How to know about early deprivation or trauma


Early deprivation or trauma plays an important role in one’s life. Deprivation means it is the loss or removal of something desired or loved. “Such deprivation might result in fixation at the oral stage of psychosexual development” (Freud).Besides, the development of basic trust can be hindered or prevented by early deprivation or trauma. In addition, in the absence of available reinforcements, the attainment of needed skills is retarded. Moreover, self-actualizing tendencies may be obtained in advance in consequence of maintenance and defensive requirements. Over all to above, it might affect adversely that means risk is involved or growth or development of the child’s capacity for anxiety free exchanges of tenderness and intimacy with others is checked.

These viewpoints focus on different aspects of early deprivation of the situations in families or institutions. It is of utmost importance that the effects of parental deprivation or deprivation from parent-substitutes during the formative years can be extremely serious.

One can not imagine the effects of early deprivation or trauma. An infant who is treated badly at the age of one to three years may not recall consciously the happenings but the aftereffects remains in the unconscious.


Warmth and physical contact is not found in an institution in comparison with home. Besides, there is less intellectual, emotional, and social stimulation in addition to lack of encouragement and help in positive learning in an institution. Studies have proved that general impairment in relationship, less need of turning to adults for help,comfort or pleasure, no signs of strong attachment plus marked retardation of speech and language development, emotional apathy , impoverished and repetitive play activities were found in the institutionalized infants of one year and above. The period of adolescence was most affected.

Deprivation in the home

The parents who typically neglect or devote little attention to the child are generally rejecting their wards. Rejecting, indifferent or punishing mothers may give way to tense, unsatisfied, and negative behavior. Prolonged neglect may cause serious long term effects even in adulthood. The physical neglect, denial of love and affection, lack of interest in activities and achievements, harsh and inconsistent punishment, failure to spend time with, and lack of respect toward children are some instances of parental rejection, in other words, deprivation. It also includes cruel and abusive treatment in some cases. The children who tend to be overly aggressive and inclined to impulsive behavior suffer from a specific pattern of development. The adults who have serious difficulty in giving and receiving affection are the victims of childhood rejection. It was found recently that severely abused children cannot establish meaningful relationships, some of these suffer from adult narcissistic personalities. Parental rejection can give way to reactions,such as, diminished intellectual functioning, excessive fears and running away from home. Why parents do that because they themselves have been the victims of parental rejection. On the contrary, children also reject their parents.

Early trauma

The traumatic experiences in childhood that shattered feelings of security, adequacy, and worth are important in influencing later evaluations of oneself and one’s environment. Here is an instance given by an adult. The most traumatic experience in my whole life happened in the April when I was eleven. On one evening my parents told me that I was adopted.I do not even know how I had become a member of the family. The term “adopted” means I was not a real member of the family. My parents might have some other meaning of love and affection or they do not, really, love me. I was crying in the bed. It made me insecure and inferior. Psychic traumas are especially damaging for reasons as stated below:

  1. Conditioned responses may be established due to strong emotions in situations that give rise to these and readily affect behavior to make extinct.
  2. Conditioned emotional responses, the outcome of traumatic experiences may cause generalization of other situations. Fear of water may be associated with the inability to swim.


3.Instead of cognitive learning it is the traumatic situation that paves the way for emotional conditioning. Exposure to similar situations evolves an emotional response and not rational appraisal of the situation.

The aftereffects of early traumatic experiences are neutralized by parents or other significant persons. Many traumatic experiences that were happened to occur in childhood though highly upsetting at the time may prove of minor significance in long term consequences.

Inadequate parenting

Certain deviations in parenting, according to Coleman, can have profound effects on the child’s subsequent ability to cope with life`s various challenges. A parent-child relationship is always bidirectional. Difficult baby; autistic child; overprotection and restrictiveness; unrealistic demands; over permissiveness and indulgence; faulty discipline; inadequate and irrational communication; and undesirable parental models need some extra speculation.

Pathogenic family structures

It can be regarded as an important structure that may increase an individual’s vulnerability to particular stressors. Discordant and disturbed families; disrupted families; inadequate families; and antisocial families cause to evolve severe form of maternal or paternal rejection and pathogenic parent-child patterns if the total familial context is abnormal.

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