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7 Signs of PTSD in Teens

a teen struggles with the symptoms of her ptsd

Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a type of anxiety disorder brought on by a life-changing, disturbing, or shocking event in one’s life. This can happen both in person or by witnessing it secondhand. The common signs of PTSD include recurring nightmares, triggers by association, and a general inability to forget or move on from the event.

PTSD in teens seems less common than it does in adults, if only due to the fact that the longer one lives, the more likely they are to endure a traumatic event. The truth is, PTSD in teens happens just the same as in adults—teens can experience severe trauma the same way adults do, barring a few differences. Additionally, if PTSD isn’t treated adequately, its effects can carry on throughout the individual’s life. Fortunately, the symptoms of PTSD are treatable. At Imagine Spokane, the trauma therapy program is able to effectively treat the difficulties that come with teenage PTSD in a personalized way. For more information on trauma therapy, call us at 888.384.3143 or visit us online today.

Identifying 7 Common Physical Symptoms of PTSD

A natural reaction to trauma is to experience difficulty in forgetting or moving past the traumatic event. For most cases of trauma, usually the more mild instances, this difficulty is temporary and lasts from days to a few weeks. However, some cases of trauma have lingering effects, sometimes worsening before they ever improve. Symptoms like these are commonly diagnosed as those of post-traumatic stress disorder. Common PTSD symptoms include:

  1. Nightmares
  2. Poor sleep
  3. Repetitive, intrusive thoughts related to the event
  4. Easily or overactive startle reflex
  5. Aversion to subjects related to the event
  6. Inexplicable or irrational guilt, shame
  7. Depression

These symptoms may present differently from person to person. Each source of PTSD differs, and therefore the symptoms that follow vary as well.

The Signs of PTSD from Childhood

PTSD symptoms don’t always surface soon after the traumatic event. In fact, symptoms may appear years after the event has passed. In the same way that trauma from teenage years can occur in adults later down the line, childhood trauma may eventually cause teens difficulty in any number of environments or situations. Identifying trauma from childhood can be particularly hard. For one, a major issue is that children tend to be less perceptive as far as identifying trauma causation, and doing so retroactively leaves many blind spots. Often, the event responsible for PTSD may not have even initially been seen as traumatic.

Teens with PTSD tend to struggle in academic settings compared to their peers and have trouble finding and maintaining relationships. Those with PTSD are also prone to outbursts that seem, to others, inexplicable or misplaced. While not indicative of much on their own, these signs together can point to a seed of trauma, one that teens may not even be aware of.

Treating PTSD in Teens at Imagine Spokane

The longer trauma persists, the more ingrained it can become. PTSD presents a particularly harmful case, as it can go for years completely undetected. Certain types of medication can treat the general symptoms of PTSD, such as nightmares and depression, but medication can’t address the real heart of the issue—that has to be worked through personally.

Fortunately, for people living with PTSD, personally doesn’t have to mean alone. For years, the therapy team at Imagine Spokane has guided teens through their trauma, helping to identify the root cause of what troubles them and how to face and overcome it on their own terms. Addressing trauma often feels like opening old wounds, and the response can be excruciatingly uncomfortable at times. That’s why the need for professional teen PTSD specialists is one Imagine Spokane is here to meet. For questions about our trauma therapy program, contact us at 888.384.3143 or by using our secure online form.