Posted on: 15 May 2023
Children who have been through difficult situations may be left with the aftereffects of trauma. PTSD can cause nightmares, separation anxiety, depression, and fear in children of all ages. Fortunately, mental health specialists can help kids recover. These are some things that your child's care team can do as part of their trauma treatment:
1. Identify and treat triggers.
It's common for people with PTSD to present with triggers. Triggers are situations, images, or sounds that remind your child of their trauma in some way. Once triggered, a child may experience flashbacks, panic attacks, and other symptoms of exacerbated PTSD. Triggers aren't always easy to understand or readily apparent, but your child's psychologist can work to identify things that trigger your child. Once triggers are identified, a child psychologist can work to decrease their severity. A combination of talk therapy and exposure therapy can help kids develop a tolerance to their triggers over time.
2. Build a foundation of well-being.
Children who have experienced trauma may feel unsafe on a day-to-day basis. This feeling isn't always rational or easy for kids to explain. Child psychologists can work to help kids build up a foundation of overall mental health and well-being. When kids feel safe and secure in their homes physically, mentally, and emotionally, the hyperarousal of the nervous system caused by PTSD can decrease over time. This can lead to increased levels of daily comfort for traumatized children.
3. Utilize medication management when appropriate.
Therapy is an important component of trauma treatment. However, sometimes medication is necessary to address disorders that stem from trauma, such as depression or anxiety. Medication should always be used with caution, especially when it comes to kids. Children may be more likely to experience increased feelings of suicidal ideation as a side effect of certain antidepressants. However, your child's doctor will take this into consideration when deciding whether or not medication is indicated. The right psychiatric medication can make therapy more effective and reduce kids' risk of self-harm and suicide.
4. Deal with setbacks as they occur.
Healing from trauma is not a linear process. As kids make progress in treatment, they may occasionally face setbacks. During these periods, kids may have increased symptoms of depression and anxiety. Behaviors such as age-inappropriate bed-wetting may also occur. However, with adequate treatment, your child can continue to improve. Trauma treatment for kids accounts for setbacks and will continue to help your child grow in the right direction.
For more information on trauma treatment for kids, contact a professional near you.Share