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Child Abuse: The 13 Red Flags- From Elgin and Carpentersville, IL

Mar 7, 2008
Hundreds of thousands of children are physically abused each year by a parent or close relative and thousands die as a result. For the survivors, the emotional trauma persists long after the physical signs have healed.

These emotional or hidden bruises can and should be treated to prevent additional problems later. Early recognition and counseling is important to minimize the long term effects and any further victimization of others.

You should consider treatment for them, particularly if any severely melancholy or sad feelings are present or interfere with their ability to function. This is not a small matter. Some estimate that approximately 3percent of children and adolescents suffer from symptoms of abuse at some point in time.

If you have a child under stress who has experienced physical abuse and has been diagnosed with an attentional, learning or anxiety disorder, you should consider him or her at higher risk for ongoing problems that require treatment.

Abuse also runs in families, so be attuned to your childs history and pay attention to how he or she may treat his own children in the future. Also, abused kids may present characteristics that seem different from those of other kids. Needless to say, it is crucial to be aware of any signs of possible abuse in your kids.

Children who have been abused may display:

A poor self image or serious lack of confidence,

Sexual acting out; promiscuity,

Risky behavior,

Excessive distrust and inability to love others,

Hostile, aggressive and sometimes illegal behavior,

Excessive or inappropriate anger or rage,

Self destructive, self-defeating or self abusive behavior,

Suicidal thinking,

Strangely passive or withdrawn behavior,

Excessive reluctance and fear of entering into new relationships or activities,

Extreme worrying or fears of rejection,

Poor school performance,

Pervasive feelings of sadness, hostility or depression,

Anxiety-inducing flashbacks or nightmares,

The abuse of alcohol, marijuana or other mind-altering substances.

Unfortunately, the severe emotional damage to abused children does not surface until the teen years or later, when many of them become abusing parents, themselves. An adult who was a victim of child abuse, often has difficulty properly engaging in intimate relationships and starts manifesting abusive behavior toward others.

These people, when adults, often have trouble with physical closeness, demonstration of affection, intimacy and trust. They are also at higher risk for anxiety, hostility, abusive behavior, depression, acting-out, abuse of mind-altering substances, medical illness, and school or work problems.

Without psychotherapy or counseling, physically abused children can be damaged for life and cause damage to others. Therefore, early identification and treatment is important to minimize these harmful long-term consequences.

Clinical psychologists provide comprehensive evaluation and psychological counseling for children who have been victims of child abuse. Your family will also be assisted in learning new ways of supporting and communicating with each other. Through counseling, the abused child can begin to regain a sense of self-confidence, proper behavior and trust.

Remember that physical abuse is not the only kind of child abuse. Many children are also victims of neglect, or sexual or emotional abuse. In all kinds of child abuse, you and your family can benefit from the comprehensive evaluation of a clinical psychologist or mental health counselor.
About the Author
Dr Shery is in Cary, IL, near Algonquin, Crystal Lake, Marengo and Lake-in-the-Hills. He's an expert psychologist. Call 1 847 516 0899 and make an appt orlearn more about counseling at: http://www.carypsychology.com
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