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Posttraumatic stress disorder

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Consequences of abuse and neglect

Sexual or physical abuse as well as physical or psychological neglect are often very traumatic experiences for children and adolescents.
It is therefore normal for children or adolescents to react with immediate psychological stress symptoms. First of all, this includes the feeling of “numbness”. This means that the child or adolescent is not paying much attention and can appear disoriented. Sometimes those affected withdraw from their environment during this phase and are very restless or overly active. However, these first signs usually subside a few days after the traumatic experience. In some cases, especially in the case of particularly intense, long-lasting or catastrophic experiences, this first acute reaction to the experience leads to a longer-lasting stress reaction.

This long-term stress response is known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). How exactly the signs of post-traumatic stress disorder look like, however, also depends on personal factors and can therefore express themselves in different ways. This phase can last for several weeks or months and, in particularly severe cases, the disease can become chronic.