Childhood Trauma

Events from your early years can take a toll well into adulthood

Defining Childhood Trauma

Just as two people may not experience an event in the same way, no two people react to a stressful, traumatic event in the same way. While one person may find the ability to cope with a traumatic event, another may be unable to deal with the trauma by themselves in a productive manner. But no matter what type of childhood trauma is experienced, there is a negative impact, and it can be profound and lasting when not discovered and dealt with.

The Link Between Childhood Trauma and Sexual Addiction


Research by our own  Dr. Patrick Carnes and others has shown that childhood trauma and abuse can have a significant impact on whether or not a person develops a sexual addiction. In one study, 72% of addicted individuals reported physical abuse and 97% reported emotional abuse. Furthermore, the more sexually and physically abused the respondents were as children, the more addictions they had as adults.

Many trauma sufferers choose to deal with their feelings alone, instead of seeking appropriate professional treatment. These people may act out sexually to dull the feelings associated with the trauma and the pain that comes with those feelings. It is common for trauma survivors to also struggle with drug addiction, alcohol addiction, and other behavioral disorders as they attempt to cope with the original issue.

Our Approach to Childhood Trauma

Gentle Path at The Meadows has a program that is designed to help patients uncover the roots of their addiction and resolve underlying childhood trauma that, in adulthood, can manifest as sexual addiction, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and other conditions. In our program, men are guided on their journey of recovery by examining the underlying causes of addiction and co-occurring disorders with the help of certified sex addiction therapists and master’s-level counselors.

Childhood Sexual Trauma and Adult Sex Addiction: Is There a Connection? - Gentle Path at the Meadows

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Childhood Sexual Trauma and Adult Sex Addiction: Is There a Connection?

Childhood experiences, both positive and negative, shape our beliefs and behaviors as adults. So, it’s no surprise that sexual trauma or abuse experienced as a child would carry over into adult life.

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Change Your Story

Gentle Path is a safe, nurturing community composed of peers where your journey of recovery will include not just dealing with outward behaviors but examining the underlying causes. The goal is to gain the courage to face difficult issues (including grief and loss), heal from emotional trauma, and become accountable for your feelings, behaviors, and recovery.


Taking that first step is hard, but there’s a new life of health and hope just waiting for you. The next chapter of your life can begin now, but only you can change your story.

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