Dysfunctional Childhood

“Dysfunctional childhood” is a term used to describe growing up in the care of adults who were confused, abusive, and/or ineffective. Because it’s all we know, it can seem “normal,” or just the way that some families act. People brought up under such circumstances often attempt to utilize suboptimal patterns and coping strategies in engaging in the world and discover that their ways of behaving are not aligned with the rest of society. We can carry patterns of aggression, disrespect, lack of empathy, ineffective boundaries, and low self-esteem—or just misaligned expectations of relationships. While it can be challenging to see patterns learned in childhood as the source of our current problems and dissatisfactions, it can also be tremendously liberating: we discover that we are free to change.


How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime | Nadine Burke Harris

Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain.

Reconciliation: Healing the Inner Child

Based on Dharma talks by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and insights from participants in retreats for healing the inner child, this book is an exciting contribution to the growing trend of using Buddhist practices to encourage mental health and wellness.

Childhood, Disrupted

Adversity in childhood can create long-lasting scars, damaging our cells and our DNA, and making us sick as adults

All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.


How Childhood Trauma Can Make You a Sick Adult | Big Think | Big Think

The Adverse Childhood Study found that survivors of childhood trauma are up to 5,000 percent more likely to attempt suicide, have eating disorders, or become IV drug users. Dr. Vincent Felitti, the study's founder, details this remarkable and powerful connection.

Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families

Never before in the history of Twelve Step programs has a fellowship brought together such a diverse group of recovering people that includes adult children of alcoholics, codependents, and addicts of various sorts.

Dysfunctional Family Relationships

Many people hope that once they leave home, they will leave their family and childhood problems behind. However, many find that they experience similar problems, as well as similar feelings and relationship patterns, long after they have left the family environment.

Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery and emotional acceptance of the truth in the individual and unique history of our childhood.


Breaking the Silence about Childhood Trauma — Dani Bostick

Most discussions of PTSD focus on veterans to the extent that many people who suffer from PTSD are often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, especially among our children.

For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence

For Your Own Good, the contemporary classic exploring the serious if not gravely dangerous consequences parental cruelty can bring to bear on children everywhere, is one of the central works by Alice Miller, the celebrated Swiss psychoanalyst.


The information offered here is not a substitute for professional advice. Please proceed with care and caution.


Child’s Trauma