Childhood trauma can happen in many ways. When it isn’t adequately addressed, untreated childhood trauma can go on to have a significant impact on a teen’s health and happiness. A teen trauma treatment program can provide the professional support your family needs to help a teen with behavioral issues related to childhood trauma.
What Is Childhood Trauma?
Childhood trauma refers to the lasting mental and emotional effects caused by frightening or dangerous experiences in childhood. Childhood trauma in teens can stem from a single incident, like a terrifying car accident, or an ongoing situation, like childhood sexual abuse or a verbally abusive home environment.
Trauma can be described as the reaction to an event rather than the event itself. A child could go through a potentially traumatizing situation and remain relatively unscathed. At the same time, another might have a traumatic reaction to a situation that parents don’t realize was frightening enough to cause trauma.
Some of the most common experiences that lead to childhood trauma include:
- Emotional, verbal, physical, or sexual abuse
- Separation from a parent
- Death of a loved one
- Serious illness or medical condition
A child doesn’t automatically develop trauma if they’ve been in any of these situations, and they can also develop trauma from a less common or less impactful incident.
How Childhood Trauma Affects Teen Behavior
Trauma impacts individuals differently. Childhood trauma might manifest immediately in noticeable changes in a child’s behavior or mental and emotional health. However, this isn’t always the case.
It’s common for children to compartmentalize a distressing or confusing event. When this happens, the impact of the trauma often comes out through dysfunctional behavior during the teen years.
Even when a child receives counseling for a traumatic event, they may still need additional support as a teen.
Teens are capable of a higher level of introspection than children and are better able to name their emotions, communicate mental health concerns, and understand the connection between a traumatic event in childhood and their current behaviors.
Signs of Childhood Trauma in Teens
Childhood trauma affects teen behavior in many different ways. The common theme is that parents usually deal with problematic, concerning, or frightening behaviors.
Some of the most common teen behaviors that can be related to untreated childhood trauma include:
- Rule-breaking and rebelliousness
- Academic problems
- Substance use
- Legal issues
- High-risk sexual behavior
- Withdrawal or isolation
- Eating disorders
- Depression or anxiety
In severe cases, childhood trauma in teens can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This can be characterized by flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, and trouble functioning.
When parents understand the signs of childhood trauma in teens, they can find a treatment program that can help a teen heal mentally and emotionally. Once healing begins, teens usually show improvement in behavior, academics, and family engagement.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery Helps Teens Heal from Trauma
Childhood trauma only grows worse without treatment. It’s not uncommon for childhood anxiety trauma in teens to create issues that lead to dropping out of school, developing a substance use disorder, and other concerns that seriously impact a teen’s life trajectory.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery is a treatment center that works with adolescent and teenage boys and their families to heal childhood anxiety, a trauma in teens, and other issues that impact mental and emotional health.
Getting teens the trauma treatment they need can make a lifelong difference in their health and quality of life. To learn more about how we can help overcome childhood anxiety trauma in teens, call 866.300.5275 and speak with Foothills at Red Oaks Recovery.