Children can develop Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after experiencing a terrifying event. The symptoms a child may exhibit can include flashbacks, nightmares, severe Anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. While not all children who live through a traumatic event will develop this disorder, PTSD can affect youths of all ages and ethnicities. Post-traumatic stress disorder develops differently in each person who experiences it. Some individuals may notice symptoms in the days and weeks following the event while others do not develop symptoms for weeks, months, or even years after the event.
Some common symptoms children with PTSD may exhibit include:
Traumatic experiences and stressor play a key role in bringing out specific mental behaviors in the child. Some of the experiences which impact a child are listed include exposure to:
This above can impact the child through direct exposure, witnessing the trauma, in person or indirectly, or by learning that a close relative or close friend was exposed to trauma.
When a child experiences a particular stressor or traumatic event, this may persistently be re-experienced by your child in one or more of the following ways:
Other ways in which children may react to trauma include:
At IDCC, we have found through treating many cases of trauma, that children can heal from PTSD and traumatic events. Our clinical director is a trauma specialist and has provided training for our staff in evidence-based trauma treatment. Clinicians are trained to take various other items into account when working with a child including their culture, religion, and family arrangement. By building a strong relationship with the child, our clinicians get to the root of the triggers which in turn enables a strong recovery.
Group and Individual treatment for Trauma is usually recommended by a therapist who specializes in this field. This treatment can help children and families cope with the impact of traumatic events and move toward recovery. Each child’s treatment depends on the nature, timing, and amount of exposure to a trauma.