Developmental Trauma is PTSD in children. The study of Developmental Trauma is about its long-term effects on individual adults over time.

  1. Everything is “on the run”– eating very quickly in the car, lots of fast food, no time to slow down- go go go. There’s always a reason everything had to be done yesterday
  2. Argument argument argument– about many many things, which is why relationships are near impossible. When you’re on the defensive all the time, you believe everything is a challenge to your integrity as a person, which always leads to the conclusion that the other person isn’t safe for you to be with or work for
  3. Always on the move– trauma survivors move a lot! Every 1-3 years, for some reason or other, they need to move. Staying in one place is dangerous
  4. Over-use of stimulants- caffeine and sugar in the correct doses, mimic the “fight or flight” response in the body, which is what a trauma survivor is most used to. There’s always a reason why more is necessary
  5. Vigilance- this is a key component of trauma- always being on your guard- moody, defensive, angry, anything to keep “the bad” away. This greatly effects sleep and relationships.
  6. Living like there’s no tomorrow- this is because in the traumatized brain, there is no tomorrow. This includes risky behaviours with sex, drugs, alcohol, money, anything that can be used for self-destructive purposes or “thrills”.
  7. Addiction to Drama- when you grow up in it, you perpetuate it. You unconsciously keep living out what you experienced. Peace makes you nervous

So what do you do now? There are long-term complications to your body because of the chemical reactions associated with “fight or flight”. When you’re in this state, your body doesn’t absorb nutrients or sugar properly. Everyone who doesn’t get help, gets sick. It’s just that simple.


  1. Meditation– yes. You have to change the way your brain is wired. You are wired to be stressed out
  2. Reiki and energy work– you need to get the trauma off your body
  3. Gentle exercise– not running or anything stressful- you’ll merely mirror fight or flight and it will be counter-productive. Look at things like Yoga and Tai Chi

About Heather M. McCrae, MEd

Heather worked for several years with at-risk children in the field of Special Education, with children in both Middle School and Pre-school. Since moving home to Canada in 2010, Heather focuses on working with adults, children, and trauma. She is the lead Ambassador to Canada for Mini Me Yoga, and is a Certified Healer in Jikiden Reiki, 7 Layer Aura Healing, and Life Activation. She is also a Developmental Trauma Survivor.