What is childhood trauma?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, childhood trauma is defined as: “The experience of an event by a child that is emotionally painful or distressful, which often results in lasting mental and physical effects.”
Bad things happen in life as children grow up. Some are obvious, like a natural disaster that destroys a home, physical abuse or death of a parent. Others can also rock a child’s sense of safety and well-being, like community violence or substance abuse in a parent. Something as simple as being in a car accident or a child overhearing frequent, intense arguments between his or her parents can be traumatic for some children.
Learning how to understand, process and cope with difficulties – even tragedies – is a natural part of a child’s development process. But sometimes children get stuck. An experience, or repeated experiences, may leave a child with an overwhelming sense of fear and loss, making them feel that they have no safety or control over their lives. For some children, these feelings become so intense that they get in the way of their continued physical, emotional, social or intellectual development. This is childhood trauma.
Unaddressed, trauma can have long term effects on the quality and length of a person’s life. But the good news is that there are things you can do make your child less susceptible to trauma, identify trauma reactions and get the support you need to help your child recover.
Some Leading Causes
The most common causes of childhood trauma include:
Chaos or dysfunction in the house (such as domestic violence, parent with a mental illness, substance abuse or incarcerated)
Death of a loved one
Emotional abuse or neglect
Physical abuse or neglect
Separation from a parent or caregiver
Stress caused by poverty
Sudden and/or serious medical condition
Violence (at home, at school, or in the surrounding community)
How does trauma affect a child?
Traumatic events can affect children’s moods and their ability to regulate their emotions. … They may have developed coping skills to help them survive the repeated trauma that cause them to appear numb to emotions. Physical Development. Physical development may be affected by certain kinds of trauma.
Types of Trauma and Violence
Learn about the different kinds of traumatic events that can impact the behavioral health of individuals, families, and communities.
Traumatic events can include physical and sexual abuse, neglect, bullying, community-based violence, disaster, terrorism, and war.
SAMHSA’s TIP 57: Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services – 2014 and SAMHSA’s National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Types of Traumatic Stress (link is external) webpage provide in-depth information about the many different kinds of trauma and violence.
Sexual Abuse or Assault:
Sexual abuse or assault includes unwanted or coercive sexual contact, exposure to age-inappropriate sexual material or environments, and sexual exploitation. The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women defines sexual assault as “any type of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the explicit consent of the recipient.”
Physical Abuse or Assault:
Physical abuse or assault is defined as the actual or attempted infliction of physical pain (with or without the use of an object or weapon), including the use of severe corporeal punishment. Federal law defines child abuse as any act, or failure to act, which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse, or exploitation of a child.
Emotional Abuse or Psychological Maltreatment:
Emotional abuse and psychological maltreatment are considered acts of commission (other than physical or sexual abuse) against an individual. These kinds of acts, which include verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and excessive demands or expectations, may cause an individual to experience conduct, cognitive, affective, or other mental disturbances. These acts also include acts of omission against a minor such as emotional neglect or intentional social deprivation, which cause, or could cause, a child to experience conduct, cognitive, affective, or other mental disturbances.
Neglect is the most common form of abuse reported to child welfare authorities. However, it does not occur only with children. It can also happen when a primary caregiver fails to give an adult the care they need, even though the caregiver can afford to, or has the help to do so. Neglect also includes the failure to provide an individual with basic needs such as food, clothing, or shelter. It can also mean not providing medical or mental health treatment or prescribed medicines. Neglect also includes exposing someone to dangerous environments, abandoning a person, or expelling them from home.
Serious Accident, Illness, or Medical Procedure
Trauma can occur when a person experiences an unintentional injury or accident, a physical illness, or medical procedures that are extremely painful and/or life threatening.
Victim or Witness to Domestic Violence
According to DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women, domestic violence is defined as: “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological actions or threats of actions that influence another person. This includes any behaviors that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure, or wound someone.” Domestic violence includes violence and abuse by current or former intimate partners, parents, children, siblings, and other relatives.
For information on the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) work with domestic violence, visit the Administration for Children and Families’ Family and Youth Services Bureau.
Victim or Witness to Community Violence:
Extreme violence in the community, including exposure to gang-related violence, interracial violence, police and citizen altercations, and other forms of destructive individual and group violence is a recognized form of trauma.
Historical trauma is a form of trauma that impacts entire communities. It refers to the cumulative emotional and psychological wounding, as a result of group traumatic experiences, that is transmitted across generations within a community. Unresolved grief and anger often accompany this trauma and contribute to physical and behavioral health disorders. This type of trauma is often associated with racial and ethnic population groups in the United States who have suffered major intergenerational losses and assaults on their culture and well-being.
School violence is described as violence that occurs in a school setting and includes, but is not limited to, school shootings, bullying, interpersonal violence among classmates, and student suicide. Youth violence is a serious problem that can have lasting harmful effects on victims and their families, friends, and communities
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may experience serious, lasting problems. Trauma can be a consequence of bullying, which can lead to mental health issues, substance use, and suicide, particularly if there is a prior history of depression or delinquency.
Natural or Manmade Disasters:
Trauma can result from a major accident or disaster that is an unintentional result of a manmade or natural event. Disasters can occur naturally (such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, mudslides, or drought) or be human-caused (such as mass shootings, chemical spills, or terrorist attacks).
Forced displacement is a traumatic event that occurs when people face political persecution and are forced to relocate to a new home (as an immigrant or through political asylum) or become a refugee.
War, Terrorism, or Political Violence
Exposure to acts of war-, terrorism-, or political-related violence such as bombing, shooting, and looting can cause trauma in an individual.
Military trauma refers to both the impact of deployment and trauma-related stress on people who are deployed and their families. Significant numbers of returning service men and women experience mental and/or substance use disorders associated with military trauma and/or military sexual trauma.
Victim or Witness to Extreme Personal or Interpersonal Violence:
This type of trauma includes extreme violence by or between individuals including exposure to homicide, suicide, and other extreme events.
Traumatic Grief or Separation:
Traumatic grief and/or separation may include the death of a parent, primary caretaker, or sibling; abrupt and/or unexpected, accidental, or premature death or homicide of a close friend, family member, or other close relative; abrupt, unexplained and/or indefinite separation from a parent, primary caretaker, or sibling due to uncontrollable circumstances.
System-Induced Trauma and Retraumatization:
Many systems that are designed to help individuals and families can actually cause trauma. For example, in child welfare systems, abrupt removal from the home, foster placement, sibling separation, or multiple placements in a short amount of time can retraumatize children. In mental health systems, the use of seclusion and restraint on previously traumatized individuals can revive memories of trauma. Further, invasive medical procedures on a trauma victim can re-induce traumatic reactions.
What are the symptoms of trauma?
Emotional & psychological symptoms:
Shock, denial, or disbelief.
Confusion, difficulty concentrating.
Anger, irritability, mood swings.
Anxiety and fear.
Guilt, shame, self-blame.
Withdrawing from others.
Feeling sad or hopeless.
Feeling disconnected or numb.
What is PTSD in a child?
Posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is diagnosed after a person experiences symptoms for at least one month following a traumatic event.
The disorder is characterized by three main types of symptoms: Re-experiencing the trauma through intrusive distressing recollections of the event, flashbacks, and nightmares.
How Can Brãv Help Your Kid?
As for the information about Children’s Health Care City Center on the Huffington post,in the light out the Article we would like to extend our hand of support to your kid.
Brāv is an early-stage company focused on developing products that will curb destructive conflict.
We employ a human-centered design process to understand our users and build tools that are much needed.
Brāv trains anyone in conflict management who in turn manage the conflicts of others directly on our site www.brav.org
Brāv can provide the online counseling and fire sides as well.
Can you cure trauma?
As with most mental illnesses, no cure exists for PTSD, but the symptoms can be effectively managed to restore the affected individual to normal functioning. The best hope for treating PTSD is a combination of medication and therapy. So, Brāv can be used as a useful therapatic session for your child.
How does post traumatic stress disorder affect everyday life?
PTSD can be a debilitating disorder and its symptoms can have a negative impact on a number of different areas in a person’s life. In particular, the disorder can negatively affect an individual’s mental health, physical health, work, and relationships. So, we here try to make a positive impact in one’s mind by ensuring the support one gets from us to overcome the negatives.
If you decide to talk about depression with your child, you may be concerned about saying the “right” thing. However, just having an open and honest discussion with your child can provide her with much-needed support.
As far as the “saying the right thing” goes, we’re here to help you.
You want to make sure that your child understands what you are saying and is not confused or bored by the discussion.
Make sure that you are using words that your child can understand.
We Understand and take the following steps to make sure that they feel “Understood”.
Your child needs to know that you recognize and respect his feelings. Even if you do not quite understand his thoughts, avoid quipping, “What do you have to be depressed about?” or “Don’t be ridiculous.” Comments like these just cause a child to keep his feelings to himself or become defensive. We understand that.
We allow your child to talk openly and express his opinions and thoughts. Avoiding to interrupt or judge him. Knowing that he has someone he can confide in help to sort out his feelings.
Talking to your child about his depression can be a very important part of his recovery.
HELP YOUR CHILD.