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Long-Term Effects of Childhood Trauma

young woman sitting on edge of her bed staring out window struggling with long term effects of childhood trauma

Childhood trauma is a broad term that refers to any emotional, physical, or psychological stress experienced by a child. It can range from parental neglect or abuse to natural disasters and more. While all children experience some level of trauma in their lives, the effects of these traumas can last far into adulthood if not addressed early on. Fortunately, there are ways to help adolescents cope with childhood trauma as they grow up.

At Imagine Omaha, we help teens and adolescents between the ages of 12 and 18 by offering a trauma therapy program. Call 888.306.2681 to learn more about how we can help with the long-term effects of trauma.

What Causes Childhood Trauma?

Childhood trauma can stem from a variety of sources. Some of the most common causes include the following:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect
  • Bullying and peer pressure
  • Parental substance abuse or mental illness
  • Domestic violence in the home
  • Exposure to violence in the community or media
  • Sudden loss of a loved one due to death or divorce
  • Living through traumatic events such as a natural disaster or war conflict

All these situations can have an impact on an adolescent’s mental health and well-being. It’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of childhood trauma so that intervention and professional help can address the situation. The sooner childhood trauma can be addressed, the better the chances of preventing long-term effects.

What Are Some Long-Term Effects Of Childhood Trauma?

The long-term effects of childhood trauma can be severe and wide-ranging. However, they can also prove to be subtle, as many are indicative of other mental health disorders or even day-to-day stress and anxiety.

Knowing what to look for when assessing the potential long-term effects of trauma is essential. Commonly observed issues often include the following:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety disorders (e.g., panic disorder)
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Negative self-image issues such as low self-esteem or feelings of worthlessness
  • Difficulty forming meaningful relationships
  • Behavioral problems such as aggression or risk-taking behaviors
  • Mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating/focusing
  • Social isolation
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Eating disorders (e.g., anorexia nervosa)
  • Substance abuse issues

If these long-term effects of trauma are not addressed—preferably through a professional mental health treatment program targeting teens and adolescents—they can cause lifelong disruptions to health and happiness. Even if mild, just a handful of these conditions can prevent an individual from thriving and achieving their full potential.

What Are Effective Therapies for Childhood Trauma?

Fortunately, many therapies are available to help adolescents deal with childhood trauma in healthy ways. These therapies often involve talking about their experiences with a trained therapist in order to process them in a safe environment where they feel supported and understood. Some effective therapies may include the following:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT)
  • Mindfulness practices such as yoga or meditation
  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Family therapy

Additionally, some treatment programs may incorporate music, art, or animals into their therapeutic approaches to treating childhood trauma.

Reach Out to Imagine Omaha

Childhood trauma is something no adolescent should have to go through alone. Unfortunately, it is an all too common experience for many young people today. Learning about what causes childhood trauma, its long-term effects on adolescents’ mental health and well-being, and effective therapies for overcoming it is an important step toward helping our kids heal from their past traumas so they can move forward into healthier futures.

At Imagine Omaha, we specialize in helping adolescents who have experienced childhood traumas learn new coping strategies, build resilience, and create positive change in their lives. We believe everyone deserves access to quality care regardless of background. Reach out to Imagine Omaha at 888.306.2681 or contact us online to begin the journey toward healing from childhood trauma.