Many people experience stress when they go through an unpleasant experience but a small percentage of the population develops Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after being involved in an extremely stressful event. Although most people know a bit about PTSD, they may not realize that children and teens can also develop the disorder. A child who experiences a traumatic event can develop PTSD just as an adult would. Young people who are involved in a car accident, witness acts of violence or who have been physically or sexually abused may develop the disorder. The sudden death of a sibling or parent can also cause the development of PTSD.
Common PTSD Symptoms
Some of the symptoms of PTSD are anxiety, emotional numbness, insomnia, nightmares and flashbacks. They may experience physical symptoms such as chest pain, stomachaches and dizziness. Severe symptoms may disrupt a person’s life to the point where they can no longer go to school, work or have normal social interactions with their friends or family members.
Teenagers who have the disorder are more likely to use alcohol or drugs to numb their pain and anxiety. They are also more likely to be depressed. Symptoms usually occur within a few months of a traumatic event but in some cases, they begin to appear months or years later. Thankfully, there is help for young people with PSTD. With the right type of treatment, teens can reduce their symptoms and gain control over their lives.
Treatment Centers for PTSD
A good treatment center provides many different types of therapy. In most cases, teens receive a combination of group therapy, individual therapy and prescription medication. Certain medications can help to reduce depression and anxiety and the drug Prazosin reduces nightmares in some cases. While staying at a treatment center teens have the opportunity to learn helpful coping skills.
Cognitive therapy helps teens with PTSD recognize and change their thinking patterns so they can avoid stressful anxiety and panic attacks. Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy sessions can help a person to process traumatic memories so they can better deal with them.
Teenagers should not have to deal with such a complex disorder on their own. Regular talk therapy is not enough for a person who suffers with PTSD. Teens who have the disorder need to enter into a comprehensive treatment program. Parents who are worried about their teenage child can contact us for a free consultation.