Understanding the relationship between negative mood regulation, post traumatic stress disorder, childhood trauma and adult trauma was the topic of a recent medical article. A recent study at the Center for Healthcare Evaluation in California took on the task to correlate the different traumas and conditions so that clinicians can better treat their patients.
The most common side effect to any trauma is extreme stress. If significant enough, the individual can be diagnosed with PTSD. Other factors that create a higher risk for PTSD and other mental health issues are childhood sexual abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse.
In addition to stress factors, there are mood regulators that can have a negative impact due to a traumatic experience. Children who are exposed to traumatic events often deal with negative mood regulation, NMR.
Law enforcement officers are some of the highest risk professionals, according to the study. Because they are witnesses to traumatic situations on a regular basis, they are put at greater risk for PTSD and NMR. Madhur Kulkarni, one of the study’s researchers, used this information when sampling more than 140 retired police officers. The results showed that officers who experienced the highest levels of PTSD and NMR also had a history of abuse as children.
Yet, results did not find that NMR likened PTSD in abuse survivors, rather that NMR was influenced by PTSD in those same officers. This led Kulkarni to assume that children who suffered abuse as a child grow into adults that have difficulty regulating their moods. This is where the PTSD factors into the NMR and not from abuse alone.
The study also showed that officers who experienced some form of childhood abuse were less likely to have trauma from being exposed to trauma as an adult.
On the other hand, NPR was found to only be related to childhood trauma and not adult victimization. This results in the conclusion that children exposed to trauma at a younger age are somehow desensitized and or can manage their emotional reactions into adulthood.