What is the impact of trauma?
Trauma can impact individuals in many ways, including socially, psychologically, academically, neurophysiologically, and socioeconomically, and can impair physical health as well .
Traumatized individuals, particularly those who are traumatized in childhood and adolescence, are at increased risk for:
- Social and behavioral problems, including, but not limited to: relationship difficulties, risky sexual behavior, aggression and criminal behaviors    .
- Impaired psychological health throughout the lifespan, including, but not limited to: PTSD, depression, substance use/abuse, and suicide attempts        .
- Adverse childhood experiences are related to the onset of a range psychological disorders as well .
- Additionally, adults who had four or more adverse childhood experiences were 7.3 times more likely to have at least one diagnosis from each of the following four types of disorders: mood, anxiety, impulse control, and substance abuse disorders .
- Cognitive and academic problems, including, but not limited to: low IQ and reading scores, delayed language and cognitive development, and poor academic performance   .
- Neuropsychological alterations involving areas of the brain that regulate emotion, control of emotions, judgment, and problem solving   , in addition to the stress response system   .
- Impaired physical health that can endure for decades, such as increased risk of cancer, heart disease, liver disease, pulmonary disease, auto-immune disease, and obesity   .
- Increased rates of unemployment, poverty, and Medicaid usage .
In addition to causing suffering for traumatized individuals, trauma has a negative effect on society and the economy:
For every three additional types of trauma a child experiences, the child is:
- 53% more likely to be involved in the juvenile justice system,
- 204% more likely to receive mental health services,
- 216% more likely to receive child welfare services,
- and 25% more likely to receive health services .
The economic cost:
- Child abuse survivors access the healthcare system 2-2.5 times more often than non-abused people .
- 16.7-37.5% of United States healthcare dollar is spent on abuse-related mental and medical costs .
- Estimates of the annual cost of child abuse and neglect in the United States range $24 to $124 billion, depending which direct (e.g., child welfare, health care, mental health care, maltreatment-related law enforcement and legal services) and indirect costs (e.g., increased spending due to long-term problems including impaired mental and physical health, criminality, incarceration, special education, teenage pregnancy, unemployment, and reduced opportunity costs) are included  .
- The lifetime cost of a single case of child abuse and neglect in the United States was estimated to be $6.1 million (where lost opportunity costs contribute the highest expense) .
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