Neglect versus Trauma

Is it Trauma or isn’t it Trauma

(c) Nique

‘Neglect’; a lack of attention or too much suffocating attention
‘Trauma’; severe wounding, severe abuse or experiencing a very shocking event

Is neglect the same thing as emotional or psychological ‘abuse’ – you are nothing, you are a bad kid, you are a stupid kid, I don’t want you, you mess up my life, you weren’t born by my own choice, etc.) ?

                  • My answer to this question is: NO

Can neglect alone cause a PTSD or a Trauma related disorder such as SD – see small summary of SD ?

                  • My answer to that question is also: NO

Lots of people have the habit of mixing words or concepts, and explaining things more difficult than they really are. Keep it simple to the meaning of the ‘word or a concept’. Think a little autistic like me (a smile can heal so much), because we (I’m not alone in this) don’t want to out-think academic’s, researchers, Dr.’s or Ph.D.’s, etc. we only want to straighten something out in order to understand ‘the clinical concept of Trauma’

We have two concepts which causes the most confusion in whether it is or isn’t Trauma related:

  1. Severe wounding, abuse or experiencing a very shocking events, can cause a trauma related disorder (complex) PTSD
  2. Severe neglect – a lack of attention or too much suffocating attention –  can cause severe psychological and or an emotional disorder (f.e. a severe attachment e.g. personality disorder)

Lots of people mix up those two concepts and that causes confusion and misunderstanding to the meaning of suffering a clinical Trauma related disorder such as a (Complex) Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or a Trauma related structural dissociation of the personality (SD a Dissociative Disorder DD).

  1. You can have experienced a Traumatic event or suffered traumatic experiences  (clinical interpretation)
  2. Or you can ‘feel’ like Traumatized  (a Personal emotional interpretation)

So I want to give you all something to think about:

Neglect isn’t a traumatic event (severe wounding, severe abuse or experiencing a very shocking event). Although people can personally experience neglect as traumatic, it can lead to a very severe attachment or personality disorder. Let me give an Example: lots of people with a personality disorder feel emotionally abused, traumatized (a personal feeling). Very often this even comes as a symptom of a personality e.g. attachment disorder.  And also the term neglect stands to a mental explanation of ‘feeling neglected’. An infant is not (yet) able to make such a mental connection and reacts only by survival instinct.

But….. there is a little but
very severe neglect during infancy can lead to suffering psychical pain or wounding such as starvation or pressure ulcers, but than you also no longer speak of neglect but of ‘child abuse’. And child abuse can lead to a trauma related disorder.

And please keep in mind, we don’t discuss the severity of a disorder!
Because every emotional or psychological disorders causes agony in life, it’s all likewise ‘severe’ to suffer a disorder!


A Dissociative Disorder (DP/DR/DD/OSDD/DID) is a clinical ‘co-morbidity’ disorder. So there are more disorders that can cause a Dissociative Disorder. And please note, the abbreviation of a Dissociative Disorder is DD and not DID. DID is a DD, but DD isn’t a DID

The main 2 causes of a Dissociative Disorder (DD):

  1. Trauma; PTSD, complex-PTSD and very complex PTSD
  2. A personality or severe attachment disorder such as a Borderline disorder or other personality disorders

So we can say: DD a Plus + Plus: co-morbidity disorder

  1. DD + (C) PTSD or a trauma related disorder such as a structural dissociation of the personality (SD)
  2. DD + (C) PTSD (SD) a development disorder such as Autism or a other clinical disorder
  3. DD + a Personality disorder or other Disorder that causes the Dissociative Disorder (no trauma)
  4. DD + a Personality disorder + (C) PTSD (SD) = a personality disorder with trauma – OSDD


Published: 28 may 2014
This topic Blog will be discussed and therefore I make adjustments if needed and also if there are other explanations which saws wood. If this line is gone, the discussion of this topic has come to an end. (C) Nique