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The long-term effects of physical and emotional abuse suffered in childhood can last a lifetime. Children in Memphis, TN who are physically and emotionally neglected during childhood are considered to be suffering from adverse childhood traumas or events. One quarter of adults, a full 25% in Memphis and Shelby County reported in a study that they had suffered emotional neglect during childhood. They said they felt no one in their family actually loved them, considered them to be important or even special. They reported that they came from a family that didn’t look out for one another, weren’t close to each other, or didn’t support one another. Nearly one in five adults in Memphis and Shelby County (19%) said they suffered physical neglect in childhood. Unfortunately in Memphis and Shelby County the incidence of physical and emotional abuse is quite high.

Along with physical and emotional abuse experienced in childhood, this study assessed other adversities experienced as a child, such as ones having to do with a caregiver, or related to things that occurred in their childhood home, like suffering corporal punishment such as spanking, and being raised in a situation where they saw a parent or some other adult in the household who was raising them be verbally abused by someone. Physical and emotional abuse can exist in a variety of behaviors.

According to this study of adults living in Memphis and Shelby County, 65% reported being spanked in childhood and 37% saw their parent or another adult who was raising them suffer verbal abuse from someone yelling or screaming at them, being sworn at, humiliated or insulted. A full 12% said they were raised in a home with an adult who acted in such a way that they felt threatened by them, meaning they lived in fear that they would be hurt physically. 2% of the adults were raised in the foster care system.

Being insecure about getting enough to eat was how physical neglect was measured in this study. These adults came from a family that at times cut down the portions of meals or skipped them altogether because they simply didn’t have enough money to buy food.   There are other types of physical and emotional abuse that may bring out toxic levels of stress. These adverse experiences included witnessing or experiencing violent acts in their local neighborhoods and suffering from racial discrimination in Memphis and Shelby County.

Of adults living in Memphis and Shelby County, the study found that 37% said they had witnessed someone being stabbed or shot and a full 60% said they witnessed someone get beat up. A full 21% of adults in the study said that they had never felt safe growing up in their neighborhood, or only some of the time did they felt safe. They also said that they never felt or just some of the time felt that while growing up that their neighbors would stood up for each other, look out for one another, and could be trusted.

The study revealed that 13% of adults experienced discrimination in Memphis and Shelby County while growing up. They said they experienced this feeling often or very often and it was because of their race or ethnicity. 41% of adults in the study said they suffered at the hands of bullies as a child. Experiences like these, of physical and emotional abuse in childhood, damages a person’s sense of safety and security as well as self-esteem and level of confidence.

Unfortunately physical and emotional abuse are common occurrences in Memphis and Shelby County. It is estimated that 361,200 adults in this county have suffered at least one occurrence of emotional or physical abuse. These most commonly were related to substance abuse (25%), emotional neglect (25%) and emotional abuse (23%). Family violence and dysfunction in a community or neighborhood are other forms of physical and emotional abuse that happen all too frequently and result in mental distress as adults.

Other studies have shown that adult survivors of childhood adversity have a higher chance of developing anxiety, mood, and personality disorders and the effects on survivors of childhood adversity are cumulative. That is, the greater the exposure to childhood trauma, the greater the likelihood of psychological distress as an adult.  Seeking treatment is associated with a lower likelihood of having anxiety and especially having mood disorders among older adult survivors of childhood adversity.

Because our treatment for depression and anxiety programs rely on evidence based practices, our Intensive Outpatient Program shares many common methods with other successful treatment methods.  The foundation of our treatment program for relies on the principles of the stages of change, cognitive behavioral therapy, solution focused treatment, skills training and identifying repetitive dysfunctional behavioral relationship patterns to promote recovery from depression and other mental health disorders.  In fact, our Intensive Outpatient Program in Memphis, TN that has been proven to be effective in the treatment of these disorders in seven peer reviewed treatment outcome studies.  Unfortunately, in Tennessee, less half of all individuals with any mental illness in Tennessee will receive mental health treatment.

Our treatment center provides services to those who need more treatment than one hour a week, but less than 24 hour care, by providing three hours of treatment per day, three to five days per week, in an intensive outpatient setting. It is also important to keep in mind that women and men often experience childhood trauma differently and therefore the presence of psychological distress may also appear differently based on gender. If you or a loved one is showing signs of depression or anxiety, including PTSD, they should be assessed by a trained mental health professional who can help design a treatment plan for depression that can result in recovery.  Treatment for depression and anxiety can be highly successful.  People who have completed our program have provide very high consumer satisfaction scores and reviewsCall us at 901-682-6136 to schedule an appointment.