Verbal and physical abuses are traumas. Most everyone has experienced the humiliation and damaging effects of verbal abuse. If our ego strength and our sense of esteem are solid when these events occur, we can slough it off or work through it with some help. If we are already feeling a lack of security and acceptance in our world, every experience of verbal abuse, for example: judgements, name calling, put downs, and yelling will constitute a trauma. Physical abuse, slapping, hitting, spanking and outright beatings, regardless of their purpose in the eyes of the punisher, are traumatic events. Neglect is trauma. The act of having your needs and your Self ignored or devalued is traumatic.
Those who use food to cope have no doubt experienced some form of trauma which triggered the development of and dependence on a series of coping strategies. People seem to think that trauma only happens to a few unfortunate victims. This point of view has allowed much trauma and abuse to be overlooked. The truth is that most people will experience some significant trauma in their lives. We can gauge this from the rampant use of powerful coping strategies such as food use, alcoholism, shopping, gambling, drug and sexual addiction.