Moods or psychological trauma: how to understand that a child needs help
Attentive parents immediately see and try to find out the reason. However, very often it is hidden. How to determine the psychological trauma of the child and what to do to the parents - about this in our article.
It can be masked by vagaries, closed behavior, lethargy, or, conversely, aggression. It is important for parents to understand in time that something is wrong with the child, to help cope with the psychological trauma of the child on their own or to contact a psychologist.
Many children experience psychological trauma: a child may be injured by a divorce when the family becomes incomplete, or the death of a loved one (grandmother or grandfather). Systematic abuse or neglect leads to psychological trauma in a child: domestic violence, school bullying.
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Also, being in an injured environment is a co-trauma. Even the situation of moving can cause child injury - it is still too small to be adequately perceived.
The first signs of injury are sleep disorders and play behavior. If a child does not sleep well, he is tormented by nightmares, if the same actions are repeated in the game, it is important for parents to understand what disturbs him and make efforts to prevent psychological trauma in the child.
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Psychologists identify 3 groups of symptoms of trauma
- Invasion symptoms. These are either surging memories that “paralyze” the child, or nightmares.
- Avoidance.Children avoid objects that resemble painful events, and places similar to the place where it occurred. For example, if a child gets into an accident, he will avoid crossings and cry when he needs to cross the street.
- Psychophysical activation. Symptoms of activation: irritability, fatigue, deterioration in school performance, memory. Children can become aggressive, too anxious, fearful, they have a shallow sleep, and from any rustle, awakening comes.
In some manifestations, children are very similar to adults in their reaction to injury.We react to any extreme situation with an attack or fear. These are behavioral responses.
Sometimes a person freezes and cannot even say anything, when something traumatic happens, something can fall out of his hands at such a moment. Such mechanisms of reaction to danger and threat were formed even in reptiles and insects: to freeze in case of danger, imitating death.
And only a person has a form of reaction to stress, as social interaction. This is also a behavior.
If we recognize the situation as new, but safe, we tend to look for new solutions through social interaction as contact with another. The other at the biological level is “infected” with our stress and helps us overcome.
The essence of psychological assistance is that the psychologist approaches the victim and in a calm voice (with confidence in overcoming the problem) creates such a field for the victim so that, despite the stress, he can overcome problems socially.
Symptoms of stress and injury in children have a number of their features. It can be:
- sleep disorders
- appetite disturbances
- developmental regression (bedwetting, thumb sucking)
- Fear of separation from parents
The injured child is constantly experiencing fear and anxiety, as if he is disconnected from reality and is again in a traumatic event.
If a child has become disobedient, aggressive, angry, or, conversely, cowardly, anxious, insecure - this is a kind of “bell” for parents: you need to work with an injury.
If there are difficulties in learning from schoolchildren - the child becomes a bully, a poor student who is unable to learn - this can also be the result of injury. If he laughs for no reason, fights, ignores remarks, cranks - the same.