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How Trauma Can Affect Your Teen’s Personality

effects of trauma

The links between childhood and teen trauma, personality, and adult behaviors, moods and anxiety are becoming more clearer than ever. This is because teen trauma often sticks around for longer than anyone would desire, especially if not treated through trauma therapy for teens. For example, a recent study in Journal of Clinical Psychiatry finds that the effects of trauma that a woman might experience as a teenager are linked to a greater risk of depression, even if she had not yet experienced a depressive episode before the trauma occurred.

If your teen has suffered any kind of trauma, contact us online or call 888.291.2309 today to learn about how we can help.

What Is Teen Trauma?

Teen trauma is an event or series of events experienced in childhood that:

  • Evokes fear
  • Is dangerous
  • Can be violent
  • May be life-threatening

Teenagers can be deeply upset by a myriad of local, national or international tragedies that they have witnessed or are witnessing live on TV and through social media. Additionally, teen trauma can be experiences that will affect them personally or their friends. Because they are still young, emotional, and inexperienced with profound sadness, your teenager will likely handle and process their trauma differently than adults might.

In order to help teens cope with the trauma they are suffering from, parents and concerned adults need to understand the ways in which teenagers manage their emotions, stress and sadness, and the ways teen trauma affects a teen’s personality.

A teen trauma therapy program can be successful because it has the capacity to uncover and make sense of the effects of trauma. Some of the most common forms of teen trauma are:

  • Abuse
    • Physical
    • Emotional
    • Sexual
  • Domestic violence
  • Childhood neglect
  • Bullying
  • Death of a parent, sibling, or friend
  • Acts of nature, such as a tornado or hurricane
  • Surviving a car accident, train or plane crash

When trying to cope with teen trauma, kids may find themselves overwhelmed and feel alone. A therapy program for teen trauma can help assure them that they are not alone, that the teen trauma they have suffered and their emotional strife as a result is valid and seen, and confirm for them that they can and will overcome the trauma to live a happy, healthy life.

The Effects of Teen Trauma

An estimated 46% of children experience trauma at some point in their early lives. Although teens are resilient, they’re not made of stone or made to suffer through traumatic experiences. A person will not necessarily be emotionally scarred forever if they endure horrific trauma as a child. However, it’s important to recognize when a teen may need professional medical help for dealing with their teen trauma. Early intervention and therapy can also prevent the ongoing effects of trauma into adulthood.

Teen trauma can also affect personality, as a child finds ways to cope and is changed by the events and experiences of their childhood and teenage years. Because PTSD is possible, teens might evolve to work hard at avoiding any reminders of the trauma. Sadly, they may also have the trauma playing on repeat in their mind. All of this weighs heavily on a teen and will affect relationships and their personality. For example, teens may:

  • Act younger than they are (such as by sucking their thumb)
  • Experience trouble focusing or sleeping
  • Feel depressed or anxious
  • Find it difficult to be affectionate with others, be detached or non-responsive
  • Experience anger
  • Lose interest in activities they once enjoyed or lose touch with reality
  • Worry about dying young

Learn More at Imagine Fort Collins

Our teen trauma counselors at Imagine Fort Collins are ready to provide the professional support needed to help your teen. Don’t hesitate to call us 888.291.2309 or contact our team online today to learn more about how our teen trauma therapy program can be of assistance.