It’s easy to understand that some experiences are traumatic
Surviving natural disasters. Witnessing domestic violence. Experiencing sexual abuse. Yet two children exposed to the same event – such as the death of a parent – may react completely differently. Over time, one may overcome their grief and learn to live with the loss, while unmanageable feelings in the other child may lead to a significant changes in their behaviors or a distorted view of the world around them. Traumatized children can end up seeing everything through a lens of fear. And the feelings of fear, vulnerability and insecurity may stay with them long after the traumatic event has passed.
No one can predict how each individual child will react. That’s why it is so important for parents and caregivers to monitor their children’s behaviors and check in regularly on what’s happening in their worlds. That’s why you need to take the time to Look Through Their Eyes.
Long-Term Effects of Trauma
Trauma has the potential to impact a person’s physical, emotional, social and cognitive abilities throughout his or her life. Some typical long-term effects of untreated trauma include:
- Biological and neurological disorders
- Chronic depression and/or anxiety disorders
- Cigarette smoking
- Dropping out of school
- Drug abuse
- Early death
- High risk behaviors (e.g. HIV exposure, sexually transmitted diseases)