What happened: Paris Hilton is opening up about how trauma has affected her life. In her upcoming YouTube documentary, “This Is Paris,” the model, actress, businesswoman and socialite shared some of the long-lasting effects of childhood trauma.
“Something happened in my childhood that I’ve never talked about with anyone,” Hilton said. “I still have nightmares … and the only thing that saved my sanity was thinking about who I wanted to become when I got out of there.”
I’m so used to playing a character that it’s hard for me to be ‘normal.’ — Paris Hilton
The Frontlines: Many trauma survivors dissociate from their life or experiences just to get by. In fact, dissociation is a common symptom of PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder. While Hilton did not state she has PTSD, many childhood trauma survivors do. What’s more, according to the Sylvia Brafman Mental Health Institute, “Childhood trauma chips away at a child’s stability and sense of self, undermining self-worth and often staying with the child into adulthood.”
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A Mighty Voice: Our contributor, Annie Wright, explained a lost sense of identity or self is common among childhood trauma survivors. “Not knowing who, at your core, you are and what your most basic needs and wants might be. A hollow or false sense of self.” You can submit your first-person story, too.
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Other things to know: Trauma affects the mind and body in numerous ways. For more information about the impact of childhood abuse and trauma, check out the following articles: