Learn more. Talk to your healthcare provider about getting your child immunized today. What is post-traumatic stress disorder? Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health disorder affecting children, adolescents and adults who have survived a traumatic experience or series of traumatic events. Children with PTSD typically experience three types of symptoms:.
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He may even hallucinate scenes, sounds or smells from the experience. He may have severe nightmares either about the traumatic event or about other frightening things. The child deliberately avoids any thought, object, place or situation that is related to the traumatic experience or reminds him of the event in any way. A very young child who cannot verbalize feelings or thoughts about a trauma may demonstrate the following after the experience:.
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What are some of the events that can cause PTSD in children? While any traumatic event can cause a child to develop PTSD, the disorder most often results from:.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Symptoms & Causes
What can cause post-traumatic stress disorder in a child? Any child who witnesses or goes through a life-threatening experience is at risk of developing PTSD. While any traumatic event can trigger PTSD symptoms, common traumas that have been linked to the disorder include:. Are there certain factors that can affect the likelihood of a traumatic event causing PTSD? There are several factors that can contribute to developing or preventing PTSD, including:.
Did she witness the trauma while it was happening, or encounter the aftermath? What are the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder?
If your child is suffering from PTSD, she is most likely working through extreme emotional, mental and physical distress. Symptoms of PTSD can emerge as early as three months after the event, or can take as long as a year to show up. A child who develops symptoms immediately after the event—within four weeks—is considered to have acute stress disorder. Treatment for this disorder is very similar to treatments prescribed for PTSD.
PTSD symptoms can vary depending on the age of the child and the circumstances of the trauma, but tend to include:. Many of these symptoms can also point to another mental health condition, such as depression or an anxiety disorder. Q: Is post-traumatic stress disorder common among children? A: While traumatic experiences affecting children are all too common, PTSD itself is not: According to the National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, 15 to 43 percent of girls and 14 to 43 percent of boys have experienced a traumatic event in their lifetimes.
However, only 3 to 15 percent of girls and 1 to 6 percent of boys suffer from PTSD. A: The symptoms and feelings associated with PTSD are very similar in kids and adults—but the difference is that adults are usually better able to verbalize how they are feeling and what they are experiencing.
It helps to know what to expect after a terrifying event.
Children also have a more difficult time recognizing that the frightening thoughts and sensations they feel during flashbacks and memories of the trauma are not real—that the trauma is not actually happening again. A child with PTSD is more likely to physically react to these traumatic thoughts and feelings—for example, screaming, hiding or fighting—than an adult. Basically, any kind of scary or disturbing event that overwhelms our ability to cope falls into the PTSD category.
Take our 2-minute Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder quiz to see if you may benefit from further diagnosis and treatment. Women who are victims of a trauma that leads to PTSD often hesitate to seek help from a mental health professional, and it is not uncommon for them to wait years to receive treatment.
To make matters even worse, many women who are victims of PTSD do not realize they have the disorder. According to Dr. Cira explains. They are often further traumatized by being questioned or challenged about the veracity of the event and their reaction to it. Mental health experts agree that women can sometimes experience PTSD in different ways than men. For example, women with PTSD are more likely to feel depressed and anxious, as well as have trouble feeling or dealing with their emotions.
They also tend to avoid activities and things that remind them of whatever traumatic event they suffered through. And while men with PTSD have a higher probability of turning to alcohol or drugs to mask their trauma, women are less likely to do so.
According to the nonprofit organization Solace for Mothers, some women who have a difficult time in the delivery room also suffer from a type of PTSD, and if left untreated, it can stay with them through their journey as a parent. It may also explain why some women do not want to go through childbirth again and may decide to stop having more children.