The division of immigrant families remains one of the biggest issues that continues to capture media attention when it comes to dealing with border and immigration struggles.
Many established studies show that the separation of young children from their immigrant parents can cause untold emotional, mental and even physical damage. The child will struggle with these impacts for years, and may never fully recover.
Emotional and physical impacts
Psychology Today notes the well-known impact of separating a child from their parents. First, they point out the impact on brain development. Traumatic and/or chronic stress can put so much pressure on a child’s developing brain that it actually halts or interrupts developmental processes. Stress also creates adrenaline and cortisol, both of which can cause brain damage, leading to behavioral issues and cognitive damage.
Children can also experience notable physical impacts, too. This includes nausea, frequent headaches, and a low or even non-existent appetite. Over time, chronic stress can wreak havoc on a person’s body, too. Many chronic stress sufferers develop heart disease, blood pressure problems, and gastrointestinal issues. Some also go on to develop eating disorders, too.
Potential mental impacts
As far as mental impacts go, the presence of depression and anxiety serves as one of the most common effects. Children may even experience post-traumatic stress disorder, due to a child’s inability to express their traumas.
Due to the internalization of many issues faced in this situation, children may develop destructive and anti-social behavior as they age. This can damage their reputation, their relationships and their ability to form bonds with others.
In other words, this act of separation could potentially ruin a child’s mental, emotional and physical health for no reason at all.