The Lasting Effects of Child Neglect
By Brad Soroka, Jackson, MS, June 16, 2011

925 children were abused in Hinds, Rankin and Madison Counties between October of 2009 and October of 2010, according to the National Child Abuse and Neglect Data System.

"It's painful regardless of age," says Chris Cothern, a Licensed Professional Counselor and the Child and Adolescent Program Manager at Psycamore, LLC in Flowood. "No one deserves to be mistreated in any shape, form or fashion."

Cothern tells us that the haunting effects of child abuse and neglect can last a lifetime.

"Different individuals respond differently to neglect and abuse," he says. "For some people, they become enraged; for others, they turn inwards and kind of get destroyed from the inside out."

That destruction is preventable, but most children won't admit that they're being abused. As adults, we need to be on the lookout for warning signs.

"If they are showing some maladaptive behavior, if they're having anger outbursts, if they are isolating themselves, those are signs that that child needs to have assistance in some way," says Cothern.

No matter how young or old the child is, help is available.

"For a child, we do play therapy, expressive therapy," says Cothern. We allow them to be able to learn new coping skills in childlike fashion. For adolescents, it's more interactive. They're able to talk about and express their feelings."

Cothern says the scars associated with child abuse and neglect will never go away, but with proper help, the child will grow up better equipped to handle them.

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