Do you want your children to be happy when they grow up? If yes, then you have to make sure that they are not experiencing any kind of trauma as a child. A new study, including an Indian-origin researcher, suggests that childhood trauma or adversity may trigger physical pain in adulthood. The findings, published in the Journal of Behavioural Medicine, suggested that experiencing trauma or adversity in childhood or adolescence was linked with mood or sleep problems in adulthood.
“The findings suggest that early life trauma is leading to adults having more problems with mood and sleep, which in turn lead to them feeling more pain and feeling like pain is interfering with their day,” said co-author Ambika Mathur from the Pennsylvania State University.
But the connection was weaker in those who felt more optimistic and in control of their lives, the researcher said.
“The participants who felt more optimistic or in control of their lives may have been better at waking up with pain but somehow managing not to let it ruin their day.
“They may be feeling the same amount or intensity of pain, but they’ve taken control of and are optimistic about not letting the pain interfere with their day,” Mathur added.
The findings build on previous research that suggests a link between adult physical pain and early-in-life trauma or adversity, which can include abuse or neglect, major illness, financial issues, or loss of a parent, among others, the researcher said.
For the current study, researchers recruited a diverse group of 265 participants who reported some form of adversity in their early lives.
They answered questions about their early childhood or adolescent adversity, current mood, sleep disturbances, optimism, how in control of their lives they feel, and if they recently felt pain.
The researchers also looked at how optimism or feeling in control could affect how much pain a person experiences.
They found that while participants who showed these forms of resilience didn’t have as strong a connection between trouble sleeping and pain interfering with their day, the resilience didn’t affect the intensity of pain.