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Teen Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, defines traumatic events as: “Traumatic events that are experienced directly include, but are not limited to, violent personal assault (sexual assault, physical attack, robbery, mugging), being kidnapped, terrorist attack, incarceration, natural or manmade disasters, automobile accidents, military combat, or being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.” P.463. Perception of a traumatic event not mentioned above is also relevant, as we all perceive events in our lives differently.

You don't have to be hurt to experience PTSD. Witnessing any type of personal or environmental disaster, or being threatened with an assault can lead to PTSD. Usually that's because of the intense feeling of fear, helplessness, or horror that goes with these things.

When someone has PTSD, the symptoms of stress are intense and last for longer than a month. For some people, the symptoms of PTSD begin soon after the trauma, but others have a delayed response.

What Are the Symptoms of PTSD? << back to top
Whether it occurs right after the trauma or later on, PTSD has certain characteristic symptoms that usually develop within 3 months of the traumatic event. Teens suffering from post traumatic stress disorder generally experience some or all of these symptoms:
 
Reliving the traumatic event. Many people with PTSD have nightmares, flashbacks, or disturbing mental images about the trauma.
 
Avoiding reminders of the trauma. People with PTSD may avoid people, places, or activities that remind them of the stressful event. They may also avoid talking about what happened.
 
Emotional numbness. Many people with PTSD feel numb or detached; they may not feel same as before or the same way about other people or the world. This could be caused by the overproduction of certain chemicals that block sensation during extreme stress.
 
Hypervigilance. People with PTSD may be easily startled, on edge, jumpy, irritable, or tense. This may be due to high levels of stress hormones in the body. Difficulty concentrating and trouble sleeping may also be part of this hyper-alert state.

PTSD and Addiction << back to top
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of the primary causes of self-medicating substance abuse behaviors that can lead to teen alcohol abuse and addiction and/or teen drug abuse and teen drug addiction. Recognizing and seeking treatment for PTSD and addiction, allows an individual to focus on the process of changing behaviors, improving coping skills, finding solutions to problems, and working through the process of addiction recovery.

teen post traumatic stress disorder
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How is PTSD Treated? << back to top
PTSD usually doesn't just go away on its own. Without treatment, symptoms can last for months or years, or they may come and go in waves. Getting treatment and support can make all the difference.

Mental health professionals (such as psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors) who specialize in treating anxiety problems are usually experienced in working with people who have PTSD. Therapy for PTSD may involve gradually talking it through in a safe environment and learning coping skills that help with anxiety, fear, or panic. This can include relaxation techniques that help people with PTSD reset their stress response and techniques to resolve other problems, such as sleeping difficulties. Sometimes medications can help reduce symptoms of anxiety, panic, or depression in certain people.

Teen Drug Rehab Centers can guide you in the right direction in choosing an adolescent rehabilitation center that will provide the treatment and therapies specifically related to your child’s needs. If your doctor has recommended that your teen stay in an inpatient/residential addiction treatment program, we can help you get admitted. Give us a call at 1-888-610-2046 and we will help identify the most suitable treatment program for your child.

Content compiled above is intended for informational use only and it does not endorse or recommend services available in this site.

Information throughout this site is courtesy of:
www.drugabuse.gov
www.samhsa.gov
www.nimh.nih.gov
www.nida.nih.gov
www.cdc.gov
www.teens.drugabuse.gov
www.justice.gov
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
PTSD and Addiction?
How Is PTSD Treated?
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