What is neglect?

  • Neglect happens when a parent or caregiver doesn't give a child what they need. This can include physical needs, like food, water, and shelter but it can also include emotional needs like validation, love, and comfort. Whether a child experiences physical neglect or emotional neglect, the impacts can last well into adulthood. 

  • When you are a child, not getting what you need can be a very frightening experience and can also make you feel worthless, leading to low self-esteem. Childhood neglect can lead to PTSD, as well as coping strategies that can become a problem in adulthood, such as perfectionism and dissociation. Anxietydepression, and shame can also be related to experiences of neglect. 

  • Being neglected by your caregivers when you are a child can also put you at risk of being abused or exploited by other people, compounding your trauma. 

  • Not being given what you needed when you were growing up can make it hard to connect with other people. Childhood emotional neglect specifically can make it hard to understand your own emotions, which can easily cause problems in relationships

  • Healing from childhood neglect can be a long journey. Practicing self-compassion and connecting with a therapist can help. 


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