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How childhood trauma can make you more prone to engaging in risky behaviour as an adult?

In my post on re-wiring your brain I also discussed how childhood trauma sends signals to the body that it is in danger, and as a result an adrenaline rush occurs. When the body senses that it is in danger this happens because it is getting ready to go into fight or flight mode. When the adrenaline comes, it gives the body an abnormal amount of energy and this will allow you to either fight harder than you normally would be able to or run like you have never ran before. This is a survival instinct that all humans have. 

If a child is in an environment where they experience consistent trauma then this means that they get used to the “fight or flight” feeling being in their body. As I stated in my “pessimism” post, trauma comes in many different forms. Physical abuse is one form. Another is psychological which is where gas lighting may occur, resulting in the victim doubting their own reality because the perpetrator has intentionally made them feel crazy. Emotional abuse could involve a perpetrator purposely playing with a victim’s emotions to maintain control. Financial abuse is where a victim loses all control over their finances and as a result could be forced to isolate from support systems or on the verge of homelessness should they not do what their perpetrator says. Lastly witnessing any of the above forms of abuse results in trauma for a child and this can severely disrupt their attachment patterns. This is also a whole new topic because it has a range of other long lasting impacts for adulthood. The declaration of human rights states very clearly that it is a human right for children to be free from neglect, abuse and other forms of harm. This means that it is a violation of a child’s rights to witness or experience domestic and family violence. It is also their right to have their basic needs met around shelter, food, water and care. 

Children who have become accustomed to an adrenaline rush are more inclined to grow up and enjoy engaging in risky behaviour because it triggers a rush of energy. This adrenaline rush will feel very familiar for them because in childhood this was a common experience so that is why they are more likely to keep on engaging in risky behaviour, to feel a sense of normality. This may could look anything like taking part in extreme sports to getting a thrill out of committing crimes. In teenage years individuals like this may often be described as fearless, spontaneous, brave or a daredevil. This could be bad for some individuals however it can also be really good because it could be the reason some people strive towards accomplishing their goals fearlessly and at full force. It all comes down to where you choose to direct your energy and what kind of outlet you are choosing. 

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