child with family

Heal Inner Child Wounds to Help Strengthen Your Mental Health

Your childhood is not a separate part of your life. The experiences you had as a child affect your life today. However, many people are unaware of this connection and end up struggling unnecessarily with physical, emotional and mental health problems. 

In this post, we explore inner child wounds, some signs that you may have these wounds, and the best ways to heal from past trauma. 

What are Inner Child Wounds? 

Inner child wounds, or attachment wounds, can happen when a child experiences a traumatic experience. It is the emotional and biological responsibility of parents and guardians to create a safe environment for their children, but unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. Some parents and guardians don’t accept this responsibility, aren’t aware of this responsibility, or don’t have the capacity to fill this responsibility. 

The four inner child wounds are: 

  1. Abandonment wound. If you were abandoned as a child, you may fear being alone or left out.
  2. Trust wound. If the adults in your life didn’t protect you from danger, you may feel insecure or afraid of getting hurt.
  3. Guilt wound. If you were made to feel guilty as a child, you may not like to ask for favors or set boundaries. 
  4. Neglect wound. Experiencing neglect as a child can lead to low self-esteem, repressed emotions, and difficulty saying no. 

Know the Signs 

While there are many signs of a wounded inner child, here are some of the most common: 

  • People-pleasing behavior, such as trouble saying no
  • Difficulty setting and enforcing boundaries 
  • Feeling guilty for standing up for yourself
  • Avoiding conflict at every chance possible 
  • Fear of abandonment or letting go 
  • Feeling inadequate or unworthy 
  • Constant criticisms – strong inner critic 
  • Afraid to ask for help or fear of being a burden

How to Heal 

Fortunately, it is possible to heal your wounded inner child. It’s important to put in the work to do this, otherwise, you may experience difficulties in adulthood, such as relationship troubles, substance use, low self-esteem and more. 

Some healing can be done on your own. For example, you can reflect on your childhood, write a letter to your inner child, and embrace your feelings. This is how you process past experiences, heal them and let them go. You can also benefit from talking to someone, such as a mental health professional. 

If your inner child’s wounds have caused other problems, such as drug or alcohol use, then you’ll need additional support. The good news is that programs like Awakenings Treatment Center offer care for substance use disorders, mental health disorders, and past trauma. To heal your inner child and lead a full, vibrant life, contact Awakenings Treatment Center today.