Interpersonal trauma is when another person puts you down, avoids you, controls you, is highly critical, physically harms you, rapes you, etc. Interpersonal trauma will shatter your sense of self and leave you feeling dysregulated and confused with the inability to process information.
Children can suffer from the symptoms below if they have witnessed violence or emotional abuse between their parents or another caregiver. It can cause the child to have problems with attachment and their development. Often the symptoms may be similar to ADHD or another disorder, and treatment for the trauma is missed. When the trauma is not considered, the reward-punishment model is then applied and won't work because these children need empathy, understanding, and the space to heal from their traumatic experiences and to rebuild their sense of self. Not only will the child need support, but their family or caregiver systemic functioning will also need support and to be revisited so the family dynamic is improved and enriching rather than harmful, however unintentional it may be.
Signs and Symptoms of interpersonal trauma for children, adolescents and adults Include:
Problems with attention
Problems with regulating emotions
Changes in personality
Impulsive behaviour including impulsive risk taking behaviour
Passive, passive-aggressive, aggressive behaviour
Low self-esteem including poor self-image
Decreased cognitive functioning
Disruptions in social development - for younger people
Poor ability to plan and organise
Post traumatic stress disorder
Difficulties with perspective-taking which can lead to a defensive interpersonal style and problems with friendships