People can go through trauma and suffer long-term effects regardless of their age. However, childhood trauma can be particularly problematic.
If a child doesn’t feel safe around their parents, siblings, or other caretakers, they may be more prone to serious physical and mental health challenges. This is especially true if they do not receive help and support early on.
According to Kate Eshleman, PsyD, adults must remember that children see the world differently than they do. What might not be frightening or traumatizing to them may cause severe trauma for a child.
Long-term effects of childhood trauma include:
- Anxiety and depression
- Cardiovascular disease
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Substance use disorders
Of course, experiencing childhood trauma does not agree that a person will develop these issues as an adult.
Their risk increases, though. This is particularly true if they do not receive support and learn how to manage their “fight or flight” response, which may be more sensitive because of the challenges they’ve had.