PTSD is a mental health problem which develops in people who have been victims of violence, injury or harm in the past. PTSD tends to develop in the first few weeks after the trauma has occurred, but it can occur years after as well.
The trauma is re-lived by the patients in the form of flashbacks of the event itself, manifesting in the form of nightmares and traumatic memories. These may be triggered by the objects that remind them of the event itself, or events similar to what they faced.
With the help of the proper therapy, people suffering from PTSD can come to terms with what happened to them. This way, they can lead a normal life once more despite the horrors they faced in their past.
Events which can cause PTSD
There are several causes of PTSD. Any sort of physical and mental trauma can lead to the person’s mind being fractured.
The unexpected death of a close family member, harm to oneself or injury to a dear loved one can bring on PTSD in children.
A few situations which may cause PTSD in children afterward are as follows:
- Physical Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
- Natural Disasters
- Car Crashes
- Surviving a trauma; survivors guilt
Signs and symptoms of PTSD
Children who are suffering from PTSD have several symptoms. Stress, depression etc. are one of the many symptoms which can point a finger towards the underlying problem. Some of the symptoms are given as follows:
- Incomplete recollection of the trauma
- Fear and jumpiness in case that event is mentioned
- Avoiding places or people connected with that event
- Negative Mood
- Lack of interest in any activity
- Intrusive thoughts or memories of the event
- Feelings of shame, guilt, and anger
- Lack of positive emotions
- Trouble sleeping
- Eating disorders
These signs and symptoms may start showing a few days after the event itself or may appear after a long time has passed. If some event triggers the memory, that past trauma, the symptoms, and signs may start showing because of that. Usually, anniversaries of such events cause of trigger to the bad memories about the trauma.
Most often than not, these signs and symptoms are missed or disregarded as strange behavior on the part of children.
Friends, family members, or school teachers who know the child well enough can play a very significant part in recognizing these symptoms and getting the proper help required.
Treatment of PTSD
Many people go through a traumatic event and do not develop PTSD. The development of PTSD and its severity are directly linked with certain things like family history, the nature of the trauma, personality of the child etc.
Most often, people tend to recover from PTSD after some amount of time has passed.
But if your child has suffered from trauma, and you see the symptoms of PTSD lasting for more than a month, it’s time to get professional help for your child from an expert.
Many recover from a traumatic event after some adjustment. But if your child or teen has experienced a traumatic event and shows symptoms of PTSD for over a month, get help from an expert.
With the help of therapy, patients suffering from PTSD can once again start living a normal, stress-free life.
Psychologists, Psychiatrists, and Professional counselors can use cognitive behavioral therapy in children suffering from PTSD.
Play therapy is also used to help the children become less sensitive towards the trauma and get used to the trauma that took place.
If the symptoms are severe, medicine might be used to treat those symptoms like anxiety and depression.