Long-Term Effects of Childhood Trauma
Most of the information we have on trauma and PTSD is from studies based on the experiences of adults, but as scientific research goes on, it’s becoming clear that the data we have is incomplete. This is because it doesn’t take into account the experiences of a significant population; children.
Recognizing the Problem
For a long time, we underestimated just how strongly children could be affected by traumatic events. Statements like, “oh, they’re so young, they won’t remember a thing,” or “it’s not that big of a deal. They didn’t even know what was going on. It’ll be fine,” are far more common than they should be
You have to remember that while children are indeed resilient, they’re not invulnerable to harm, physical or mental. This isn’t to say that children will be emotionally scarred for life because of every uncomfortable life incident. But more often than not, there will be some effect.
In order to help such children, we must accept that if a child goes through some life-altering or traumatic event, it will likely influence them in the long run whether conscious or buried in the subconscious.
Understanding Childhood Trauma
Childhood trauma is distributed into various categories; from innocent but perceived hurtful experiences to physical and verbal abuse to severe natural disasters, divorce of parents, break in’s, car accidents—the list goes on. There are a large number of events and experiences that can cause trauma. This includes recurring situations that cause ongoing stress, like bullying and abuse.
Children can also suffer from indirect trauma, for example, something they weren’t prepared for seeing, such as a tragedy happen or enduring a near-death experience.
In a nutshell, any incident that happens suddenly, repeatedly, unexpectedly, or is perceived as a negative connotation can be traumatic for the child. Even yelling at a child is very intense for them.
But, and this is important, the effect of trauma on each child will be different. Some children may be more likely to be traumatized by certain events, while others might be a lot less fazed by the same circumstances. Either way you can bet that there is a subconscious rift buried within their minds.
Children have the ability to bounce back to normalcy following an incident. However, some children do develop PTSD as time goes by, a detail that’s supported by the British National Survey of Mental Health, which reported that around 0.4 percent of children aged 11–15 have PTSD. In addition, girls were twice as likely to show the symptoms of PTSD.
Aside from becoming more anti-social and hyper-vigilant, the long-term symptoms that children show include:
- Poor self-esteem
- Trust issues
- Attention problems
- Sleep issues
- Increased thoughts about safety
- Morbid thoughts
- Changes in appetite
- Development of new fears
- Bathroom issues
Long-Term Effects on Health
As a child’s brain develops, the trauma will eventually cause issues for their wellness and health as well. Along with depression and other mental issues, trauma increases the child’s risk of developing:
- Coronary heart disease
Also, suicide attempts may become more prevalent as a child grows up with PTSD, especially among children who may have experienced sexual, physical, or domestic abuse.
How Hypnotherapy Can Help
If you are a parent, or just someone who works with children, it is important that you know what to do in case a child starts showing symptoms of PTSD due to trauma.
A hypnotherapy session can not only help heal and remove the blockages from their subconscious mind, but it can also help such children (or those who are adults now) navigate back to their mental peace.
I offer services such as spiritual and alternative healing in Denver.