Why couldn't she manage her emotions, except by cutting herself? She asked, and I couldn't point to the sexual and emotional abuse she had been subjected to because of deep-seated organisational fears that the mere mention of childhood trauma would open a Pandora's box of further distress. Despite the very large advances that have been made in combating the stigma surrounding mental illness, the stigma of childhood trauma still looms silently in the background.
Why was she so filled with self-hatred and pain that the only solution she could see was suicide? In the 1950's, Bowlby and Ainsworth began the attachment research that would eventually demonstrate the key role our early infant relationships play in shaping all our future ones.
In preparing this blog, I asked a friend and colleague, Matt Britts, who works with traumatized youth for her input. Traumatic exposure and posttraumatic stress disorder in borderline, schizotypal, avoidant, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorders: Findings from the collaborative longitudinal personality disorders study.
He sent me the response below, a response that yet again left me dismayed with the ways in which so many services end up failing people with mental illness and trauma histories.
Since then the body of literature on the subject has grown exponentially.
Data from the ACE study has also provided evidence for a dose-dependent relationship between exposure to childhood abuse and poor adulthood mental health outcomes (Edwards, Holden, Felitti & Anda, 2003).