series of traumatic events that cause depression and / or PTSD even into adulthood. Untreated childhood trauma may also stem from growing up in a neglectful, abusive home, or from various forms of physical, sexual, mental or emotional abuse endured in one's youth.
When depression lasts for 3 weeks or longer, it is considered clinical depression, generally requiring professional intervention for healing. The untoward effects of underlying, untreated childhood trauma may be difficult to diagnose and treat, as even the person living with it may not be aware of the fact it is in their past, or the toll it is taking on them. Many people do not understand that in both infirmity and healing, the mind affects the body, and the reverse is true, the body affects the mind, as well. Depression may be pervasive and persistent, as long-buried memories can be elusive-even blocked-making it difficult to get a pulse on the primary cause.
Statistics for mental illness speak volumes about this great challenge. According to the National Association for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) website regarding the nature of mental illness, 1 in 5 Americans, or 43.8 million people, will experience mental illness each year. It has been estimated that 21.4% will experience mental illness in their lifetime. A startling 18.1% will have post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or another anxiety disorder. Of the 20.2 million Americans experiencing substance abuse, 50% have a co-occurring mental illness, and 80% of young adults who suffer abuse and / or neglect in childhood are diagnosed with at least 1 psychiatric disorder by the age of 21.
Oftentimes, with or without psychotherapy, people can pinpoint what is bothering them when they have depression, and can get the help they need. Individuals can use personal techniques to ease the depression or seek out effective treatment, a plan that can be put into place, and implemented that will provide relief from the uncomfortable feelings of sadness. Yet, other times, as is the case with untreated childhood trauma, an individual may be fully unaware of the cause of their persistent depression even after seeking out professional help. In those cases, it takes a keen eye to assess the reason for the depression, and untreated childhood trauma, may be the missing link.
The good news is that for most people who receive effective treatment, including psychotherapy and / or medication, depression is a very treatable mental illness. With timely, effective treatment, most people can go on to return to enjoying relationships with friends and family, doing the things they previously did, and living in peace and contentment. Exercise, taking walks, prayer, practicing positive thinking, eating healthy, spending time with friends, staying busy, having hobbies, and staying connected with friends are all common, effective personal strategies for good physical and mental health.
The secret to mind-body healing may well rest in one's ability to recognize the signs of untreated childhood trauma, acknowledge past hurts and take steps to heal. Early intervention is always recommended, as it can enable one to be able to cope and move on with their life as they embrace their own level of maximum health and wellness.