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How Untreated Teenage Trauma Can Impact Adulthood

Teen coping with teen trauma

Time does not heal all wounds. Survivors of childhood trauma often struggle with the long-term effects throughout their lives. They may turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms without proper support, such as substance abuse, self-harm, or even suicide.

While it is important to acknowledge the pain that teenage trauma can cause, it is also important to remember that healing is possible. With the proper support, survivors can learn to cope with their experiences healthily and even go on to lead happy, fulfilling lives. If your adolescent is between 12 and 17 and may need teenage trauma therapy , contact Imagine Boise at 888.597.2807 today.

What Are Some Causes of Trauma in Teenage Years?

Teenage trauma comes in a variety of forms. Some of the most widely reported traumatic events that can affect children and teenagers include:

  • Physical or sexual assault
  • A life-threatening illness or serious accident
  • School or community violence
  • Sexual, physical, or psychological abuse
  • Witnessing or experiencing domestic violence
  • Violent or sudden loss of a loved one
  • Death of a parent
  • Military family stressors
  • Terrorism or natural disasters

It should be noted that trauma, especially teenage trauma that remains untreated, is a risk factor for just about every behavioral health and substance use disorder.

When Does Teenage Trauma Begin?

Teenage trauma effects often begin immediately after a single causative event. But if the event repeats over time, such as abuse, teenage trauma effects can appear while the causative event continues. There are some instances in which the effects of trauma in the adolescent years don’t appear until much later in life.

The impact of a traumatic event or series of events can last through a person’s entire life.  It is not uncommon for survivors of childhood trauma to struggle with mental health and substance abuse problems into adulthood.

Signs of Trauma During the Teen Years

It can be challenging to recognize the effects of teenage trauma. Some of the most common effects of teenage trauma in young adults and adolescents can include:

  • Lower grades
  • Learning difficulties
  • More disciplinary actions in school
  • Increased involvement with the juvenile justice and child welfare systems
  • Risky behavior
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Loss of interest in normal activities
  • Anger and irritation
  • Poor sleeping habits
  • Headaches, upset stomachs, and other pains for which a root cause can’t be found

How Does Teenage Trauma Affect Adulthood in the Long Run?

Teenage trauma often impacts the way an adult forms attachments in romantic relationships. It often expresses itself through attachment styles that are preoccupied, fearful, and dismissive. They may be more likely to have unhealthy relationships with others or avoid relationships altogether. Additional effects of teenage trauma in adults include:

  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Depression
  • A general distrust of other people
  • Poor self-esteem
  • An increased likelihood of developing chronic illnesses
  • An increased risk of developing eating disorders
  • A loss of childhood memories
  • Chronic stress and illness

Furthermore, adults who experienced trauma as children or teenagers are more susceptible to thoughts of suicide. They are also more likely to engage in high-risk behaviors and activities.

Finding Trauma Therapy Support for Recovery at Imagine Boise

Not every teen or child develops traumatic stress after experiencing a traumatic event. However, professional treatment and support are often necessary to recover and thrive after trauma.

At Imagine Boise, we provide comprehensive trauma therapy for teenagers that addresses the unique needs of this age group. We understand the importance of developing a trusting, therapeutic relationship with our clients. We can help your teen move toward recovery and strengthen their potential for a bright future.

If your teenager or a teen you know is exhibiting symptoms of untreated teenage trauma, contact Imagine Boise today at 888.597.2807.