Childhood trauma can have a lasting impact, continuing to affect people into their teens and adulthood. As a child, your brain does not fully develop the ability to process and file away traumatic events as they happen. Instead of being stored away in your memory, these events were encoded in your body and mind at that time. They can then be triggered by everyday situations later in life when least expected. The good news is there are ways to help reduce the frequency and severity of these triggers, which can keep traumatic memories from interfering with your teen’s daily life.
The earlier your child gets help for trauma, the easier it will be for them to process it and move on. Imagine Seattle offers a trauma therapy program to teach your teen how to manage trauma trigger symptoms. Call us today at 425.295.2459 with questions about childhood trauma triggers and whether your teen may struggle with trauma.
Common Trauma Trigger Symptoms
Trauma triggers are situations, people, places, or things that cause you to experience a flood of emotions and memories from the past. When your teen is confronted with one of these triggers, they may experience some of the following trauma trigger symptoms:
- Extreme mood swings
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
- Depression or anxiety
- Anger and irritability
- Difficulty concentrating
- Nausea, sweating, or racing heart
If you spot any of these symptoms in your child, you can help support them by reminding them that it is not their fault. You can help them practice some of the techniques in the next section to manage trauma triggers when they arise. And you can also enroll them in a trauma therapy program that will provide them with tools for working through childhood trauma.
How to Manage Childhood Trauma Triggers
If you have experienced trauma, you know how difficult it can be to cope with the triggers that unexpectedly pop up. Without adequate coping skills, those triggers can continue to plague you for the rest of your life. Enrolling your child in a trauma therapy program to learn how to manage trauma trigger symptoms can help stop the long-term effects of childhood trauma.
Some strategies for dealing with childhood trauma triggers are:
Staying in the Present
Trauma triggers cause you to relive a traumatic event from the past. It is important to bring yourself back into the present moment. Focus on what is happening now rather than what happened in the past or worrying about what might happen.
Grounding exercises can help bring your mind and body out of the fight, flight, or freeze mode. One way to do this is to stop what you are doing, look around you, and focus on the following:
- Five things you can see
- Four things you can touch
- Three things you can hear
- Two things you can smell
- One thing you can taste
This grounding technique helps move your attention away from whatever is triggering the bad memories of the past.
This preventative strategy can make you less vulnerable to trauma triggers. After experiencing trauma, good self-care includes stress reduction techniques, journaling, eating well, exercising, and getting plenty of rest. It also involves seeking help from a therapist and taking appropriate medications if needed.
Heal from the Long-Term Effects of Childhood Trauma at Imagine Seattle
If your child has experienced trauma, it is important to be aware of the potential triggers that can cause them to feel unsafe or anxious. When it comes to childhood trauma triggers, there are many different ways that they can affect people. Imagine Seattle can help your child process and move on from trauma so they can live a life free from nagging fear and anxiety. Call us today at 425.295.2459 to enroll.