Relational Trauma in Teenagers: Causes, Symptoms, and TreatmentsMost people think of trauma as something that happens only in cases of abuse or severe violence. However, trauma can occur in any situation where there is a significant disruption in the development of a secure attachment between a child and their primary caregiver. This type of trauma is known as relational trauma. Relational trauma often occurs during periods of stress or transition in the family system, such as divorce, chronic illness, or death. It can also occur when there is a change in the primary caregiving arrangement, such as when a child is adopted or moves from their parent’s home to an extended family’s home. In some cases, relational trauma may be caused by environmental factors such as bullying or a lack of feeling safe and accepted in their community. Regardless of the cause, relational trauma can have lasting effects on a child’s emotional and mental health.
Symptoms of Relational Trauma in TeenagersThe symptoms can vary depending on the individual teenager and the severity of the trauma. However, some common symptoms include:
- Withdrawal from friends and family members
- Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
- Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety, or worthlessness
- Angry outbursts or disruptive behavior at school or at home
- Substance abuse