When people think of abandoned children, they often envision a parent leaving their child on the side of the road with no explanation or care. However, abandonment can occur in many other ways, including emotional and psychological neglect. Emotional abandonment occurs when a child’s needs are not met, and it can lead to toxic shame, self-deprecating behaviors and a lack of trust that negatively impacts adult relationships.
Abandonment can also be physical, and it occurs when a parent fails to provide the basic necessities of life, such as shelter, food and water. This can be especially dangerous for children because it leaves them vulnerable to being injured or killed by other adults who may take advantage of them. Children who are physically abandoned can develop post-traumatic stress disorder, and it has been linked to increased rates of substance abuse, eating disorders and depression.
Whether it’s a parent leaving their children behind when they go to work or a spouse divorcing the family, abandonment can cause lasting trauma. In some cases, the abandonment can have long-term health consequences for the child, such as a decrease in IQ and an increase in mental illness.
In some cases, a parent’s decision to abandon their children is due to financial hardship. In these situations, it’s important to help them access social services and housing options that will allow them to be more financially stable. This can help them re-focus their attention on the well-being of their children, and it can also help them heal from the trauma that has occurred.
Some parents might be emotionally or even physically abused as children and then abandon their own children to protect themselves. In these instances, it’s crucial to understand that the parent is suffering from an underlying mental illness and may not be capable of loving their children. This can be very traumatic for the kids, who can feel like they are to blame for their parents’ decisions.
It’s also common for these children to be brought to the ER by adults who assume their symptoms or behavior qualifies them for inpatient psychiatric hospitalization. While these children may be experiencing some form of PTSD, many do not need to be placed in a hospital. Instead, these children need to be surrounded by people who can help them cope with their experiences and begin healing.
Many of these children have been abandoned to the state, where they are subjected to a shocking level of cruelty and neglect. They are often segregated from other children, deprived of education and medical care, and beaten or starved to death. Thousands of these children are being treated in orphanages, which is why it’s so important to support organizations that care for them and treat them with the dignity they deserve.