Child traumatic stress can come in many different forms and can affect children in multiple ways even well into adulthood.
An article from the National Childhood Traumatic Stress Network explains what exactly child traumatic stress is and how it can impact children and their families. One fact that the article stresses is that there are a variety of events or experiences that may cause traumatic stress. For example...
“Even though adults work hard to keep children safe, dangerous events still happen. This danger can come from outside of the family (such as a natural disaster, car accident, school shooting, or community violence) or from within the family, such as domestic violence, physical or sexual abuse, or the unexpected death of a loved one.”
So how might these types of experiences impact children and their families? According to the article...
“Children who suffer from child traumatic stress are those who have been exposed to one or more traumas over the course of their lives and develop reactions that persist and affect their daily lives after the events have ended. Traumatic reactions can include a variety of responses, such as intense and ongoing emotional upset, depressive symptoms or anxiety, behavioral changes, difficulties with self-regulation, problems relating to others or forming attachments, regression or loss of previously acquired skills, attention and academic difficulties, nightmares, difficulty sleeping and eating, and physical symptoms, such as aches and pains. Older children may use drugs or alcohol, behave in risky ways, or engage in unhealthy sexual activity.”
Clearly, child traumatic stress can be a very complex issue and one that is still being widely researched and studied. To learn more about it, check out the full article from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. For additional information and resources check out the NCTSN website by clicking here.
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