Relational Trauma in Teens

Relational trauma is the main contributor to a variety of mental, physical, and psychological issues in teens. Unfortunately, many of these traumas go unnoticed until it’s too late. Hence, the reason it’s so crucial to know how to spot the signs and symptoms of relational trauma that often remain concealed. At Ridge RTC, we offer treatment for PTSD in teens for those dealing with any type of trauma.

Consequently, this acquired understanding equips you with natural insight to take preventative measures to help a teenager struggling with relationship trauma. With those factors considered, here is everything you should know about relationship-based trauma in teens.

What is Relational Trauma?

Relational trauma is any degree of mental, physical, or psychological abuse from a close friend or family member. The individual causing the trauma is one you would expect to trust such as a sibling, parent, or family friend. Because of these factors, trauma in such circumstances is often hard to spot. This type of trauma is commonly referred to as complex or attachment trauma since the traumatized individual is emotionally attached. In many cases, this attachment enables the traumatized party to conceal such mental, physical, and psychological abuse.

What Causes Teen Trauma within Relationships?

Relational trauma comes in many shapes and sizes and is not limited to a specific set of circumstances. However, there are common underlying factors that induce these traumatic impacts. Here are a few of the most common underlying causes of relationship trauma.

Emotional abandonment refers to a parent or guardian who disregards the emotional needs and support of their dependent. These emotional abandonments range from failing to express the necessary love a child needs to any emotional support in between. This includes failing to be the emotional support they need during the most vital developmental stages of their life. In turn, this causes a lot of relational-induced trauma that leads to developing numerous mental health disorders and conditions.

Emotional neglect of a child happens for a variety of reasons, both intentional and unintentional. These reasons include but are not limited to, overwhelmed parents of a child’s emotional needs, preoccupation with individual struggles, or the emotional struggles of another.

Physical abandonment trauma involves the absence of one or more guardians in a child’s life. This can occur due to separated or divorced parents, among other reasons. The most scarring of which involves intentional abandonment or separation that causes further mental and physical instability in a child’s life. If you or suspect someone you love may be a victim of parental abandonment, reach out to our family-oriented team of compassionate therapists. We have all the emotional and physical support you need to overcome the harsh traumas of childhood abandonment.

Psychological abuse as it pertains to relational trauma means a parent or guardian is mentally manipulative. This means they intentionally and maliciously influence a child’s thoughts by making them feel they should think or feel a certain way. A guardian that inflicts psychological abuse will often be overly involved in a child’s daily decision-making. They will also be too involved in the child’s personal and emotional life. This disrupts a teen’s ability to develop independent thoughts or ideas without the assertion of the parent or guardian.

A narcissistic parent or guardian is a self-absorbed caregiver who thinks their needs and well-being take precedence over their dependents. This also results in a controlling home environment. Such a mindset is both mentally and emotionally damaging and often leads to self-esteem issues in the affected teen or adolescent. Reach out to a treatment receptionist today if you suspect any teen may be trapped in a narcissistic home environment.

relational trauma in young adults

What are the Signs of Relational Trauma in Teens?

Any trauma stemming from close relationships manifests itself in numerous behavioral traits. Third-party visual identification of these signs is often the only way such private traumas are brought to light. It’s crucial to exhibit patience and take intercessory action if you notice any of the following signs of relationship-based trauma.

Anger in teens, though common, is often a behavioral cue of a much deeper issue. Whether it’s depression, emptiness, or problems at home, anger for little or no reason is merely a frustrated manifestation. That’s because teens with hidden trauma usually don’t know how to express or vent their underlying traumatic experiences. That’s why it’s important to use discretion when spotting these behavioral cues to get a child the treatment they need.

Teens or adolescents facing trauma with friends or family relations will often seclude themself from social situations. This means they will avoid public gatherings and even family events outside of their very enclosed circle. This reclusive behavior may also be a result of a controlling home environment. Reach out to the appropriate medical treatment facilities if you notice any disturbing out-of-the-ordinary reclusive behavior.

Teens or adolescents facing trauma with friends or family relations will often seclude themself from social situations. This means they will avoid public gatherings and even family events outside of their very enclosed circle. This reclusive behavior may also be a result of a controlling home environment. Reach out to the appropriate medical treatment facilities if you notice any disturbing out-of-the-ordinary reclusive behavior.

Teen rebellion is nothing new and is widely regarded as a normal phase of adolescent behavior. Unfortunately, teen rebellion is just one of the many behavioral cues that conceal disturbing issues of relationship trauma. That’s just another reason such trauma goes unnoticed far too often until it’s too late. Reach out to our team of sympathetic therapists if you suspect teen rebellion to be a byproduct of home or relationship trauma.

One source cited a troubling statistic stating that at least twenty percent of teens will reportedly experience depression symptoms. Depression in teens comes from a feeling of loneliness, self-dissatisfaction, or feeling individually insignificant. All of which can stem from an abusive or traumatic relationship. To make matters worse, this depression can deepen if they feel they cannot share their struggles or are not being heard. Therefore, take the time to patiently listen to your child’s needs or struggles.

Though teens are commonly uncomfortable with themselves in some shape or form, it doesn’t make it any less important. In fact, low self-esteem is another trait that could be a silent cry for help. That’s why any degree of low self-esteem should be met with attentiveness, sympathy, love, and support. Heed the warning signs of children exhibiting low self-esteem as it can be a manifestation of physical, mental, or emotional abuse.

How Can The Ridge Help with Relationship Trauma in Teens?

The Ridge is a residential treatment center that offers short-term or bridge treatment options specifically for teens and adolescents. These treatments, though short-term, can be your child’s saving grace to help them thrive at the next stage of your therapy. Here are just a few of the ways The Ridge helps you throughout the therapy process.

relational trauma

Our top-notch assessment specialists can help you or a teen discover any unknown or undiagnosed trauma-based issues. Beyond that, this assessment phase helps the treatment process by identifying the root cause of underlying trauma. This enables doctors and therapists to chart the most effective treatment approach in conjunction with your next level of therapy.

The greatest way to combat and overcome any form of trauma is to have strong support groups in your corner. These groups should consist of doctors, friends, and family you trust the most.  Group therapy for teens is highly important when working through trauma, at The Ridge RTC, we utilize group therapy in each of our treatment programs. We help you formulate these strong support groups by having open-ended communication between you and your therapists. Most importantly, we incorporate the friends and family who love you most.

Stabilization therapy is the foundation for any successful recovery, especially as it pertains to trauma-based mental conditions. This form of treatment consists of helping you achieve mental peace with your prior traumas. Doctors utilize mental training techniques to help you come to terms with your trauma in a proactive manner.

Medically-based therapy involves medications in conjunction with individual on-site therapy sessions. All of these sessions and medications are administered at the guidance and discretion of a medical professional. This allows your doctor to closely monitor your progress, while meticulously charting the most individualized treatment that works for you.

Our campus goes the extra mile by providing on-site psychiatric assistance for those who need more one-on-one treatment. This extends an added dimension to your personalized treatment. This psychiatric accessibility includes a full-spectrum evaluation that can help diagnose additional mental health issues caused by relationship trauma. You’ll have the extra reassurance of having the option to see the campus psychiatrist at your convenience.

Make the Ridge Your Temporary Home en Route to Permanent Peace of Mind

The self-sustainable training methods you learn here are tools you’ll keep with you for the rest of your life. You’ll learn to tackle your trauma head-on and keep mental health symptoms at bay. Don’t let another moment go by without getting the top-quality help you or a loved one deserve. Enroll in our teen-specific treatment programs today. Reach out to us today to learn more about our residential treatment center for teens.

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