Dr. Aline Zoldbrod - Sexual Health
Dr. Aline Zoldbrod is a well-known Boston-based licensed psychologist, individual and couples therapist, and an AASECT certified sex therapist. She is the author of three commercially published books about sexuality and relationships. Her book, SexSmart: How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What to Do About It has been translated into four languages and was recognized as one of the top three sex-help books of the year. She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Michigan Sexual Health Certificate Program. You can find her at sexsmart.com.
Tags: traumagenic | childhood | abuse | zoldbrod

Childhood Abuse Affects Your Whole Life

Dr. Aline Zoldbrod By Thursday, 02 November 2023 04:22 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Family of origin trauma is all around us. Most people who grew up in traumagenic families think of the behavior visited upon them by their parents as normal. (The term traumagenic is defined asrelating to the dynamics by which a traumatic event may have long-term negative consequences.")

I have heard this refrain in so many versions that I’ve lost track of them all. But here is an example from one of my female patients, call her Gina, a loving mother of two young girls and a very kind and gentle soul.

Gina presented with marital problems, depression, and a general distrust of other people. Once when she was a child, she was out riding her bike and took a terrible fall. She came home crying, covered with blood, with her leg horribly injured. Her mother’s response was to slap her across the face. Gina was yelled at for being careless.

When I responded to her story by looking very sad and saying how sorry I was that this had happened to her, her answer was: “That kind of thing was normal in my neighborhood.”

If left unprocessed and untreated, experiences like Gina’s can leave a powerful mark on one's personality and experience in life. In fact, the damage can occur on the cellular level.

In an article that appeared in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, researchers found that the neuropeptide oxytocin — which is critical for social affiliation and support, attachment, trust, and management of stress and anxiety — was significantly decreased in the cerebrospinal fluid of adult women who had been exposed to childhood maltreatment, especially those who had experienced emotional abuse.

If you want to explore this topic more, you might want to listen to a wonderful podcast about comedian Darrell Hammond’s experience with having had childhood trauma that was misdiagnosed for most of his life, as well as his recovery. The podcast is called “The Long Arm of Childhood Trauma.”

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Family of origin trauma is all around us. Most people who grew up in traumagenic families think of the behavior visited upon them by their parents as normal.
traumagenic, childhood, abuse, zoldbrod
Thursday, 02 November 2023 04:22 PM
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