As a parent, one of the most difficult things to witness is seeing your child struggle with unresolved trauma. Trauma can have a lasting effect on teens and can negatively impact their emotional health in many ways.
Here are some ways unresolved trauma can affect your teen's psychological health.
Difficulty Controlling Emotions
Unresolved trauma can have a lasting impact on a teen's emotional health, causing them to have difficulty regulating and controlling their emotions.
When teens experience trauma, they may feel overwhelmed and overwhelmed, making it difficult to cope with everyday stressors. This can lead to negative behaviors such as lashing out in anger or withdrawing from activities that were once enjoyable. Trauma can also trigger flashbacks or intrusive memories of the traumatic event, which can cause an outburst of emotion or panic attack.
Because unresolved trauma leaves teens unable to control their emotions, it often leads to frustration, depression, and anxiety. Feeling constantly overwhelmed by strong feelings can cause teens to become discouraged about their future, leading to feelings of hopelessness that further drive destructive behaviors.
In some cases, these feelings of despair may lead to self-harm as a way of trying to cope with the intense emotions they are experiencing.
Withdrawal or Isolation
Unresolved trauma can lead to difficulty trusting others and developing meaningful relationships. Teens who have experienced unresolved trauma may be suspicious of those who offer help, feeling that such vulnerability is too dangerous.
As a result, they may become more isolated and withdrawn, turning to activities such as gaming or social media as a way to cope with their feelings without having to face them directly.
Unresolved trauma can also cause teens to overreact in situations that may appear harmless but trigger painful memories and emotions for the teen. These reactions can lead to overwhelming feelings of guilt or shame, prompting your teen to isolate further in an attempt to avoid similar incidents in the future.
Isolating themselves can also give the teen a sense of control over their environment which they may have lacked during the traumatic event they experienced.
You need to recognize when your teen is struggling with unresolved trauma so that you can provide support and care. One way to help them is through a trauma treatment program for teens, which helps your teen process the trauma and build an internal toolkit of skills and strategies to better manage their emotions.
Also, these programs provide a safe place for your teen to work through the trauma in an environment of compassion and understanding.