Effects of traumatic childhood stress

A child who experiences a traumatic event may feel scared or anxious. They may regress in their development (bed-wetting, for example), have strained relationships or struggle to regulate their emotions. These outcomes might present themselves right away or surface over time, but fortunately, Stark County resources are available to help manage the effects of traumatic childhood stress.

Effects of childhood trauma

Young children cannot adequately communicate their fear or helplessness in words, so they use actions and behaviors to express their feelings. Common behaviors of a child who has experienced trauma include:

  • Difficult time separating from parents at school
  • Loss of previously acquired developmental skills, such as speech and potty training
  • Lowered IQ and ability to regulate emotions
  • Reduction in brain size and functioning
  • Strained relationships with parents and other adults
  • Trouble sleeping because of nightmares and/or night terrors
  • Unwillingness to play outside without a family member
  • Use imaginative play to attempt to change the outcome of a traumatic event

If you believe a child is exhibiting signs of childhood trauma, seek out support from a professional counselor. There are many qualified mental health resources available here in Stark County.