Authors

Ashley Aiosa

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Mental illness can guide the path an adult chooses to take in their life. This paper will explore that having adverse childhood experiences can heighten the risk of PTSD and suicide risk in adulthood. Adults can develop disorders, and personality changes, because of events that happened in their childhood. The current research compiled examines “How Childhood Traumatic Experiences Shape Elements of Adult Personality and Mental Health”. This statement raises many important ideas, as there is a stigma that surrounds mental illness. Due to these stigmas, many people who suffer from mental illness are neglected or refuse to seek help. This has created a world that does not understand mental health, nor how much it can affect a person, adult or child. Many adults, as a result of their childhood trauma, experience changes in their adult personality and their mental health. This can happen through: loss of home, divorce, separation from their family during emergency situations, lack of presence of an adult in childhood, and families in poverty. To further explore this research, interviews were conducted with eight different people who experienced different variations of childhood traumas. The second set of interviews were conducted with a psychologist and a kindergarten teacher who didn’t experience childhood traumas themselves, but see it in other individuals on an everyday basis. Childhood trauma is evaluated further, with the review of the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower which explores the trauma of the main character, Charlie, and how his teenage years are affected due to his childhood experiences. We base much of what we know about PTSD from the experiences of military veterans. This current research has looked at other possible triggers for the development of PTSD stemming from childhood trauma. Thus future research is needed to evaluate if there is a difference in the development of PTSD. The research would take into consideration those who have experienced childhood trauma before entering the military and/or veterans who have experienced childhood traumatic experiences and the correlation with suicide risk and adult mental illness.

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Psychology Commons

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