Understanding the Roots of Trauma

Body of a teen who now understanding the roots of trauma

Trauma is one of the most widely shared human experiences. It impacts most people in some form throughout their lives. Quite often, traumatic experiences happen during adolescence or even earlier in life. This reality helps explain the potential importance of a trauma therapy program to a teen in recovery. One of the key benefits of this therapy is that it enables you to understand the root causes of trauma.

What to Know About the Roots of Trauma

What are people referring to when they talk about trauma? The term is used to describe certain kinds of:

  • Standalone events
  • Recurring events
  • More general circumstances or situations

These events and situations may differ significantly in their details. However, they all share an ability to surpass the human capacity for intense stress exposure. In this way, they can function as roots of trauma.

Experiences That Can Be Root Causes of Trauma

Understanding the roots of trauma is difficult without also understanding the types of experiences that can trigger it. Some traumatic experiences take the form of natural phenomena. That includes earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, forest fires, and hurricanes. Others are the result of accidents such as car crashes and falls.

In addition, some traumas are caused by intentional human actions. Classic examples of human-made trauma sources include physical and sexual abuse, neglect, rape, and sexual assault. They also include robberies, shootings, and exposure to war zones or combat. Lasting traumatic reactions are possible whenever your teen lives through any of these many experiences.

The Role of Stress Tolerance in Unresolved Trauma

An ability to tolerate stress is part of our collective human DNA. However, the extent of this ability isn’t the same for everyone. Instead, it varies from person to person. Age is an essential factor in developing stress tolerance. As a rule, it increases gradually from childhood to adulthood. Teenagers typically have higher tolerance than younger children but less tolerance than adults. This means that your teen child may be overwhelmed by stress in situations where you are not.

Adverse effects may occur if your or your child’s stress threshold is surpassed. These effects can alter your brain and body chemistry in harmful ways. They can also negatively impact your everyday thoughts, emotional states, and behaviors. Awareness of these potential changes can help simplify the process of understanding trauma.

Understanding When Traumatic Experiences Linger

There is also another element in understanding the roots of trauma. Not everyone who goes through a traumatic experience will develop severe, lingering problems. Even among teenagers, the percentage of people who do is relatively low. Research shows that the risks for lingering teen trauma include:

  • The severity of the trauma
  • Whether your teen directly experienced trauma or witnessed it secondhand
  • The ways you react to a traumatic event that impacted your child

Teens who witness trauma at a distance have lower risks than those who directly experience it. Generally speaking, the greater the distance, the smaller the risk. This pattern also applies to the traumatic events that you experience. The more direct your involvement, the higher your risk of developing lasting trauma.

Get Started on Trauma Therapy in Colorado at Imagine Fort Collins

Has your child gone through a traumatic experience? By understanding the roots of trauma, you can better understand how they might be affected. You can also make better decisions about any needed follow-up treatment. For more information, talk to the helpful professionals at Imagine Fort Collins.

Teen trauma treatment is one of many options available at Imagine. We can add customized trauma therapy to any plan for substance or mental health recovery. Ready to get started? Contact us today at 888.291.2309 to begin your child’s enrollment. You can also reach us online through our convenient message form.