How Untreated Trauma in Teens Can Lead to Issues Later in Life

Person dealing with untreated trauma

As they grow older, teenagers will face many challenges in their day-to-day lives. Although parents may try to shield their children from some of the more difficult parts of life, adolescents will inevitably experience stress, pain, and grief. Unfortunately, some of these emotions and forms of trauma may be too much for a teenager to handle. It is not uncommon for teens to develop mental health conditions due to trauma. Not only are they dealing with the rapid changes of puberty, but also the stress of relationships and academic expectations.

Untreated trauma often gets worse over time, not better. If you think that your teen is struggling with trauma, they may benefit from a trauma therapy program. At Imagine Fort Collins, our compassionate mental health professionals have years of experience treating trauma in teens. We can help your teen address the root cause of the trauma in our trauma therapy program, teaching them to find constructive ways to manage their symptoms. Don’t hesitate to contact us at 888.291.2309 to learn more about what we can offer. Your child can learn to get through their experience to live happier after therapy.

What Is Teen Trauma?

Trauma results from an extraordinarily stressful event or series of events that a teen experiences. These events can often include:

  • Abuse
  • Neglect
  • Bullying, whether online or in person
  • Death of a family member or friend
  • Natural disasters
  • Experiencing a severe illness

Adolescents can experience immense stress due to personal, local, or national events they experience or witness through social media and the internet. What happens if trauma is left untreated? Because teens are still young and do not have the tools to process these events and experiences, they may handle their trauma differently than an adult would.

What Happens When Trauma Goes Untreated?

Teen trauma erodes an adolescent’s sense of stability and sense of self, and when this trauma is left untreated, it can often be carried into adulthood. However, even when trauma is left untreated, a teen will attempt to find ways to cope. The resulting behaviors may be counterproductive to their ability to function in society. Some of the effects of untreated trauma in teens can include:

  • Increased tendency to use drugs and alcohol
  • Acting younger than they are
  • Avoidant behavior patterns

Later in life, untreated trauma that occurred during adolescence can still impact a person’s psyche. Adults who have unresolved trauma can often experience feelings of shame and guilt, as well as have trouble controlling their emotions. Teen trauma has many effects, highly dependent on the type of trauma the person experiences and their ability to cope.

What is known is that there are strong connections between childhood trauma and high-risk behavior such as smoking and drinking, as well as chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cancer. The long-term stress and anxiety associated with unresolved trauma can go on to cause physical and mental issues later in life.

Learn About Teen Trauma Therapy at Imagine Fort Collins

There is no reason to let trauma take over your teen’s life. Trauma counseling programs can teach teens valuable skills to help them manage trauma. Some of the benefits of these programs include positive coping skills, how to achieve a better quality of life and relationships, education about mental health, and improved skills for self-care and management of symptoms.

We offer teen mental health programs at Imagine Fort Collins, including trauma therapy and counseling. Our compassionate and non-judgmental counselors are ready to provide the professional support needed to help your teen. To discuss how our trauma therapy program can help your teen live without fear and worry, contact us at 888.291.2309.