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Психология Child Abuse
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Child abuse includes the physical or mental injury, sexual abuse, negative treatment, or mistreatment of children under the age of 18 by adults entrusted with their care. Child abuse is viewed as a social problem resulting from a variety of causes. Many abusive parents were themselves mistreated as children. Such parents tend to use the harsh physical discipline that they saw their own parents using. Many abusive parents have little patience with their children. Often they have unrealistic expectations for them.

Children suffering abuse develop a range of maladaptive, anti-social and self-destructive behaviors and thoughts by trying to cope with the abuse - by trying to understand the situation and why the abuse is happening. By coming up with ideas about what they did to cause the abuse and what they can do differently to avoid the abuse, children also develop a range of maladaptive behaviors which can become pathological problems.

In addition to distorting children's thoughts, abuse also forces children into a position of having to "hide the family secret". This prevents children from having real relationships and has life-long effects. And because our ability to form healthy social relationships is learned, abused children are deprived of many skills necessary to navigate the social world. Their entire concept of a relationship is distorted. This leads to problematic relationships in life and even on the job.

Another disturbing aspect of abuse is the experiential restraint it puts on children. If a child fears doing anything new because of the chance that it will lead to a violent attack or because an abusive parent keeps extremely tight control over them, the child will lose his or her sense of curiosity and wonder at the world and will stop trying new things and exercising his or her mind. That child will never achieve his or her intellectual potential.

Another aspect of abuse which cannot be ignored is the physical stress it puts on a child. Multiple exposures to violence and trauma cause what's known as autonomic and endocrine hyperarousal. When a person experiences this hyperarousal over and over again, there are permanent physiological changes. These changes can be seen as over-reactions to stimuli, as in being easily startled especially by things that remind the victim of the original event; generally being emotionally numb; craving high-risk, stimulating, or dangerous experiences or self-injury; difficulties in attention and concentration; cardiovascular problems; and immune suppression which leads to a higher risk for colds and more severe illnesses.

There are four major categories of child abuse: neglect, physical abuse, psychological/emotional abuse, and child sexual abuse.

Child abuse may have numerous effects such as academic difficulties; aggressive behavior; alcohol and/or other drug abuse; anxiety; attention problems; bad dreams; bed wetting; behavior problems; chronic pain; compulsive sexual behaviors; concentration problems; dangerous behavior such as speeding; Dehydration; depression; eating disorders; fear or shyness; frequent injuries; insomnia; learning problems; lying; social withdrawal; stealing; suicide attempts; thumb-sucking or any age-inappropriate behavior.

Victims of childhood abuse seek therapy for a number of reasons, but rarely just because of the history of abuse. It is important to help the client deal with the abuse as well as the psychological problems they report. Counseling in the form of individual and possibly group therapy can take two years or longer. The goal of undoing life-long damage can be very difficult because the damage pervades every aspect of the client, and because there may be physiological changes to the client that can't just be "counseled" away. Medication can be useful for the symptoms of depression, anxiety and other symptoms, but should never be dispensed in the absence of counseling for the root of the problem. Later the survivor may need to undergo couples or relationship counseling when he or she heals to the point of finding a long-term relationship. For children, play therapy and family therapy can be helpful.


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