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
- 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
- Cognitive therapy
- Exposure therapy
- Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
- 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