No child wants to encounter childhood trauma. It is the scariest event that one can ever come across between the age group of 0-18. In this situation, the brain of the child is deeply impacted because of the overwhey activity that has taken place. A child may experience a complete set back and feel traumatized after the event. One may also experience violent behavior, improper eating habits, and disturbed physical appearance that either require counseling, medical treatment or both. In this article we are going to discuss childhood trauma in detail so that you know how to help your beloved family member better.
What is Childhood Trauma?
Childhood trauma can be said to be some kind of an incident that the child may witness at a very young age. It can be an event, accident or death of someone very beloved. The emotional changes that take place within the child can create a lot of distress and internal fear. Sometimes, such children also lose self confidence and create a very negative aspect for the world. It is very important to help the child to overcome the lasting effect of such an event. Introducing the child to a positive environment and giving him complete emotional support is one way through which the effect of childhood trauma can be nullified. Childhood trauma can also be taken as a synonym to childhood abuse where the victim has been constantly bullied and negated on some specific grounds.
Impact of Trauma in Children
Untreated childhood trauma can Result in stress and irritable behavior. Such a child does not feel like participating in the routine activities of life and seeks for escapism. Children and adolescents when exposed to some overwhelming scene or event have a difficulty to cope up.
Childhood trauma should be identified the moment it occurs and must not be left untreated. Young people when exposed to traumatizing events are more prone to developing stress reactions than adults. They have a difficulty in understanding the situation which may develop phyiscal and mental health deterioration.
Understanding the Impact Of Childhood Trauma
The Impact Of childhood trauma can be completely subjective in nature. Some children may experience continuous traumatic stress whereas the rest of them may overcome naturally with time. The effect of a traumatizing event may last for several days, weeks or months depending on the reaction of the child. If in case your child is having difficulty in overcoming the overwhelming experience, you must identify the impact of trauma and resort for home and medical based treatment.
The impact of childhood trauma not only has the potential to spoil the present childhood but can even reach adulthood. It can result in deterioration of mental health, physical health as well as personal relationships. Here is what the effect of childhood trauma feels like –
Deteriorating mental health
Deteriorated mental health can be identified if the victim has suicidal symptoms, self harm, excess alcoholism, drug addiction, depression and improper relationship. Survivors of childhood trauma also have a very intense anxiety level.
Negatively impacted emotional health
Children encountering childhood trauma most of the time might experience the feeling of hopelessness, lack of self-confidence, shame, guilt , anxiety , worry, violence and sadness.
Childhood trauma might result in excess stress response from the body. Such children may have sleep difficulties, lower immunity, higher risk of illness and improper eating habits.
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Helping your child
It is very important to support and comfort the child in case of an overwhelming event. The feeling of reassurance can easily mitigate the effect of childhood trauma. You must guide and help the child to overcome his fear and grief. In rare cases, one can also get in touch with a mental health expert, psychiatrist and psychologists . Delivering consistent support to your child is one of the most recommended ways to help your child overcome childhood trauma.
How to overcome childhood trauma?
- Talk to your child politely and Ask him to share his notions and views regarding the event that has taken place.
- You must provide a very soothing touch and extra hugs so that the child may feel emotionally secure.
- Instead of discussing the event in a frightful manner, you must try to mark the points that are creating anxiety in him.
- Giving Assurance that everything will be completely fine is very important for the child.
- Encourage him to ask questions
- try to limit his exposure to television and the news related to the disturbing event. Children who are less exposed to The related news can quickly recover.
- Avoid Quickly reacting to the violent and Stressful behavior of the child. He might try to express his feeling of sadness that should be well listened .
- Avoid lecturing him too much
- Teach him some good breathing exercises so that he can naturally manage stress
Identifying trauma triggers
- Hyper behavioral changes
- Not eating proper food
- No Talking or responding properly
- Intense emotional activity because of the flashback taking place in the mind
- Behavioral changes during activities that are related to the event
- Changed behavioral pattern in case of some similar sound, person, food, smell or event
- Triggered Anger because of seeing some kind of similar person or object
- triggered trauma in case of similar smell of food, wood, alcohol, tobacco, perfume, shave or drugs
- Anything that has a similar taste can also trigger trauma in the victim by making him remember the same situation again
Avoid physical punishment
A person having childhood trauma might have intense behavioral changes that may be hard to handle. However, any sort of physical punishment is completely ineffective. It may result in temporary relief to you but would continue to impact the victim. In fact it can increase the behavioral problem in the child and make him lose trust in you. Try to avoid corporal punishments of any type as it can be detrimental to the physical and mental behaviour of the child.
Try to listen
It is highly important to lend an ear to the victim of childhood trauma. This Shall help you to find the related details to the event. Life threatening events can have a serious impact on sufferers. Spending just some time listening to the victim can reportedly give him a great relief. This can also help you to treat the underlying root causes of trauma thereby resulting in a quicker recovery.
Help your child learn to relax
SomeTimes when children are deeply impacted because of the trauma, they may not feel like speaking or discussing the event at all. A better idea would be to let them feel secure and normal with your lovable behavior. Do not force them to reveal the details on the spot. Once the child feels secured, he may feel like sharing the details on his own. It is very important to win the trust of the child in order to extract details and understand the event properly. Instead of stressing the child, try to make him feel relaxed.
Keeping a healthy and happy environment
Child who has already suffered from some kind of trauma might have behavioral issues and anxiety. In such a case the surroundings should be pleasant and happy. Do not try to raise your voice on little matters and create havoc. Even if the child becomes difficult to control, avoid resorting to punishment of any type. Create a very healthy environment so that it becomes easy for the child to forget the event and become normal once again.
Children are the future of the nation and they must be healthy both physically and mentally. It is our duty and role-play to keep them away from overwhelming situations until they attain full maturity.
It is very important for the child to know that eventually everything will be fine and he has no role to play in whatever has happened. Help him to overcome by narrating a few stories and where the victims were strong enough to overcome.
When to seek medical treatment?
If the child is continuously facing difficulty in coping up with the situation and coming back to normal, medical support may be needed. You can resort for a psychiatric treatment where there would be a couple of counseling sessions and treatments focusing on the behavioral pattern of the child. The trauma focused therapies are very helpful in mitigating the event related memories and supporting the child to overcome anxiety. Psychotherapy can again revive the healthy behavior of the child while improving his self-confidence.
The first thing that one must do for the child abuse victim is to console and make him feel secure. The child might face difficulties in overcoming the trauma in case of neglect and improper attention. It is important to encourage the child to discuss the problem in detail and ask questions. Proper attention on the behavioral pattern must be paid. If the child is at home, proper attention to his eating behavior and physical structure should be paid. Effect of trauma can be long-lasting and it is absolutely necessary to identify and nullify them before they harm the child vigorously.