It has been found that early childhood victomization, particularly (but not limited to) sexual abuse, leads to some of the most intense feelings of shame, and are also powerful catalysts to not only PTSD, as one could only expect, but to issues of anxiety and depression in almost every case.
As a sufferer of shame based issues from the age of 3, and now being nearly 50 years of age, I can say with some authority that shame-based issues due to traumatic events in early childhood are the most mis-diagnosed, or more to the point, UNDER diagnosed (mental) health conditions, often being completely missed when dysfunctional upbringing is the catalyst.
Abuse suffered by children at a very early age at the hands of one or both parents is often covered up by the abusive parent in order to avoid the obvious consequence of that abuse, and it is very easy for an abusive parent to "blame the victim" and begin, "trying to resolve the child's un-acceptable behaviors" by using school councilors and mental health professionals to create a paper-trail that actually acts to discredit the victim from a very early age.
People wonder how I got to be so smart, and I wonder how I have survived so long.
Anxiety? You bet. Depression? Yup, that too is in all honesty, the tip of the ice-berg. Underneath that has been a pattern of self-lothing that has been encouraged by the fact that, if I am self-loathesome, the abusers in my life encourage it and reward it by being nicer to me.
When I have attempted to set healthy boundaries, the slander, gossip and constant digs, prods, pokes and public humiliation begin again, and I am punished, so better to be the entire problem than to suffer yet another very hostile attack.
As one who has suffered a lifetime of this abuse and also carried the blame, my disability status was not proven for decades. It has led to not only cervical spine, shoulder and carpal tunnel injuries, effects of malnutrition, periods of alcohol abuse, and PTSD, but also stress related diverticulitus, as well as a host of other stress related medical conditions.
So, with all that in mind, is it any small wonder that I find it incredibly frustrating that the insurance I am afforded as a disabled American will NOT in any way provide for the type of therapy that is actually required? The best I have ever been offered is perscription drug therapy to (attempt to) mitigate the effects of the anxiety and depression, at which point the drugs are given all of the credit for MY HARD WORK, which is completely counter-intuative for a person who has been blamed and shamed as "being the un-healthy one."
I have plenty of APA papers written by some of the most respected people in Psychology, and there are lots of Psycholgy Today articles too. It's a real hot button topic these days, but in the meanwhile, myself and tens of thousands, probably more, are slipping right through the cracks because the therapy is considered specialized, and is very expensive.
The coping mechinisims I have had to develop are:
A. Very common
B. Very normal psychological reactions and normal cognitive responses to the abuses I have and still do suffer at the will of an abusive, and politically rather well regarded narcissistic parent.
To add insult to injury, the very normal and predictable responses on my part are almost always attributed to women, because while still humiliating and scary for women to come forward and talk about being victimized sexually, because of social standards, it is often far more humiliating for a boy or man to admit to having suffered similar abuse. Being further emasculated is really not a whole lot of help.
This post is not meant to get anyone down, and I don't suspect it will, because, those who have lived and shivered in the same dark shadow of isolation and fear are generally likely to feel a great deal of relief in knowing there are others that absolutely CAN validate their very real experience, and that NO, we are not the cause of the problem. We are NOT "maladjusted to life" either. Any person with normal psychological and cognitive responses will resort to the same tactics to self-preserve.
There is a poetic phrase common among our Russian comrades. For centuries it has been said very often, "Hope dies last." If you can relate to what I am writing about, and your are reading this, that is evidence not only that you are alive, so is hope.
It's a long post, I know. Here is a link to just one article that is also long. lol There are MANY articles very similar, and a ton of good info in them, so, though there may be no way for me to receive proper care for my shame-based issues through professional people on a one to one, there's nothing preventing me from reading and sharing about this with my peers. (Thank you Health Unlocked an The ADAA!)