Adulthood trauma refers to the impact of traumatic events experienced or witnessed during adulthood which can affect mental and physical health. Traumatic experiences may include physical or sexual assault, domestic violence, armed conflict, bereavement, and natural or man-made disasters.
Adulthood trauma is a risk factor for mental health difficulties. Experiencing domestic violence has been associated with more suicide ideation and a higher likelihood of experiencing depression (2,3). Additionally, experiencing armed conflict can both exacerbate already present mental health difficulties and create new problems due to potential displacement and loss (4); both of which are risk factors for mental health difficulties. Natural and man-made disasters are further sources of adult trauma and have been linked to elevated prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression and substance misuse (5).
1. Mind. Our communities, Our Mental Health, Commissioning for better public mental health. London; 2015.
2. Ellsberg M, Jansen HA, Heise L, Watts CH, Garcia-Moreno C. Intimate partner violence and women’s physical and mental health in the WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence: an observational study. Lancet. 2008 Apr 5;371(9619):1165–72.
3. World Health Organization. Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of intimate partner violence and non-partner sexual violence. Geneva; 2013.
4. Hassan G, Ventevogel P, Jefee-Bahloul H, Barkil-Oteo A, Kirmayer LJ. Mental health and psychosocial wellbeing of Syrians affected by armed conflict. Epidemiol Psychiatr Sci [Internet]. 2016 [cited 2021 Jan 20];25:129–41. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1017/S2045796016000044
5. Goldmann E, Galea S. Mental health consequences of disasters. In: Annual Review of Public Health [Internet]. Annual Reviews Inc.; 2014 [cited 2021 Jan 28]. p. 169–83. Available from: www.annualreviews.org