Children kept in detention centers often develop mental illness and behavioral issues. Studies have shown that they display symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety. These kids often have nightmares, wet the bed and refuse to eat, which can continue after release.
Luis Zayas, dean of the school of social work at the University of Texas at Austin explains that when a child’s brain is continually under stress, it doesn’t properly develop. Rather than learning social cues and how to problem solve, children are focused on survival. These kids can’t perform well in school. They are constantly on alert and have a higher chance of developing physical illnesses, such as diabetes and gastrointestinal disorders.
Chandra Ghosh Ippen, associate director of the child trauma research program at the University of California, San Francisco, pointed out that, in addition to physical symptoms, the trauma of being separated from a parent and detained can warp a child’s worldview. It effects their sense of justice and effects their sense of morality and whether or not they view grown ups as safe.
(From the Huffington Post)
It makes sense to me that these children will have a difficult time fitting into society, negative self esteems, and a sever lack of trust in institutions and people. Depression and anxiety often manifest in substance abuse, anger and rage.