When trauma occurs in childhood, it can lead to many long-term effects. Trauma can change how the brain functions and affect a child’s quality of life as they grow into adulthood. Untreated childhood trauma can lead to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. It may also cause difficulty forming relationships, an inability to trust, feelings of guilt or shame, and a heightened sense of fear. Trauma can also be linked to physical health problems such as chronic headaches or stomachaches.
Trauma treatment for teens helps kids heal from past events and learn the skills to cope with future stress. Call Foothills at Red Oak Recovery today at 866.300.5275 to learn more about the potential consequences of untreated childhood trauma. We are here to help our teen clients heal and develop the skills to manage their emotions and behaviors surrounding trauma. Please don’t wait another day; contact us now for more information about our services.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma is an emotional and psychological reaction to a distressing event. Trauma affects people differently. Two children can experience the same event, and only one may have a long-term adverse reaction.
Many factors affect how a teenager processes something upsetting, including their environment, genetics, and the type of support they receive.
Examples of trauma include:
- The loss of a parent or loved one
- Life-threatening illness or accident
- Natural disaster
- Being a victim of or witness to domestic violence
- Sexual assault and rape
- Physical, verbal, or emotional abuse
- Abandonment or separation from family
Bullying has become one of the most prevalent sources of trauma for children. Being bullied at school can be traumatizing, especially when the child feels unsafe or ostracized by their peers for an extended period. Cyberbullying through social media exposes children to abuse 24 hours a day. Whether in-person or online, untreated childhood trauma like bullying can have lifelong adverse effects.
The Harm of Untreated Trauma
Everyone experiences something traumatic at some point in their life. Individuals who don’t have the coping skills or the support to process their emotions in a healthy way may develop a host of problems later in life.
Physical Effects of Trauma
The body can hold onto trauma and transfer its psychological impact in a physical way. Leaving childhood trauma untreated may cause headaches, stomachaches, nausea, and other gastrointestinal problems.
Psychological Effects of Trauma
Teens and adolescents may develop mental health concerns from untreated trauma. Some conditions related to trauma include:
- Panic disorders
- Substance use disorders
- Eating disorders
- Process disorders
- Self-harming behaviors
Young people may also feel suicidal when underlying trauma is not processed and healed.
Social Effects of Trauma
Untreated trauma can affect the way teens and adolescents communicate with others. They may be irritable, fearful, or avoid conflict at all costs. These unhealthy reactions can lead to unhealthy relationships or a lack of social connection.
Recognize the Signs of Trauma
Even teens who communicate well on other topics may not have the verbal skills or emotional maturity needed to express their feelings. If your child has experienced a potentially traumatizing event, watch for the following trauma symptoms:
- Increased thinking or speaking about death
- Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
- Withdrawing from friends, family, and beloved activities
- A drop in academic performance
- Risky behaviors
- Breaking the rules at home or school
- Extreme or obsessive worry about the safety of others or their own safety
- Unexplained anger
- Separation anxiety
- Avoiding school
If you notice these symptoms in your teen, don’t ignore them or assume it’s “normal” teenage behavior. Not treating teen trauma may lead to serious or even tragic consequences.
Don’t Leave Childhood Trauma Untreated—Contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery offers trauma-informed therapy for teenage boys struggling with substance use disorders and other mental health concerns. Not treating teen trauma can have devastating effects on your child’s mental, physical, and social health.