Is Adult Loneliness A Result Of Childhood Trauma?

Last Update on July 8, 2022 : Published on July 10, 2022

Childhood trauma can be used by anything that has happened during childhood which has left a scarring memory in your brain. Your childhood forms the very base of your adult life. Have you ever wondered how childhood trauma affects adulthood?

Sigmund Freud believed that everything you experience in terms of feeling and emotions and however you choose to behave in difficult situations in your adult life, can all be traced back to your childhood. Perhaps your childhood holds signs you grew up lonely or your childhood traumatic experiences have pushed you towards adult loneliness.

Not many people agreed with Freud when talked about his theories of childhood having an impact on adulthood. But today, there are N number of studies that have proved childhood trauma can affect adulthood.

Let’s get to know more about the link between childhood trauma and adult loneliness…

Understanding Some Basic Terms

Adult loneliness: adult loneliness is basically the feeling of being alone and secluded from society. You do not really share deep relationships with anyone, do not have many friends and are always preoccupied with maladaptive and intrusive thoughts. You suffer from self worth and self-esteem issues, you fear being judged by others and find it difficult to express yourself freely.  Adult loneliness is much more than just these things but this is a broad picture of what adult loneliness looks like.

Childhood Trauma: childhood trauma comprises all the incidences that in some way or the other scarred you. All the traumatic experiences that you’ve had, in your childhood which have left an impression on you, all aid childhood trauma. Experiencing trauma in childhood is known as childhood trauma. It can be because of physical/mental/emotional/sexual abuse, childhhood neglect, childhood loneliness, etc.


Childhood loneliness: childhood loneliness is oftentimes a result of poor peer relationships. Young children usually share two kinds of relationships, one with their guardians (parents, teachers, etc) and one with their peers. If they lack connection with either or both of these two, they are most likely to experience childhood loneliness.

Signs You Grew Up Lonely

Sometimes having a lonely childhood can lead to adult loneliness if you do not have a smooth transition. A child who is preoccupied with thoughts that were responsible for childhood loneliness carries them to their adult life as well, resulting in adult loneliness. Let’s look at some signs you grew up lonely so that you can curb it in the very beginning;

  • Has too many imaginary friends
  • Clings to the parent or someone who takes care of them
  • Look timid, melancholic and quiet
  • They misbehave just for attention
  • Cry why more than normal kids do that their age
  • Do not interact with others much

How Childhood Trauma Affects Adulthood?


Now, we know that our childhood does reflect in your adult life. When we specifically talk about the link between childhood trauma and adult loneliness, there is no direct connection but I can say for sure there is an indirect connection.

According to various studies childhood trauma has a strong association with depression and anxiety in adulthood. Mental health issues like depression and anxiety are again linked with adult loneliness. Therefore, in a way, childhood trauma can lead to adult loneliness.

Evidences of childhood trauma affecting adulthood

  • According to a 2014 study, loneliness arbitrates the relationship childhood trauma and different mental health conditions have.
  • A recent 2022 study states that maltreatment in childhood can have a negative impact on adult life leading to adult loneliness.
  • Similar 2021 study states that children who do not lead a happy childhood (rather lead a troubled childhood) are at a high risk of developing issues like adult loneliness, depression, anxiety, etc

Healing Childhood Trauma In Adults (How To Get Over A Traumatic Childhood)?

When a child experiences trauma, it somehow makes a deep hole in your mind and stays there forever. If you are someone who has had a problematic/traumatic childhood, the first thing you should do is get professional help.

Your therapist will help you deal with all the negative thoughts that have made their place in your mind and will not only help you in eliminating them but will also help in replacing them with positive thoughts with help of psychotherapy or medicines or a combination of the two.

Other than what your therapist tells you to do, you can also put in some extra efforts in healing childhood trauma in your adult life. You can begin with;

That’s All Folks!

I hope you found this blog about how childhood trauma affects adulthood helpful, informative and thought provoking. Someone once said, “Loneliness can further breed loneliness”, make sure you heal from loneliness as soon as you identify it in you or someone else. Childhood loneliness can foster adult loneliness!

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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