Two people standing one leaning against the other, who has their arm around the first.

Sharing – Traumatized Adults May Find Touch, Closeness Less Appealing

This is a few months old, but it’s an interesting study. As much as we know touch can be comforting, and something like a hug can make a huge difference in our emotional well-being, for some sexual abuse survivors, it may not have that same effect.

Adults who were traumatized as children may be more likely to keep a greater physical distance between themselves and strangers, and may also find touch stimuli less comforting than people without a history of trauma, according to a team of researchers from Bonn University Hospital (UKB) and Ruhr University Bochum in Germany.

There are more details at the link, but the thing I think is important to remember is that if you are a survivor of childhood trauma, and all the advice about the comforting power of touch just doesn’t seem to be working for you, there may be a reason for that. Eventually, hopefully, there may even be a treatment to help fire up the parts of our body that would otherwise respond positively to touch, that aren’t now.

Most of all though, it might be pretty normal. You’re not broken, just having a physical reaction to the trauma you survived.

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