The teen brain goes through substantial and transformative changes. During this period of development, the way teens view their world undergoes drastic changes. If teens experience events that are traumatic, it can be major long-term impacts on their physical and mental health. As a parent, you must be fully aware of the signs of trauma in teens and find them professional help as soon as possible.
In this article, you will learn more about trauma and how it affects the lives of teenagers. You will also learn the signs of trauma in adolescence and how to find specialized treatment for your teenager. If your son or daughter needs help in overcoming trauma, Thrive Teen Treatment can help. Call us today to learn more about our evidence-based teen therapy in Los Angeles.
According to the American Psychological Association, trauma is defined as the following:
“Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape, or natural disaster. Immediately after the event, shock and denial are typical. Longer term reactions include unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships, and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea.”
Trauma can occur as a result of a single event or a series of events. These events are emotionally disturbing or life-threatening. While feelings of shock and denial are normal, some people are unable to process what happened to them and find closure. While trauma can happen at any age, it has the most devastating impact on young people. Examples of traumatic events that impact children include the following:
When people experience trauma, they experience flashbacks of the event on a regular basis. These flashbacks are visceral, and people feel they are reliving the event whether or not they experience specific details. Another common hallmark of trauma are panic attacks which are sudden episodes of intense fear which make people feel they are losing control, can’t breathe, and feel they are dying. Additionally, people who experience trauma will experience disassociation, where they detach themselves from their environment and feel numb.
If untreated, people who experience trauma experience a wide variety of issues. These include:
Additional health issues include the following:
As a parent, you need to be aware of PTSD symptoms in adolescence. The following are common signs of trauma in teenagers:
Additional signs of trauma in teens include:
If you see any of these symptoms in your son or daughter, you must find help right away.
Once you see the signs of trauma in teenagers, there are things you can do to support your adolescent in a healthy manner. One way to help your teen is to encourage them to go outside and exercise. Regular exercise release endorphins which bring calm and can ease the stress associated with their trauma. Since teens dealing with trauma deal with fear, shame, and guilt, encourage your teen to express their feelings about the traumatic event.
Be supportive of your teen and allow them to express what they feel. Additionally, help them find constructive ways to deal with anger. Since many teens turn to drugs and alcohol to cope with their feelings, offer encouragement and praise for the good things they do every day. It is important to be open and honest about the pitfalls of substance abuse and how it can affect their physical and mental health down the road. Seek advice from local mental health experts about the proper course of action to help your teen.
Seeing the signs of trauma in your teen requires immediate action. You must find professional help specifically designed for the unique and specific needs of adolescents. Thrive Teen is one of Southern California’s premier teen treatment centers. Our evidence-based treatment programs are administered by experienced professionals with a proven track record of helping teens face and overcome mental illness and addiction. Don’t wait another day, call Thrive Teen today and help your teenager find health and happiness.