UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Healthcare professionals warn the separation of children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border can cause serious and potentially irreversible psychological damage to the children.

The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy has reportedly separated 2,000 children from their parents.

Figures from the Department of Health and Human Services showed the children are held on an average of 57 days.

Additional reports suggest some parents have been deported without knowledge of their child’s location.

Childhood trauma expert Dr. Bessel van der Kolk told Time Magazine, “It’s like food. Depriving them of their caregivers has effects on their brain as profound as starving them.”

Potential conditions that can reportedly develop are post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression, as well as violent tendencies, trust issues and difficulty to form relationships.

Experts believe that the best way to minimize the damage is to end the separation as swiftly as possible.