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erika dalton

By NABH Staff

Medically Reviewed by Erika Dalton, LMSW

Last Updated on February 16, 2024

Childhood is often painted as nothing but memories full of carefree days where we felt cared for and loved. The reality is that many people suffer traumatic events when they are children, and the effect stays with them well into adulthood. Whether the trauma took place just a few years ago or decades ago, it can impact a person’s mental health. Left untreated, trauma hampers a person’s ability to have high self-esteem and engage in healthy relationships with others. Are you unsure if some of what you experienced as a child qualifies as trauma?

Take the Childhood Trauma Test (ACES Test) and find out if you could benefit from structured mental health treatment. North Atlanta Behavioral Health provides care for those who have suffered trauma and any co-occurring mental health disorders. With our help, you can resolve your past and learn to embrace an exciting new future full of confidence.

Table of Contents

What is a Childhood Trauma Test?

The Childhood Trauma Test (ACES Test) is a mental health assessment commonly used to help determine if a person experienced trauma while growing up. “ACE” stands for adverse childhood experience and can include both one-time and repetitive events. Taking the test can help a person come to terms with what they went through in their early years. If the test concludes that they did experience trauma, it provides a jumping-off point to discuss the results with a treatment professional to determine how to begin the healing process.

How Do I Know I Have Childhood Trauma?

Taking the Childhood Trauma Test (ACES Test) helps provide a solid overview of whether or not a person endured trauma as a child. Discussing the results with a mental health counselor or physician can help determine if trauma treatment is necessary. It also presents the person with a chance to ask further questions not covered on the test.  

Understanding Your ACES Score

The best way to interpret your score from the Childhood Trauma Test (ACES Test) is to share it with a treatment provider. This includes a mental health counselor, psychiatrist, or staff member at a facility that treats trauma. They can discuss your answers to the test and how they reflect any trauma you may have experienced. From there, a treatment plan can be devised to help you begin to heal.

How Common is Childhood Trauma?

Many people keep their history of childhood abuse a secret out of shame and difficulty speaking about it. This can make it seem like trauma during childhood is rare when it actually happens to an alarming number of people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 64% of adults in the U.S. state that they experienced at least one type of adverse childhood experience before they turned 18. About 17% of them experienced four or more types of these events. This does not include the fact that many people do not report going through childhood trauma, which means the figures are likely even higher.

Causes of Childhood Trauma

Some of the questions in the Childhood Trauma Test (ACES Test) ask about specific incidents that happen when a person is young. Childhood trauma can happen as a result of several events. These include: 

While not everyone who goes through one of these experiences will develop a trauma-based mental health disorder, many do. When this happens, seeking structured treatment from trauma professionals will help the person overcome the negative impact it has had on their life.  

Overcome mental health disorders with evidence-based, expert care.

Childhood Trauma Test and Mental Health

When someone goes through childhood trauma, it puts them at risk of developing different kinds of mental health disorders. The most common ones are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex trauma. Other possible mental illnesses that trauma can contribute to include anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.

Symptoms of Unresolved Childhood Trauma

Even if childhood trauma ended years or decades ago, symptoms of unresolved trauma can still be a part of a person’s daily life. Common symptoms of trauma include:

How Long Does It Take to Heal from Childhood Trauma?

Trauma causes deep-rooted psychological difficulties for those who undergo it. As a result, treating it will take time. How long depends on the severity of the trauma and what type of treatment a person seeks. Some people attend residential programs and stay for 30-60 days. Outpatient programs, which don’t require a person to move into a facility, have a few different levels. In general, 30 days or more per level provides the best results. Once general treatment concludes, the person may want to continue with something like individual therapy or attending support groups just to keep on top of staying healed.

How is Childhood Trauma Treated?

It takes professional treatment from experienced mental health counselors to help a person fully address childhood trauma. A person can attend individual therapy only, but programs that offer multiple types of therapy give a person a better ability to heal. Common types of therapy that address trauma include:

Find Treatment for Childhood Trauma Today

Did you suffer from trauma during your childhood and have never been able to put it to rest? Lingering trauma impacts every area of a person’s life and limits their ability to feel free and trust others. North Atlanta Behavioral Health provides a comfortable setting for people to open up about past events and how they affect their lives. For those unsure of whether or not their experiences qualify as trauma, we can review your results from the Childhood Trauma Test (ACES Test) and discuss them with you. Our staff of highly skilled therapists provides treatment for people whose quality of life has become compromised due to enduring past traumatic events. We provide Partial Hospitalization Programming, Intensive Outpatient, and Outpatient Rehab for mental health that shepherds a person from day one of recovery to the ability to leave treatment and enjoy better mental health for life.

For more information, contact our friendly admissions staff today. Let us talk to you about which of our programs will meet your exact needs.

Treatment Philosophy

North Atlanta Behavioral Health is dedicated to the health and happiness of our clients. We offer personalized treatment plans that put each individual's needs first. 

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Our multidisciplinary team wants nothing more than for our clients to achieve a lifetime of mental health recovery. Let us help you get the most out of treatment.