By: Megan Eckles

What is PTSD?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that is triggered by a traumatic event through experience or witnessing (Mayo Clinic, 2022).

In the DSM-5 there is a distinction between PTSD in those 6 years of age and up, and those under the age of 6.

Experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, does not meant that a person will automatically develop PTSD. 

What does PTSD look like?

  • Adults-NAMI (2022) notes that PTSD characterized generally by 3 categories:
    • Re-experiencing type symptoms- which can include flashback, intrusive thoughts, and bad dreams
    • Cognitive and mood symptoms- issues with recalling the evet and/or negative thoughts about self
    • Arousal symptoms- the state of hypervigilance or exaggerated responses
  • Children 
    • According to Stanford Children’s Heath (2022), children and teens with PTSD feel a lot of emotional and physical distress when exposed to situations that remind them of the traumatic event. Some may relive the trauma repeatedly.
  • Children (under the age of 6)
    • Re-enacting the event 
    • Nightmares about the event


Treatment for PTSD is similar for both adults and children

  • Psychotherapy
    • Cognitive therapy 
    • Exposure therapy
    • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  • Medication 
    • Antidepressants
    • Anti-anxiety medication

Seeking help with PTSD symptoms as soon as possible is helpful for both client and family. 

When someone you know has PTSD:

  • Be aware and learn more about PTSD
  • Notice symptoms and warning signs, such as withdrawal or suicidal thinking 
  • Seek personal help or therapy 
  • Have a safe place if a loved one becomes abusive or violent 


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply