"If you’ve survived a traumatic incident, ignoring mental health treatment can negatively impact your body."
If trauma is left untreated, it can impact your physical health. In other words, if you’ve survived a traumatic incident, ignoring mental health treatment can negatively impact your body.
If you have endured at least one instance of trauma before your 18th birthday, you’re not alone. The rates of childhood trauma are high. According to a 2012 report by the National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention, more than 60% of children in the United States were exposed to at least one type of violence that year. Additionally, 26% of all U.S. children will experience or witness a traumatic incident before turning 4 years old.
Likewise, children 6 years old and younger can experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which might include re-experiencing distress through flashbacks and nightmares; avoidance of people, places, and activities related to a traumatic incident; emotional numbness; and increased arousal through feeling jumpy or being easily irritated, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
“Because of what’s happened to you, because of what you’ve experienced, your body may be making more stress hormones than the average person,” Nadine Burke Harris, pediatrician and director of the Center for Youth Wellness, told Teen Vogue.
[Image: Lydia Ortiz]