Behavioral Changes

Changes in personal and/or social behavior often occur when someone is suffering from an emotional or physical trauma.

Personal behavior can refer to crying, neglecting responsibilities, spending lots of time alone, wanting to be hugged or refusing to be hugged.

Social behavior refers to peer-relationships and reactions to family and other adults.

Learn some of the more common behavioral reactions to trauma below:


Personal Behavior

Luckily, it isn't hard for us to spot irregular behavior in children and teens that we are around regularly. The trick is to know when the behavior is abnormal and possibly indicative of a recent trauma, or common adolescent responses.

A traumatized child may exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Someone who was shy and withdrawn begins to act out aggressively, or an outgoing person may become withdrawn and shy
  • He or she cries more frequently for no apparent reason
  • They neglect age-appropriate responsibilities such as homework, work, or involvement in a club or team (of which he/she was a member)






Social Changes 

Avoidance of people, places and things.

Sitting alone at lunch when prior to the traumatic event they were sitting with friends. 

Not participating in classroom activities 

Absences from school or club/sport activities

Clinging to someone or shunning contact, especially trusted close adults.


Behavior is just one area where you should be aware of changes. This may however be the most noticeable area of change for you or your peers if there was a traumatic event.


Pictured above is a piece of artwork designed to help you or those around you dealing with behavioral changes from trauma

Behavioral changes could be the result of substance abuse. To learn more about the epidemic of opioid abuse, click the image below to check out some of our other courses.

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