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Abstract

Role of Early Childhood Traumatic Stress in the Development of PTSD in Adulthood: A Review

Mansoor Ahmad Dar, Rayees Ahmad Wani, Mushtaq Ahmad Margoob, Inaamul Haq, Rajesh Kumar Chandel, Arshad Hussain, Khurshid Ahmad Bhat, Irfan Ahmad Shah, Yasir Hassan Rather, Majid Shafi Shah, Altaf Ahmad Malla and Bilal Ahmad Bhat

Traumatic stress has been known through ages and children make a significant group to face it. Vast research has been done in traumatic stress to show the cause effect relationship. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been recognized subsequent to trauma and has been invariably linked to it. Besides PTSD, there have been a multitude of psychopathologies attributed to childhood traumas. Short-term effects of childhood traumas are studied in depth but the long-term effects are subject to a variety of risk and protective factors. Childhood maltreatment and other cumulative traumas are shown to cause a spectrum of anxiety disorders and mood disorders besides others; in contrast to single traumas of childhood mainly presenting as PTSD as a pathology. Re-trauma in adulthood of these early traumatized children seems to be a risk factor for PTSD and other pathologies. Significant neurobiological changes (structural and genetic) have been shown to occur in adults with childhood traumatic experiences. Resilience has been significant and has been seen more developed in children with effective parenting, stable families, adequate social support, spirituality and humour. Positive self-esteem, ego flexibility, and ego over-control are protective. These protective practices need to be identified and promoted in children with special emphasis in those having experienced traumatic stress.