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How Does Trauma Affect Teens in School?

Every child deserves a happy and healthy childhood. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), more than two-thirds of children in the U.S. report at least one traumatic event by age 16. Traumatic events can have long-lasting effects on teenagers emotionally and mentally. These teen trauma effects can lead to academic struggles, anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges. Fortunately, teen trauma treatment can help get your child back on track. Call 877.466.0620 to speak with someone from our caring and compassionate team at Destinations for Teens about the effects of trauma on teens and how we can help your child and your family.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is a psychological response to a distressing event that overwhelms an individual’s coping ability. It includes physical, emotional, and psychological threats. Trauma can be triggered by sexual abuse, physical assault, natural disasters, the loss of a loved one, or any other traumatic event that shakes an individual’s sense of security. Trauma affects people of all ages, but teens are especially vulnerable as they are still developing their coping skills and emotional regulation.

How Does Trauma Affect Teens at Home?

Trauma can affect teenagers in many ways at home. They may experience:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nightmares
  • Mood swings

As a result, they may become withdrawn and avoid social situations, leading to a lack of socialization skills. They may also experience irritability, hypervigilance, and anger, leading to conflicts with family members and friends. Teens may also resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms such as self-harm, substance abuse, or disordered eating. Teens with trauma need a safe, nurturing, and supportive environment at home.

How Does Trauma Affect Teens in School?

Trauma can have long-lasting effects on academic performance. Teens with trauma may struggle with:

  • Concentration
  • Memory
  • Completing school assignments
  • Test anxiety

They may have difficulty retaining information—challenges include a decline in grades and self-confidence. Trauma can also lead to behavioral issues such as truancy, aggression, or defiance, leading to suspension or expulsion. School environments can also trigger trauma, such as bullying, harassment, or other forms of mistreatment. Additionally, those who experience trauma are more likely to drop out of school or face disciplinary action due to disruptive behaviors.

What Are the Effects of Trauma on Teens?

Long-term teen trauma effects can be significant if left untreated. The effects can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Panic attacks
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance abuse

Teens may also experience social isolation and difficulty in forming relationships. Without proper treatment, these effects can continue to affect an individual into adulthood.

How Can You Help a Younger Loved One Struggling with Trauma?

If your loved one struggles with trauma, you can help in many ways. First, listen and validate their feelings. Trauma survivors need to feel heard and believed. Encourage them to talk to a mental health professional who deals with teen trauma treatment. Help build a supportive and safe environment at home and school. Encourage them to participate in activities that promote mental and emotional wellness, such as exercise, art, and meditative practices. You can also encourage them to seek professional help. Teen trauma treatment can take many forms, including:

  • Individual therapy
  • Support groups
  • Family counseling

Teens may participate in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, or trauma-focused therapy. Therapy can help individuals understand their traumatic experiences, manage emotions, and develop coping skills. A holistic approach to treatment may include activities such as yoga, mindfulness, and art therapy. Teens with trauma may also require medication to manage symptoms such as anxiety or depression.

Find Teen Trauma Treatment in California with Destinations for Teens

Trauma can have long-term effects on teens’ mental and physical health and academic performance. Through teen trauma treatment, individuals can learn healthy coping mechanisms to manage their symptoms and minimize the effects of trauma. If you or someone you care for is struggling with the effects of trauma, seek professional help today. At Destinations for Teens, we provide tailored mental health treatment for teens that can help them rebuild their lives after trauma. Contact Destinations for Teens today at 877.466.0620 to learn more.