Q. Can witnessing a life-threatening trauma in young age cause changes in behavior?

Answered by
Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
Published on Jun 14, 2019

Hello doctor,

I just want to know what kind of mental illness my fiance has. When she was 11, her mom's fiance shot her in front of my fiance and when he turned the shot gun on himself he told her to look. I just want to know if that could be a reason for why she acts a little weird and off sometimes. She talked about her mother a lot too. She misses her.

Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi

Psychiatry Psychotherapy Sexology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Yes, if she has witnessed such life threatening trauma in her young age, she might act weird sometimes. But that does not mean that she has any psychiatric illness.

You should focus on your relationship with her and give her proper time and she will come out of her psychological trauma. But symptoms like hearing things which others cannot hear, or talking to her mom, fear, etc., should be evaluated by a psychiatrist. This could be due to excessive stress or some psychotic issue. This should be ruled out.

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