The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recently reported statistics about teen mental health, including those suffering PTSD. Among those in North America, statistics show that five percent of teenagers have post-traumatic stress disorder. Even with 1.5 percent of young people suffering severe effects of this treatable disorder, parents still remain unclear of the symptoms of PTSD in teenagers.
Knowing the symptoms of PTSD in teenagers is the key to knowing your teen needs help. So what are these symptoms and how do you get them to the teen trauma treatment center that they need?
What are the Symptoms of PTSD in Teenagers?
Symptoms of teen PTSD vary somewhat from person to person. In fact, no two people experience this mental disorder in the same way. But common symptoms of PTSD in teens include:
- Lost interest in favorite activities or people
- Lack of affection
- Headaches, nausea, irritability or violence
- Depression, sleep problems and flashbacks
- Concentration and school problems
- Lost touch with reality
- Worry about death or dying
Your teen can also seem easily startled or jittery. Many regress in maturity, when it comes to some symptoms of PTSD in teenagers. Examples of these regressive behaviours include bed-wetting and thumb-sucking.
What Causes PTSD in Teens?
Teen PTSD occurs for many of the same reasons as adult PTSD. But they also suffer other trauma leading to these mental health symptoms. Causes vary, as trauma occurs
- Physical, sexual or emotional abuse, violence or assault
- Animal attacks or bites
- Natural disasters
- Surgeries or injuries
- Serious accidents
- Bullying or neglect
- National tragedies
Helping Your Teen Recover from PTSD
Symptoms of PTSD in teenagers prove difficult to manage. You do not recognize your young person, as they seem quite different than before their symptoms began. But you can help your teen feel better by creating a safe, loving and stable environment for them.
First, reduce your teen’s exposure to the media. As the saying goes in the news business, “If it bleeds, it leads [the newscast].” Naturally, violent news stories only make your teen’s symptoms worse, even triggering outbursts, flashbacks, or other behaviours. There’s also a possibility this could lead to a social media addiction, obsessively monitoring the news. You should also encourage more physical activity and engage with your teen, so they know you love and understand them.
Of course, one of the most important ways to help your teen is to get them help in a PTSD treatment program designed for teens. A teen treatment program helps them heal from their trauma through important therapies and services.
Your teen’s therapies, programs, and services for PTSD recovery should include:
- Youth detox program
- 30 Day Assessment and Intervention
- Smartphone addiction treatment
- Academic recovery during treatment
- Group therapy
- Individualized counselling
Canadian Teen Treatment Programs for PTSD and Other Behavioural Health Problems
Venture Academy in Alberta and Ontario, Canada provides teen treatment for PTSD. This occurs alongside other behavioural health and academic problem treatment. When your teen enters Venture Academy, their brighter, happier and more stable future starts with a 30 Day Assessment and Intervention. They also receive individualized treatment planning.
Venture Academy helps your teen break through their problems to the person you recognize from before these troubles began. If you see these symptoms of PTSD in teenagers in your teen’s behaviour, call Venture Academy at 866.762.2211. Through the help and support of caring professionals, your teen can reclaim a happier, healthier life with greater hope for their future.