Post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents

Trauma; They are unexpected, unconventional events that develop suddenly, threaten life, have unexpected consequences. Natural disasters, traffic accidents, sexual abuse cases can be given as examples of such events. Post-traumatic stress disorder, on the other hand, is the psychological distress process experienced after witnessing or being in a traumatic event, feeling extreme helplessness and fear.

As a result of children’s exposure to a trauma, their habitual patterns may be disrupted and their belief systems may be shaken; concerns about the future may occur; because they are in an egocentric system of thought, they may experience an unrealistic drop in their level of competence and an overwhelming sense of guilt; They may experience intense sadness and loss of control.

Does every traumatized child develop PTSD? Of course no. protective factors from PTSD; Seeking/receiving professional help before or after the traumatic event, getting group help after the event, being satisfied with the individual behaviors achieved during the event, gaining the ability to resist bad events.

If we look at what we can observe in pre-school children who do not have enough access to protective factors;

  1. Telling exaggerated stories about the disaster and constantly asking questions about the disaster
  2. Aggression or introversion may be observed
  3. May experience nightmares and night terrors
  4. Speech disorders may occur.
  5. A return to the previous level of development can be observed
  6. May have trouble adjusting
  7. May experience insecurity and guilt
  8. Developing unrealistic fears may be observed
  9. can wet the bed
  10. Can create a tick

In the same way, if we look at school-age children, the situations we can observe are;

  1. May regress to previous developmental period in their behavior
  2. May refuse school
  3. May be interested in disaster-related violent games
  4. May experience physical pain
  5. May experience nightmares, sleep disturbances
  6. Speech disorders can be observed
  7. Aggression or introversion may be observed
  8. May have trouble adjusting

In adolescence, such a blow to the adolescence period, which is a great war, can push adolescents to question more, insecurity, trying to protect themselves and aggression. If we want to look at it from a wide window, the visible factors are;

  1. May experience anxiety about the future
  2. May have difficulty overcoming feelings of guilt and helplessness
  3. Can take more risky action
  4. May experience decline in school achievement
  5. May enter early adulthood
  6. Conflicts with parents may increase
  7. Appetite and sleep disturbances may occur.
  8. Constantly changing mood can be observed
  9. Suicide attempts can be seen

One of the main components of treatment for PTSD in children and adolescents mentioned above is individual therapy, according to research. In individual therapy, your child should not be alone and should always feel social support by his family and environment.

You are never alone when it comes to post-traumatic stress disorder treatment. Our experts are always ready to assist you in any matter. You can always reach us from our contact numbers on our website.

Specialist Clinical Psychologist Damla KANKAYA

Nesrin AYDIN, Student of the Department of Psychology

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.