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Early childhood abuse can have effects into adulthood

Of Mice and Men

Last week I came across an interesting study involving mice. The researchers took newborn mice and with half of them put them in cold water and let them swim for their life for 30 minutes. This went of for 2 weeks. The other half of the newborn mice lived a normal life. Once the mice became adults they trained both sets to make their way through a maze where there was a reward of cheese at the end. Once these mice were trained they then placed a blinking yellow light (to mimic a cat’s eye) at the very end of the maze before the cheese. The “normal” mice when they came upon the flashing yellow light froze for a second then realizing that it was not a cat proceeded to the cheese. The “cold water” mice froze when they came to the flashing light and did not proceed to the cheese.

The human being is not any different than mice in this respect. Over the 20 years that I have been treating adults with history of abusive childhoods I have found that the younger the age of abuse the more difficult it is to change that person’s perception of reality. Studies have shown that if the abuse occurred before the age of 7 it had the effect of “re-wiring” the brain differently than children who were abused after the age of 7. In other words, trauma at a young age results in more irreparable changes of the psychic. Because of the fear and insecurity they felt as a child, these adults have a strong tendency to perceive reality differently and thus will catastrophize and live in a world of fear.

Homeopathy often will help these adults to be able to live a more normal and healthier life but there will always be some scaring.

Terry Pfau DO, HMD

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