Before I list the three ways Trauma Hijacks Intimacy, I will share three statistics with you to show just how prevalent this issue is.
1. PTSD does not just happen to soldiers coming back from war. Far more people develop PTSD by growing up in dysfunctional families. Here’s a crazy statistic: For every military service person serving in active duty there are ten children being traumatized in their own homes. This makes many U.S. families more devastating than war zones!
2. One of the most thorough research studies about the prevalence of childhood abuse was the ACE study done the early 1990’s by the Centers for Disease Control in collaboration with Kaiser Permanente insurance company. This massive study followed 17,421 people who were insured with Kaiser. The study participants were mainly middle-class white people who could afford good medical insurance. Only about a third of them reported childhoods free from abuse. That means that two-thirds of this group of people were either beaten, sexually molested, neglected or witnessed severe violence in their homes. Of the two-thirds of people who reported some form of abuse, 87% of them reported at least two different forms of abuse in their homes.
3. The same study also followed what happened to these abused children in adulthood. The researchers found that people who had experienced childhood abuse tended to have more depression, suicide attempts, lost time at work and financial problems than kids who grew up in healthier families. Other studies have linked child abuse to higher adult incidences of chronic disease including fibromyalgia, arthritis, auto-immune diseases and cancer.