Childhood maltreatment and its role in the development of pain and psychopathology

Childhood maltreatment represents a form of trauma capable of altering fundamental neurobiological properties and negatively impacting neurodevelopmental processes. An outcome of childhood maltreatment is the emergence of psychopathology, which might become evident during childhood or adolescence, but might also project into adulthood. In this Review, we propose a biobehavioural framework in which childhood maltreatment and the associated aberrant neurobiological mechanisms and behavioural processes additionally lead to the onset of altered pain processing and, ultimately, the existence of pain syndromes. Considering that subpopulations of maltreated children show preserved function and minimal psychiatric or pain symptoms, compensatory mechanisms—perhaps instilled by robust psychosocial support systems—are also discussed. We present validated tools and experimental methods that could facilitate better comprehension of the interactions between childhood maltreatment, psychopathology, and pain. Such tools and approaches can in parallel be implemented to monitor abnormal pain-related processes and potentially guide early intervention strategies in cases of childhood maltreatment.

Author: Linda Turner

Coaching and Therapy Currently studying Psychotherapy , Cognitive psychology, Hypnotherapy. Qualified NLP, EMDR and CBT therapist. REIKI Master. I believe in truth, honesty and integrity! ≧◔◡◔≦

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