Trauma can occur at any age but can be especially difficult for children. Children have not yet developed all the coping skills they need to handle the stress that trauma brings and often don’t have the resources or know-how to ask for help. It becomes the job of you as the parent to ensure that they get the help they need and address childhood trauma at the first signs of any issues. Contact Viewpoint Dual Recovery to learn about trauma treatment.
What is Trauma?
Trauma is an event or experience that causes a person to become so overwhelmed they cannot cope in normal ways. It can be a one-time thing or a chronic issue, and it can cause temporary unrest or problems months and years down the road. It is different for every person that experiences it and usually is experienced by the person directly. Trauma includes things such as natural disasters, family changes, the loss of a loved one, and even accidents.
Is Childhood Trauma Different?
Childhood trauma is a little more complex than trauma in general. Children can experience all the same trauma as adults, direct trauma that they experience first-hand. But they can also experience trauma by simply witnessing events, which occurs much more commonly for them than for adults. Witnessing their parents in domestic violence situations, standing by while their sibling is sick, or other second-hand experiences create trauma for children as well. This is why it’s important to oversee what children are exposed to and limit things like the news, which can offer up trauma-inducing images.
Trauma will also affect children differently and can require different mental health treatment than for adults. For example, losing a parent is more traumatic as a child than if it happens when you’re an adult. Children often feel less in control of the situation and more helpless than adults, and for a good reason. This gives trauma the potential to create more issues in children. The signs of trauma may also display differently in children, with things such as separation anxiety, school difficulty, or sexual activity being added to the list.
Why Childhood Trauma Needs to be Addressed
Children that experience traumatic events or are victims of a given situation are more likely to develop addictions to drugs and alcohol. There are government studies that show that more than a quarter of the population will experience at least one trauma by the time they become an adult. This means that those particular children are more at risk of turning to drugs and alcohol to cope.
With addiction as a potential ongoing difficulty for adults, overcoming trauma and getting the mental health treatment they need is key for anyone who has experienced childhood trauma. Even adults who are entering recovery and finding that they have repressed childhood traumas that have gone unresolved can benefit from addressing their trauma before it becomes a bigger issue.
Unresolved childhood trauma can also lead to adult attachment disorder, feelings of guilt and shame, and relationship issues. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, trauma is a risk factor for nearly all behavioral health and substance use disorders1. It is undeniably important that it be addressed.
Reach Out to Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center
At Viewpoint Dual Recovery Center, you’ll experience true dual diagnosis outpatient treatment. Our center houses psychologists to provide a mental health focus as well as substance use. Experience art, yoga, equine, and other forms of therapy to help while on your path to recovery. Call us at 855.746.3633 to learn more about how we can help you and your child today.