Psychological Dog Bite Injuries: A Lasting Effect on Children
The physical effects of the dog bite are obvious. Scratches, stitches, and scars are all visible to the naked eye. Many people assume that once healed, life moves on.
But what we don’t realize is that psychological dog bite injuries can have an even greater disabling effect on young victims for years to come. These internal traumas may mean costly therapy and a lifelong fear of dogs.
Adults and children cope differently with the aftermath of dog bites. Adults tend to talk about their experience following a dog bite attack openly. Children, on the other hand, are more likely to remain silent and bury their feelings following a dog bite. Children also have an innate ability to pick up on emotion, especially those feelings of guilt and sadness often expressed by their parents when the dog attack incident is brought up in conversation.
Some psychological injuries can cause mental anguish that can affect a child’s personality and last through adulthood. Symptoms such as intrusive memories, avoidance, negative mood swings, guilt, irrational thoughts and fears, recurring nightmares, loss of sleep and memory problems are not uncommon in someone who suffered a dog bite.
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