Teen Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a type of anxiety disorder, specifically related to a traumatic event. Some examples of traumatic events which can lead to this disorder in teens include: loss of a loved one, witnessing an accident or death, suffering sexual or physical abuse, and/or living through a natural disaster. This anxiety disorder can surface almost immediately following the traumatic event, and can cause considerable negative effects in teens’ lives.
In addition to generalized Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, there are also several subtypes of the disorder. These include:
Acute Stress Disorder – Characterized by symptoms of the illness lasting one month or less
Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Characterized by symptoms lasting for more than three months
Acute Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Characterized by symptoms lasting for less than three months
Delayed-Onset Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Characterized by symptoms not surfacing until long after the traumatic event has occurred, and continuing for longer than six months
Teen Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is one always caused to do a specific traumatic event and/or severe, chronic stress, experienced over a prolonged amount of time. The severity of the stress which a teen experiences is such that it triggers a shift in brain chemistry, often resulting in both mental and physical symptoms.
There are a wide range of symptoms of Teen Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are many, many of which are connected to the teens re-experiencing the trauma in some way and/or the teens’ brains over-reacting to low-level stressors, due to the overexposure of stress, through the traumatic event, which can in turn disrupt the brain (and body’s) mechanisms to moderate stress. Some of the symptoms of Teen Post Traumatic Stress Disorders include:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Insomnia and nightmares
- Tension in relationships
- Increased heart rate
- Headaches, nausea, stomach aches
- Panic attacks
- Avoidance of people/isolation
- Disrupted/limited memory
- Lessened range of emotion
- Overwhelming anxiety
- General fear that negative things are going to happen
Teen Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatment often involves a number of different approaches and techniques, generally geared toward both helping teens work through the traumatic experience and its lasting effects. This includes talk therapy sessions in which therapists support teens to explore and identify their experience of the trauma, both when it happened and since. This can be a difficult, painful process and therefore may take time, as the therapists help to create a safe, supportive space in which the teens feel ready to evaluate those things. Even though especially at first, talking about the trauma may be painful, in time it becomes an incredibly healing experience for teens, as they begin to find ways to express themselves and therefore, gain freedom and distance from the intensity of the experience.
At the same time, therapists also work with teens to help address all different ways in which the trauma and stress have negatively affected their lives, including physical, mental, and relational aspects. To this end, therapists may employ things like Massage or Acupuncture Therapy, Yoga therapy, Meditation, Group Therapy, and/or numerous other therapeutic avenues, to help provide support teens in all areas of their lives. In this way, the goal is to help teens to experience holistic support that helps them heal and recover fully.
Paradigm New York:
At Paradigm New York, we provide therapeutic services to teens from New York and across the country, who are struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. At our beautiful treatment facility, located just outside of New York City, we design treatment plans according to each teen’s individual symptoms and experiences, always avoiding any sort of one-size-fits-all treatment approaches. Our Paradigm New York team is made up of the best mental health professionals around and we pride ourselves in maintaining the highest staff-to-teen ratio of any treatment program in the country.