Insecurities Childhood wounds Lack of affection during childhood: how it...

Childhood wounds Lack of affection during childhood: how it affects and how to heal us


The care and attention of loving parents provides the best foundation on which to build a balanced personality. If in our childhood we do not receive this support, we have grown up dragging emotional deficiencies. We don’t have to let them continue to harm us: we can free ourselves from them.

When in therapy we analyze the most widespread psychological disorders in the population (anxiety, phobias, depression, etc.), we verify that the underlying cause of most of these problems comes from some type of affective deficiency suffered in childhood that has been dragged into adult life.

Babies come into the world with physical (care and feeding) and emotional (love, support, security) needs that must be met in order for them to become balanced adults. Physical contact, displays of affection, feeling protected or respecting yourself and your interests are not essential for your physical survival. However, they are essential for their proper psycho-emotional development.

Without this care, children, although physically growing, emotionally drag serious affective consequences.

We only have to remember the terrible images of the Romanian orphanages of the 70s and 80s, in which the little ones, having their emotional needs not been attended to, developed autistic behaviors.

Many people, without having gone through such extreme abandonment, also carry different types of emotional deficiencies from their childhood. Their parents and other family members, due to immaturity, inexperience or their own personal stories of deprivation, were unable to attend to their emotional needs. These people grow up convinced that their disruptive emotional experiences are the same as those of others. Over time, when they try to lead a normal life, the consequences of their traumas are reflected in their day to day, in one way or another.


The primary need for care and affection that was not satisfied by the parents causes in many people, when they reach adulthood, a feeling of emptiness or dark space inside that needs to be filled. To try to obtain a moment of satisfaction that fills the abyss, obsessions, addictions or addictions to toxic people arise.

Any external element (relationships, objects or work) can create the illusion of filling that void, but trying to bridge the abyss at any cost can end up unleashing dire consequences.

For instance; An addiction momentarily clouds the pain, but it traps and it is difficult to escape from it; A little loving attention can fill us up momentarily but leave us hooked and defenseless when it comes to protecting ourselves from a toxic relationship. Also, as with any addiction, the feeling of fullness is momentary once its effect has worn off, the emptiness is still there.


Although it is impossible to change the past, we all have the power to intervene both in our present and in our future. To achieve this, we must focus on ourselves and lavish the care that we lacked so much in childhood. We must remind ourselves that we are no longer those little ones who were defenseless in the face of life now we can fend for ourselves and we do not need to be cared for and cared for from the outside.

Thus, to heal the emotional deprivations of childhood, we have to begin by changing the meaning of the search for love.

It is not about finding someone from outside to give us the attention and affection that we did not have in childhood (we have already seen that this only creates an insane dependence), but we must be the ones who begin to contemplate ourselves with tenderness and compassion. . We ourselves are the ones who can best offer ourselves true unconditional love.

It takes time; we cannot heal the emptiness of a lifetime in one day. Sometimes the damage is so profound that it is necessary to seek professional help in order to rebuild lost self-esteem. Little by little, assuming the reality of the past and working from small details of the day to day, we can begin to recover our own love.

When you connect with yourself and begin to love yourself, an effective and permanent internal change occurs. You will always be present in your life, taking care of yourself. The abyss disappears, the void is filled and, from that moment, nothing and no one can divert you from your path.


Most of us carry some kind of affective deficiency from childhood that, today, still hurts us. What steps can we take to minimize its effects and enjoy a healthier emotional life?

  • Don’t downplay it. The first step for healing is to assume and value the relevance of the deficiencies suffered in the past. Many people say, “Well, it wasn’t that bad” or “After all, I’ve grown up and I’m an adult.” However, we cannot forget that when we were little, this lack of care damaged us and that the pain still lingers. Let’s be honest with ourselves and ask ourselves: “Does this emotional lack really affect me?”, “Could I be looking in others or in other things for the love that I did not get during my childhood?”
  • Not blame but acknowledge. It is not about blaming parents or other family members for not knowing how to take care of us in the past. Surely, they too were victims of emotional deficiencies and they took care of us the best they knew how. However, we have to take the side of the child that we were to recognize what we lacked and in this way be able to focus on healing.
  • Focus on the solution. No matter how tough our history has been, there is no use wallowing in the negative. After acknowledging what happened, we must not forget that there is always hope and opportunity to heal and to free ourselves from the consequences of the deficiencies suffered.
  • Take care of ourselves. If we are continually waiting for someone to come to fill our emotional lacks, we will always depend on others and we will never be happy. Remember you are the person who can love you the best and who will always be with you.
MindFixes Staff
MindFixes is dedicated to promoting mental health, preventing mental disorders and advocating, educating, and serving all people with mental and substance use conditions. MindFixes is determined to persevere, learn, grow, love and laugh through our wellness journey and we invite all to join.


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