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If Your Child Has Difficulty Adjusting After an Injury
Symptoms that your child may be having difficulty adjusting
It is very difficult to cope with stressful situations that last for a long time. Children have less ability to cope with stress because of their limited life experiences. Some symptoms that your child may be having trouble adjusting include:
Agitated behavior, such as crying or thumb sucking
Disturbed bodily functions, such as eating, sleeping, or going to the bathroom
Separation anxiety, such as clinging, refusing to sleep alone, or wanting to be held constantly
Sleep disturbances and nightmares
Regression in toilet training, dressing, or self-feeding skill. For instance, a child who is potty trained may suddenly begin having accidents.
Withdrawal from family or friends
Makes negative comments about self
Aggression, both verbal and physical
Repeated episodes of sadness
Continual acting out of traumatic events in play
Behavior changes (the quiet child may become frantic and the energetic child may become lethargic)
Physical ailments, such as headaches, stomachaches, or dizziness
Increased dependence on parents or caregivers
Resentment of unfairness of situation, blaming
Difficulty with peers
Unrealistic expectations of self and others
Concern with body image
Frustration that produces rebellion
Avoidance and denial to avoid addressing an issue
Reluctance to trust or open self to others
Feelings of hopelessness, meaningless of life
Lowered impulse control, easily frustrated
Drug and alcohol abuse
Any unusual, persistent behavior should be checked by a qualified mental health professional. It is often very beneficial to seek professional care when you are concerned or unsure about what do next. If one or more of these behaviors persists over a long period of time, and to a marked degree, professional help may be needed. Contact your child's doctor to talk about these changes or get a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist. If the behavioral disturbances are severe enough to go to the emergency department.
Online Medical Reviewer:
Duldner, John E., MD, MS
Online Medical Reviewer:
Fetterman, Anne, RN, BSN
Date Last Reviewed:
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