PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a stress reaction that comes suddenly and holds on tight to a person, it is caused by a traumatic experience, an event that imprints in the mind and body of a person. In 99% cases the person that has PTSD was involved in something traumatic like a natural disaster, car accident, abuse, assault, sexual; attack, terrorist attack and similar. A person doesn’t actually have to be hurt to experience PTSD, just witnessing something of the above mentioned can lead to PTSD. In most of the cases that is because of highly intense feeling of horror, fear and helplessness.
Anyone can be stressed after such a situation for weeks and even months, but PTSD is different. People with PTSD have a highly intense feeling of fear and in some cases paranoia which lasts for more than a month, sometimes years. In most cases PTSD appears immediately after the trauma, but in some cases it can be delayed and show up after some time. If you are not sure if your teenager has a PTSD after witnessing something terrible here are the symptoms:
- They go through the traumatic experience over and over again, reliving the same situation. Nightmares, flashbacks or horrifying mental images are most common in people with PTSD.
- People with PTSD try to avoid anything that reminds them of the unfortunate event. So in some cases PTSD goes that deep that people will try to avoid certain people, places, activities and everything that reminds them of the event.
- Some may experience emotional numbness or in other words, they may stop caring about things and people they cared for before the event.
- They can be jumpy to put it simple; they can be easily startled, always on edge, tense and nervous all the time. High level of stress can do that to a person; also some may have trouble sleeping.
PTSD can affect anyone, from little kids, teens and adults to senior citizens, it doesn’t choose. PTSD will not go on its own, so treatment is necessary. It can last for months, years, go away and then come back again, so treatment and support is necessary.
The best bet is to go to a professional therapist that specializes in dealing with anxiety issues and PTSD. Most forms of therapy with a patient suffering from PTSD involve talking in a safe environment and learning to cope with fear, anxiety and panic. In some cases medications are used to help people sleep, reduce anxiety and depression.
Healing from a PTSD is a long process, a person that once get’s PTSD cannot simply let go of those fears and they remain with him forever. But with treatment and support people can learn to cope with the situation and fear they carry with them. This is a more delicate situation when it comes to children, as they need treatment and attention immediately or they can be scared for life. So if you child suffers any of those symptoms after witnessing something bad be sure to take your child to a therapist immediately.