A large percentage of children are exposed to a traumatic event at least once in their childhood. Such events could include the death of a family member or friend, abuse, illness, displacement from a home, violence, or natural disaster. Other less-obvious traumatic events could include moments of intense emotional, social, or physical stress that look minor to onlookers but have deep-seated and lasting impacts on how the child perceives the world, their place in it, and how they relate to others. Many times, children don’t have the vocabulary to describe their experiences or feelings about them. Sometimes children find their own healthy ways to work through their trauma, but others will find it harder to cope. Things to watch for in a child include withdrawal; change in eating, sleeping, social and other habits; phobias; and obsessive behaviors or worries. Professional help is often the most effective way of aiding a child who has experienced trauma, but there is a plethora of strategies for helping their progress.
If you or someone you know is in immediate need of support, please seek professional help. If you are in crisis, here are some immediate free resources.