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Psychological Injuries in Children

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Psychological Injuries in Children

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Psychological injuries can be just as damaging as physical injuries, if not more so. Psychological damages in children caused by trauma can last for their entire lives and affect their mental health, social life, relationships, and even potential for academic and professional achievement. While physical damages are often easier to prove and seek compensation for, there are specific signs which indicate the presence of psychological injuries to children.

Not only can a traumatic event cause psychological injuries to a child, but the way that event is handled by the people around them can determine who severe the injury is as well as how long the injury lasts. Highly emotional responses by parents or shocking newspaper headlines are two common factors that can aggravate an already intense situation for a child.

While trying to provide soothing and comfort to a child who has undergone trauma, it’s important to keep an eye out for unhealthy coping mechanisms and symptoms of lasting psychological damage.

According to the Child Mind Institute, symptoms of psychological injuries in children include:

  • Nightmares
  • Night terrors
  • Playacting the traumatic incident
  • Sudden changes in behavior and mood
  • Aggressive behavior
  • Lack of interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Flashbacks
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Hyper-focus on mortality or death
  • Loss of appetite
  • Overeating
  • Regression in development
  • Exhibiting infantile behaviors
  • Trouble focusing
  • Sudden refusal to communicate
  • Avoiding school
  • Avoiding the place where the trauma occurred

These are not the only symptoms of psychological injury in children, and a child may experience multiple or none of the above and still be suffering from a deep internal wound. It’s important to speak clearly and calmly with your child to try and gain a better understanding of what they are feeling and what those feelings might be stemming from if the trauma is not immediately apparent. It’s a good idea to get the advice of a trained therapist in these cases and follow their recommendations regarding your child’s recovery.

Common causes of psychological injuries in children include:

  • Death of a friend or loved one
  • Fire
  • Bullying
  • School violence
  • Abuse
  • Assault
  • Car accident

While these are some common causes of trauma in children, they are by no means the only causes. Any kind of traumatic event to occur in a child’s life can cause psychological injuries in a child that, if not addressed with proper therapy and medical attention, could go on to cause further harm in that child’s future.

Proving psychological injuries is difficult.

While physical injuries are easier to prove with the possibility of pictures documenting the traumatic situation, injury, and medical records to support their existence and severity, it can be far more difficult to prove that a child has suffered a psychological injury—let alone to prove the cause of that injury. This is why it is particularly wise to talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer if you think your child may have suffered psychological injuries due to a traumatic incident. If you want to learn more about you and your child’s rights after a traumatic incident and your eligibility for compensation to help in your child’s recovery, seek legal counsel.

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