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How Childhood Experiences Affect Mental-Health, Physical Health and Relationships 

Article by Nicola Beer – marriage counselling Dubai life coach, who runs life coaching certification and relationship coaching certification courses online, she is also a highly respected depression counselling Dubai and online professional that offers Anxiety Treatment in Dubai and online also. 

In this article I have chosen to discuss how childhood experiences can impact our relationships and life choices.

Why? Because our childhood experiences affect us in so many ways as adults.  Dr. Gabor Maté put it simply when he said– “the major contributor, I don’t say the only, but the major contributing factor to the onset of illness, whether it’s mental illness, physical illness, whether it’s addiction, whether it’s behavioral problems, is what happens to people in the first few years of life.” (2015).

 A study of over 17,000 people in the US has found that “Adverse Childhood Experiences” 

Such as 

  • Witnessing domestic violence
  • being the victim of abuse (physical, sexual and/or emotional)
  • being the victim of neglect (physical and emotional)
  • a member of the family being in prison
  • parental abandonment through separation or divorce
  • a parent with a mental health condition
  • growing up in a household in which there are adults experiencing alcohol and drug use problems


Can have a long lasting, negative impact on a person’s mental well-being and on their ability to lead a successful life – including completing education to a high level and securing a well-paid job. As well as mental and physical well-being. It can literally affect the neuro connections in the brain and change the structure of the DNA. 

ACE’s have also been proven to increase the risk of chronic illnesses and weakened immune systems that cause them to fall ill more often that others who have not had the same childhood experiences. 

As daily people seek my support for depression treatment in Dubai, anxiety treatment in Dubai and counselling dubai and online.   

A large majority of them have experienced one of the Adverse Childhood Experiences early on in life. 

I felt it was important to share this with you, because love, compassion and support is needed both for children right now and for adults affected by this to grow, change and move on from this to build healthier happier relationships. 

Maybe you already know about the study and if you do, feel free to switch this off. If you want to learn more, I will share how you can help yourself if you identify with this. 

I am also personally passionate about spreading awareness on this, because having gone through Adverse Childhood Experiences myself, I know it caused so many problems in my teenage and adult life and had a massive impact on my relationships. Before I had my breakthrough session, 14 years ago, which I now do for others my life was a mess. I hated my body, drank too much to block out my insecurities and fears, used food to reward or punish myself and always felt like I was unwanted by my family, partner and even some friends. Low self-worth impacted every area of my life and shockingly this study reveals how it can actually lead to longevity. So for those that stay with me – I hope you find this of value. 

Why and how does this happen you maybe thinking, right? I know I was when I first discovered this. It is because going through any of the adverse childhood experiences causes a huge amount of stress, this stress creates neural pathways and neural connections sending the stress hormone and these children experience less positive serotin neuro connections. Which means later in life they are less able to handle difficult situations and have limited thinking capacity – which links back to having health conditions and struggling in education and professionally.

As quoted in the body never lies book by Dr Gabor Mate – “…there is compelling evidence, advanced by scientists from many fields, that an intimate relationship exists between the brain and immune system. 

So the stress and trauma in childhood will impact our brain and this according to the CDC ACE study will impact how a person goes on to live their life. 

For example 

People who experience adverse childhood experiences are –
  • More likely to struggle with completing education or achieving good grades.
  • May struggle to secure stable employment.
  • More likely to experience toxic stress.
  • At higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
  • At higher risk of suffering pregnancy complications.
  • Likely to fall pregnant in their teens.
  • At higher risk of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
  • Likely to experience suicidal thoughts or commit suicide.
  • Likely to struggle to form secure relationships with others.
  • At higher risk of developing low self-esteem and lack confidence.
  • At higher risk of passing on health conditions to children.


As you can see prolonged exposure to stressful or challenging situations early on results in people being less able to handle difficult situations later on and are more likely to suffer health conditions and struggle in education and professionally. 

So awareness of this and compassion towards those who are unwell in whatever form is crucial. In my experience helping people overcome addictions, depression, anxiety and unwanted habits often lack self-love and confidence to be themselves. So now I will share some steps and ideas on what can a person do to release their past experiences and create a brighter, healthier future. 

Article by Nicola Beer – marriage counselling dubai life coach, who runs life coaching certification and relationship coaching certification courses online, she is also a highly respected depression counselling dubai and online professional that offers Anxiety Treatment in Dubai and online also. 

If you are searching for depression treatment in Dubai or online or anxiety treatment in Dubai, Abu Dhabi or online, feel free to what’s app Nicola on +971 50 94 54 233 or email her nb@nicolabeer.com

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