When children face a personal trauma – for instance sexual abuse or extreme physical abuse, they are likely
to develop symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. According to research,
intense personal trauma can damage a child’s psyche. The younger the children
during the traumatic event, the greater are the chances of developing Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Children who face personal trauma
have a tendency to internalize their feelings, experience guilt and even blame
themselves for what has happened. This can lead to negative self-image and
hamper their mental development gravely.
A whopping 3 million children are
exposed to domestic violence each year in the United States. Close to 5 million
children face trauma every year in the United States- this translates into 1.8
million new cases of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder each year.
The National Center for PTSD
has outlined clear symptoms of PTSD in
children. The presence of any of these symptoms for more than a month may
signal the need for medical care.
• Unable to talk about the event or describe feelings
• Generalized fear
• Sleep disturbances, nightmares
• Heightened arousal or edginess
• Separation anxiety
• Loss of speech or motor skills
• Stomach aches and headaches
• Hyperactive starter reflex
• Personality changes, mood changes
• Undue concern and worry
• Aggressive behaviors and angry outbursts
• Extreme self- consciousness