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The Impacts of Untreated Teen Trauma on Adult Life

Trauma is an emotional reaction to an event, such as physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. In addition, trauma can also be present if a child or teen has experienced a traumatic event, such as losing a loved one, changes in family dynamics such as divorce, or being part of a natural disaster. No matter the event, trauma presents reactions that need to be addressed so that teens can live healthy, happy lives. Mental health support is necessary if your teen has experienced any trauma. A trauma treatment program will help your teen overcome the negative experiences in their life. Through individual, group, and holistic counseling, teens will learn to acknowledge their traumas through positive coping strategies.

Signs of Untreated Childhood Trauma in Adults

Most adults have experienced abuse or trauma during their childhood. Unresolved childhood trauma has a profound impact on adults. For some, it can cause people to feel unable to move forward in their life because they are constantly dealing with their mental health challenges. For others, untreated trauma presents physical challenges that will leave them feeling isolated. When people have experienced trauma as children, and it goes untreated, they are often viewed by others as being pessimistic, isolated, and distrusting of others. If you’ve ever wondered “what happens when trauma goes untreated,” here are some common ways that less-than-positive experiences can impact adults:

  • Substance Use Disorders (Drugs or Alcohol)
  • Engaging in high-risk behaviors
  • Difficulty forming relationships
  • Attachment issues
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Hyperactivity
  • Unable to cope with life’s challenges
  • Low self-esteem and confidence
  • Lack of concentration
  • Poor academic performance
  • Suicide Attempts
  • Consistent Illness

Overall, untreated trauma leaves adults feeling helpless in their lives. Many feel isolated and unable to trust others because of their childhood experiences. While these signs of childhood trauma do not all apply to everyone, they are often present in many adults.

What Happens When Trauma Goes Untreated?

Untreated childhood trauma in adults has the power to create a vicious cycle of abuse in families and communities. When people do not learn how to heal from their past, they will never be able to move forward in their lives. Mental health professionals and medical practitioners can help teens manage the signs of trauma so that they do not have to struggle in their lives. However, the effects of untreated trauma in adults are significant. When trauma is left untreated, adults will:

  • Deny the experience
  • Have unpredictable emotions
  • Experience flashbacks
  • Have strained relationships with others
  • Become distrustful of others and themselves
  • Become impulsive
  • Experience physical symptoms such as headaches and nausea

Untreated trauma often leaves adults feeling broken and relying on drugs or alcohol to manage their emotions. However, seeking help from a mental health professional will help teens learn to positively navigate their feelings and experiences.

Heal From the Effects of Untreated Trauma With Destinations For Teens

Experiencing trauma at any age is never easy. Studies have shown that when children experience trauma, and it is left untreated, there will be grave consequences. The effects of untreated trauma can leave young adults feeling isolated and unable to trust others–even themselves. With trained support, teens can learn to meet the challenge of overcoming their traumas positively. At Destinations for Teens, we provide several treatment options, including individual, group, family, and creative therapy options. Contact us at 877.466.0620 to learn how we can help your teens heal from their trauma and become empowered in their lives.