GP's and Psychiatrists are failing to diagnose thousands of adults in the UK who have been severely traumatised in their childhood and so are condemning them to lives of extreme misery, isolation and possible self harm. Adults who are living with the repercussions of a traumatic childhood are either not being identified in the first place or, as is routinely reported at The Project, if they ask for help they are simply being turned away. Even if they do manage to get a referral for diagnosis, their experiences are then routinely minimised and frequently rejected.
In addition, survivors have to deal on an ongoing daily basis with the many common misconceptions and misunderstandings about what it actually means to have been abused in childhood, all of which makes their particular battles and struggles even more difficult and lonely. Adults abused in childhood learned at an early age to camouflage the severity of what was happening to them by carefully observing other children from a distance and then imitating them so that they present to the outside world as 'OK'. This is heightened in very bright adults who have used their intelligence to create extremely good strategies to compensate, and so not stand out or draw attention to themselves. This is how they managed to survive their childhood and appear OK, and may even hide from themselves the depth and breadth of what was done to them by maintaining the facade, but inside they are hurting and often desperate. Not only did they suffer in their past because of what was happening to them, but more importantly they are still suffering because people don't even understand that there is a problem, or what the the keys are to identifying it, and more importantly how to actually help the survivor to recover. Anyone who is involved with adults who have identified that they were abused in childhood needs to stop - literally take a pause - and firstly realise that, no matter what they think, believe or have been taught, they actually do not know what the problems are. Until there can be this level of admission, that person will continue to dominate the survivor who then remains forcibly shut down, trapped and isolated - a repeat of what happened to them whist growing up. If you are a survivor facing the 'brush off' from people - you might like to print this article and take it with you to your next meeting as both a support for you and information for the other person.