Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – A mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event – either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event. PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. With effective therapies and caregiver participation, PTSD symptoms can be significantly reduced or cured all together. The key to healing children with PTSD is first found in addressing the child’s source of trauma. Through psychoeducation (parents and child learning what normal trauma responses are), skills building (developing a sense of skills to deal with extreme anxiety), and trauma narrative (revisiting the narrative in a healthy manner), parents and children can work together to overcome PTSD long-term.
According to the Child-Mind Institute, the state of Connecticut has seen gains in curing children with this disorder. Through trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy, therapists found that a reduction not just in PTSD symptoms, but in many behavioral symptoms was maintained. Addressing “the trauma symptoms really has allowed an enormous number of children to get back on track to being kids again.”