By: Persephone Mccollough
It could be agreed upon that most people would assume physical child abuse leads to brain damage if hit on the head, but according to a study led by Eamon McCrory at University College London, “children exposed to family violence show the same pattern of activity in their brains as soldiers exposed to combat.” Children are affected from the overall experience, not just the physical aspect. When soldiers return home from an exposure of violence and gore, their brains have adapted to that. Little things often trigger these memories from the events that traumatized them. This is also evident in abused children.
In this study, when the abused children were showed photos of angry faces, their brain scans showed their brains detecting threats. The children have adapted to being on guard all the time. These types of emotions are said to lead to depression and other closely-related mental illnesses. Maltreated children are thought to be at risk two times more than an average child. All of this is because of the threatening feeling children get when parts of the brain called the anterior insula and the amygdala respond.
Imagine how it feels to always anticipate pain and always live in fear. Whenever an abused child adapts to this lifestyle, it is hard for them to mold into society. As a kid going through abuse, it is fair to imagine that they probably have problems getting along with other children. As an adult with an abusive background, it is equally fair to imagine that they would have more problems opening up to others. It is a very sensitive problem that can be fixed sometimes through therapy. Others cannot be fixed at all. Sometimes the damage is irreparable.
Too many people are getting away with the maltreatment of children and there needs to be an end to this. Too many parents are seen on the news for abusing children. Children can die from this and so can adults. Children can be beaten to death and starved and often, adults just cannot take constant reminders of their past and do the inevitable.