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Understanding the Long Term Effects of Trauma in Teens

teenage girl looking dejected with her back towards therapist who is slowly understanding the long term effects of trauma in teens

Traumatic experiences do not only happen to adults; teens and adolescents can also develop trauma disorders in response to incidents in their lives. When most people think of a traumatic experience, they picture combat or surviving a natural disaster, but the truth is that people may experience trauma in many different situations. The long-term effects of trauma can be quite severe, and a professional trauma therapy program is often the best chance of regaining mental and emotional well-being.

In the United States alone, an estimated 13% of children and teens experience a traumatic event before they reach the age of 16. This can include experiencing physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; witnessing violence in the home or community; being victims of bullying; living through natural disasters; and witnessing death or injury.

These events can have a lasting effect on young people, leading to depression, anxiety, increased risk of substance abuse, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), academic difficulties, and more. Teenagers who have experienced trauma must be given access to therapeutic support to help them process their experiences and cope with long-term symptoms. Imagine Nampa in Idaho offers a trauma therapy program for teens and adolescents aged 12-17. Call 888.503.4604 to learn more or to get started with treatment.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is a psychological response caused by intense or extreme stress. It can stem from physical, emotional, or sexual violence, natural disasters, car accidents, and other adverse experiences that overwhelm the individual’s coping mechanisms. While most people have some degree of resilience to trauma in their early years, teenagers and adolescents are particularly vulnerable due to the hormones and social development of this age group.

What Are the Most Likely Sources of Trauma for Teens and Adolescents?

The most common causes of trauma in teens and adolescents include the following:

  • Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse
  • Neglect by family members
  • Bullying or harassment at school or online
  • Serious illnesses
  • A parent’s death or similar life-altering event
  • Natural disasters such as floods or fires

Teens may also experience trauma from witnessing violence in their homes, such as domestic abuse or a family member’s substance abuse.

How Does Teenage Trauma Affect Adulthood?

The effects of trauma can be long-lasting and far-reaching. Some people who have experienced intense trauma will have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which can manifest as any of the following:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Flashbacks
  • Emotional numbing
  • Depression
  • Feelings of guilt or shame

Other long-term symptoms include hypervigilance (being constantly on alert for danger); relationship problems; poor concentration; difficulty controlling emotions; and physical complaints. These issues can affect a person’s career, relationships, and overall quality of life.

What Are the Benefits of Trauma Therapy?

Trauma therapy is an integral part of recovery from a traumatic experience. It involves psychotherapy and other modalities to help people work through their emotional pain safely and at their own pace. This type of therapy can help individuals to:

  • Identify triggers that cause strong reactions
  • Confront negative beliefs they may have adopted as a result of trauma
  • Practice relaxation techniques
  • Develop healthy coping skills for dealing with difficult emotions

How Can Imagine Nampa Help Teens and Adolescents Who Have Experienced Trauma?

At Imagine Nampa, we understand how traumatic experiences can impact teens and adolescents. Our dedicated team of mental health professionals provides trauma-recovery therapy for teens and adolescents, focusing on helping them build resilience and develop healthy coping skills to manage the long-term effects of trauma.

We also offer family therapy services so parents or caregivers can receive support and guidance in helping their teens recover from traumatic experiences. If you’re looking for a safe space to start healing from trauma, contact Imagine Nampa today at 888.503.4604 or reach us online to learn more about our programs. We are here to help!