Archive for the "abuser" Tag

The Abused Child Becomes the Abuser

Dr. Paul Hegstrom’s story follows the typical pattern of the abused child who becomes the abusive adult. Underneath all the abuse lies a brain that froze in childhood.



Wounds in childhood occur from:

  • Rejection
  • Incest
  • Molestation
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse


The wounded child’s emotions freeze at the time of wounding and lock up. Physically that child grows into an adult body, but he/she does not mature emotionally. So they act like a child when stressed.


A healthy child’s brain has very little of the brain neurotransmitters:

  • Serotonin
  • Dopamine
  • Norepinephrine

So they think concretely, don’t recognize danger … Read the rest

The Abuser’s Brain


The abusive person’s behavior repulses most of us and leaves us wondering how anyone could do such denigrating and painful things to another person. We commonly feel very angry at abusers and judge them. In an effort to protect the recipients of the abuse we may have to intervene in ways that are painful for us, but also necessary.


Understanding the disruption in the abuser’s brain development can help us intervene in better ways and give us compassion for the abuser. However, the abusers still are accountable for their actions.


Dr. Paul Hegstrom was an abuser in … Read the rest