As parents and caregivers, our highest priority is for our children to live healthy, happy lives. We try our best to protect them from pain and difficulties, but unfortunately, some things are outside our control. Certain events and experiences can trigger behavioural changes in our kids. Teen trauma requires treatment in order to help teenagers learn how to adapt to their experiences in healthy ways. There are three common types of trauma teens experience: acute, chronic, and complex. Learn more about what these different categories mean for your child, and reach out for counseling today.
Types of Teen Trauma
#1: Acute Trauma
Acute trauma is an event that happens once. Your child has undergone a traumatic experience that still impacts them emotionally in the short term. Some examples of acute teen trauma may include witnessing a death or living through a natural disaster like a hurricane or fire. Acute trauma may have a shorter-term impact on your child than the other varieties.
#2: Chronic Trauma
Chronic trauma occurs repeatedly over time. Some examples of chronic trauma may include bullying or domestic violence. Because this trauma occurs over a much longer period of time, the effects will likewise be longer-lasting. Children who experience chronic trauma will often develop unhealthy coping mechanisms to protect themselves.
#3: Complex Trauma
With complex trauma, multiple traumatic events occur, especially at the hands of a trusted loved one or caregiver. Because it involves multiple traumatic events and the breaking of trust, complex trauma can lead to the most difficult outcomes and requires more intense treatments. Abandonment and extreme neglect, sexual abuse, or physical violence may fall under these categories. Left untreated, this can have damaging impacts on teens’ abilities to form lasting, healthy relationships as adults.
Common Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
After experiencing a traumatic event, it is not unusual for people to develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Teens may develop changes in behaviour in response to the trauma they’ve experienced. Some signs of PTSD from teen trauma can include:
- Emotional outbursts
- Insomnia and trouble sleeping
- Withdrawal from friends
- Antisocial behaviour
- Reluctance to participate in activities they used to enjoy
In addition to behavioural problems, teens may seek an outlet in drugs or alcohol in order to self-medicate. These co-occurring behaviours need to be treated as well, but unless the underlying cause of the addiction is resolved, relapse is more likely to occur. This is why trauma-informed care is a necessary component of any treatment plan.
Treating Behavioural and Substance Abuse Problems With Trauma-Informed Care
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating teen trauma. What is effective for one teen may not be for another. You should work with a therapist or a residential treatment facility to develop the best plan for a child moving forward. However, a few trauma-informed care options include:
- Drug and alcohol treatment
- Group counseling
- Individualized counseling
- Behavioural treatment
- Residential treatment
- Boot camp for troubled teens
Your teen’s therapist will examine their history to identify the sources of trauma. Chronic, acute, and complex traumas may require different treatment methods.
Venture Academy Specializes in Teen Trauma Therapy
If your child has experienced some of the events or behavioural changes discussed above, learn whether teen trauma therapy is the right choice for them. Venture Academy specializes in offering teen trauma treatment in addition to behavioural therapy, substance abuse treatment, and other inventions for troubled teens. If you suspect your child is experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder or a substance abuse problem, don’t wait to seek help. You don’t have to go through this alone. Contact Venture Academy at 866.762.2211 to learn more about the ways Venture Academy can support your family on their road to mental and physical health.