Mental Health and Well-Being of Abandoned Children

The plight of newborns abandoned on the proverbial doorstep is a problem that has persisted for centuries. It’s also a problem that is taking on greater urgency in the United States, where more states are passing laws to prevent abandonment. These laws are designed to make the process of legally surrendering a child to a safe haven much more responsible, allowing parents to turn the children over to local welfare services and temporary foster care without fear of prosecution.

These laws are a response to the growing number of abandoned children who are exposed to poverty, drugs and violence in their communities. Many of these children have a hard time forming attachments to others and often feel mistrust in their relationships, leading them to seek out volatile partners or become addicted to drugs and alcohol. They may have trouble concentrating in school and need frequent reassurance that they are loved and will not be rejected again.

In some cases, the abused or neglected children are abandoned in ways that can be deemed as a form of child abuse, including being physically or emotionally harmed or killed. The trauma experienced by these children can have a profound impact on their mental health and well-being, making them more vulnerable to developing depression, anxiety and substance use disorders. It can also have an effect on their brain development, leading to psychiatric symptoms, such as poor impulse control, hypersensitivity to criticism and a tendency to act irrationally in stressful situations.

When a person experiences childhood abandonment, they can develop negative beliefs about themselves, such as that they don’t deserve to be loved or aren’t good enough. These beliefs can remain in their subconscious and negatively impact their life choices as adults.

Abandoned children can be very resilient and can grow up to be well-adjusted adults, but they will likely still struggle with some unresolved feelings. They may have difficulty forming and maintaining healthy relationships or finding employment that is fulfilling. They may also find it difficult to regulate their emotions and can experience anxiety and panic attacks.

Despite the best efforts of hospitals, government agencies and social workers to help these children, some will continue to be abandoned by their families. This is why it’s important for people to know what to look for and how to support those who have been hurt by abandonment. It’s also important to understand that abandonment is a form of trauma, so it’s important for those who have been hurt to seek the help of a mental health professional. A therapist can provide tools to manage these emotions in a more productive and healthy manner. This can include techniques for self-soothing and coping with painful memories. A therapist can also teach people how to identify and address the underlying issues that are contributing to their abandonment feelings. This can include teaching a person how to recognize their own irrational thoughts and behaviors, as well as how to identify the triggers that cause these responses.