Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Also known as: PTSD.
What is post-traumatic stress disorder?
All children and adolescents have bad, stressful experiences which may affect them physically and emotionally. Mostly they recover quickly without any further problems.
Sometimes, particularly after a threatened or actual catastrophic incident (whether involving themselves or being a witness to such an event), children/adolescents may experience ongoing difficulties/symptoms which are called post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD.
What causes post-traumatic stress disorder in children and teens?
Following the traumatic event, (such as war, abuse, violence, etc.), children who have fewer emotional or intellectual resources to cope, may suffer ongoing symptoms even though he/she has healed from the immediate effects of the negative experience.
What are the symptoms of PTSD in children and teens?
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder are appear as:
- re-experiencing of symptoms
- cognition and mood symptoms
- ongoing agitation
- intense fear and anger
- horror or denial
- reckless and/or destructive behavior
- flashbacks (relive the traumatic experience)
- difficulty falling or staying asleep and bad dreams.
Children and teens with PTSD may avoid areas/situations that remind them of the event, and feel on edge, depressed or anxious, they wil also worry about dying early, be disinterested in outside activities, have concentration problems, repeated headaches or stomachaches. PTSD symptoms may last for many weeks or even years.
What are post-traumatic stress disorder care options?
Children and adolescents with PTSD need a safe environment, support and reassurance from parents, schools and friends. Psychotherapy (individual or group), behavioral modification techniques (CBT), relaxation techniques, and cognitive therapy, with or without medication to reduce fears and worries, may be required to manage anxiety, agitation or depression.
Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP
This page was last updated on: November 27, 2019 11:16 AM
Weekly Support Programs
8 week program. This group therapy program is designed for children ages 7 to 17 with behaviorial issues, including but not limited to ADHD. The weekly sessions teach innovative techniques to assist children with managing feelings, developing organization skills, maximizing their concentration abilities and socialization skills.
8 week program. Children and teens ages 7 to 17 are invited to join this small discussion group to learn how to make, cultivate and maintain friendships. Participants will learn basic conversational skills, and discuss the use of appropriate humor, how to electronically connect with others, and how to manage disagreements.
8 week program. Calm Kids is a weekly group therapy course designed to teach children strategies on how to take control over anxiety symptoms. Children will learn how to cope with fears and worries, identify anxiety triggers, how to relax the mind and body and maximize their self-confidence.
8 week program. This program is specifically designed to empower children ages 7-18 through complex sensory experiences. Each session is created to teach participants evidenced-based techniques to better manage pain and improve overall quality of life.
8 week program. This program is designed for teens ages 13-16 experiencing difficulties related to sleep, including daytime sleepiness, trouble waking in the morning, difficulty falling asleep and waking in the middle of the night. The goal of this group is to give teens the tools and strategies they need in order to get more sleep and better quality sleep.
Learn more about
Severe mental problems that interfere with a child or adolescent’s ability to think clearly, respond emotionally, communicate normally, cause unusual perceptions or delusions, are known as psychotic disorders.
A phobia is an excessive, unreasonable, persistent fear of something, place or situation, that causes the child to feel anxious when exposed to it.
Psychotherapy is a form of therapy and counseling that is conducted by a mental health professional, for example a psychologist, a licensed mental health counselor, social worker or a psychiatrist.
Applied Behavioral Analysis
ABA Therapy is the use of science-based techniques and principles to produce meaningful and positive changes in behavior which can help children reach their full potential.