PTSD In Kids

by cadabamshospital

22 March,2021 | Reading Time: 5 minutes

Posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a mental illness that can affect any individual who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event. It is a serious issue that can be very difficult to deal with. The harmful implications of this disease can seriously impact the well-being of our day-to-day life. The issue becomes even more grave when a kid is suffering from it. 

This is because if it is not addressed timely, the side effects of PTSD can be experienced in the later stages of life. Early identification and timely treatment can help in reducing these harmful implications of PTSD and can help your child manage these symptoms better. If your child has experienced or witnessed some traumatic event, then make sure you provide them with the right treatment so that they are able to deal with the situation in a healthy manner. 

Cadabam’s Hospitals is a multispecialty center that focuses on providing psychiatry and behavioural health treatments. We offer a holistic treatment plan that will cater to your issue in the most suitable manner. 

For three decades, the hospital has been working to provide exceptional treatments to patients and bring back their lost smiles. To know more about their PTSD treatment for kids, you can dial +919741476476 or email at info@cadabamshospitals.com.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder - An Overview

Apart from adults, children are equally vulnerable to this disorder although they might express the symptoms in a different manner.

The different ways children express PTSD:

  1. Children may not express PTSD through flashbacks or difficulty remembering the trauma, like adults with PTSD usually does. They might, although, put the incident in a wrong order.
  2. They may also assume that there were signs of the trauma before it happened. And will expect to see these signs before another traumatic event occurs. Believing that if they pay close attention to these signs the trauma can be avoided.
  3. They may also express symptoms of recurring memories of the trauma through play. They may keep repeating a particular part of the event in their play. At times they also try and fit these parts into daily life.
  4. Teens express the symptoms similarly like adults. But they are more likely to show impulsivity and aggression.

Impact of trauma on a child can be destructive on their development, as they have limited intellectual and emotional resources to cope with. An adult, if affected by a trauma can be healed and they can later go back and start functioning normally. A child may not be able to do this as they might feel off track from their friends and school activities.

Traumatic incidents that can cause PTSD in children: These incidents may be experienced first-hand, witnessed or heard from someone.

  1. Seeing someone getting badly injured or killed.
  2. Neglect from parents
  3. Physical abuse
  4. Accidents, such as road accidents, planes crash, etc
  5. Sexual abuse
  6. Psychological or mental abuse
  7. Natural disasters like tsunami or cyclone

Symptoms Of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder In Kids 

Kids who suffer from PTSD tend to suffer from a range of emotions. Here are some of the symptoms that kids with PTSD experiences:

  1. Sleep issues and nightmares 
  2. Lack of positive emotions 
  3. Reliving the event again and again 
  4. Angry outburst or irritability 
  5. Intense sadness or fear
  6. Becoming extremely upset because of the memory of the event
  7. Acting hopeless, helpless or withdrawn 
  8. Constantly looking out for threats 
  9. Being startled easily 
  10. Denying the occurrence of the event 
  11. Feeling numb
  12. Avoid people or places related to the event.

How Is PTSD In Kids Diagnosed?

It is not necessary that every child that experiences or witnesses a traumatic incident gets PTSD. The disease is diagnosed based on recurring symptoms. If the symptoms continue for over one month and negatively affect the life of the kid and how he/she functions, then only PTSD is diagnosed. The symptoms of PTSD generally start within three months after the event; however, it can also start months or years after the incident as well. 

The Treatment Options of PTSD in Kids

Occurrence of PTSD depends on the severity of the trauma, reaction of parents or loved ones to the trauma and how far or near the child was to the incident.

The therapies for treating PTSD in children are similar to those of adults that include - 

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) 

This form of therapy centers on the relationship among feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. It targets current symptoms and issues and focuses on altering the behavioral patterns, feelings, and thoughts. 

Medication 

In some cases, medications are prescribed to the patients in order to control the symptoms of PTSD. Generally, two types of medications are provided to the patients include:

  1. Antidepressant medications 
  2. Adrenergic medications. 

 In addition to that two treatment options are seen effective:

Psychological first aid or Crisis management: Also known as PFA are effective on children as it can be integrated in schools. Here the students are provided support and comfort and are encouraged that their reaction to trauma is normal. Students here are provided relaxation and problem solving skills. It also guides the parents in dealing with the child’s behaviour.

Play therapy: Here the child uses drawings, toys, stories and role plays to express their distress associated with the trauma. These similar techniques are used by the therapist to help the child process the trauma and respond to it effectively.

Get Reliable PTSD Care At Cadabam’s Hospitals 

 With over three decades of experience at Cadabam’s, your children will be in safe hands. The center has an experienced and skilled team of psychiatrists, psychologists, physicians, and counselors, who will together work to take care of your child. The center performs a thorough evaluation and uses the best treatment option to help kids get back to their life happy and healthy. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

How PTSD in kids is different from PTSD in adults 

 Although the symptoms of PTSD are the same in kids and adults, the latter group is better at communicating how they are feeling and what they are experiencing. This makes the treatment process easier. 

Is PTSD in kids a common illness?

Although children experiencing traumatic events are common, PTSD is not common. Only 1 to 6% of a boy and 3 to 15% of girls suffer from PTSD.

How long does PTSD disorder last?

The duration of this disorder varies on multiple factors that include how soon the issue was diagnosed and the severity of the case. While some recover in six months, other kids take longer to get back to normal.

How can we prevent childhood trauma?

PTSD in children can be prevented by educating them properly and offering a loving and caring environment. They need to know that someone is there for them with whom they can share their problems. 

What happens when children are diagnosed with another mental condition along with PTSD

Kids with PTSD may also develop other mental illnesses like separation anxiety disorder or depression. In this case, the doctors will work with the patient to treat both issues simultaneously.  

 PTSD for a child can be life changing. But since they are still developing they can be taught effective coping strategies. Above all these support from parents and friends are essential as they can provide a safer and positive environment the child needs. For PTSD treatment options for children, call our specialists now on +919741476476.

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