The consequences of abuse

When there is a preponderance of traumatic stimuli this can lead to lasting, irreversible brain damage in the child. In children continual stress causes chronic hyperexcitability because the system is constantly being flooded with adrenalin and the absorption of serotonin is inhibited. Traumatised children feel powerless and defenceless and find themselves in a constant state of excitation. A child like this cannot develop self-confidence or trust in his/her environment. The stress hormones adrenalin and cortisol are thrown off balance. The endocrine system eventually reaches its limit and exhausts itself. This leads to a vicious circle of increasingly more stress and exhaustion. Often exacerbating this are disturbances of much-needed restorative sleep, resulting in an obvious aggravation of negative development. It is unfortunately impossible to verbalise this sense of total exhaustion to a healthy person and many of your peers will be quick to lavish you with “good advice”. You should get involved in endurance sports and get out more!

Unfortunately even on approaching several therapists I had to resign myself to the fact that they are not really able to conceptualise of the real level of exhaustion.

The consequences of abuse:

post-traumatic stress disorder


social phobias

sleep disturbances

People who were abused or misused as children run a higher risk of suffering from chronic illnesses and tumours in adulthood. The reason is that the genetic makeup becomes seriously damaged through the abuse.

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" Dr Terrie Moffitt, a professor of psychology with Duke University is quoted as saying. "Some of the billions of dollars spent on diseases of aging like diabetes, heart disease and dementia might be better invested in protecting children from harm."