Although the first thing that pops into mind for most people when they hear or read the word PTSD is a soldier, post-traumatic disorder can happen to anyone, even to the smallest of kids. Extreme acts of violence, natural disasters, bullying, verbal and sexual abuse are all known causes of PTSD. If you believe that your teen is struggling with PTSD or trauma, it is important to get them therapeutic help. However, there are some things you can do at home when helping a teenager struggling with PTSD and trauma in the meantime.
Helping a teenager with PTSD
Here are some things you can do to help teens struggling with PTSD or trauma:
- Engage your teen in a conversation about what happened. Provide a safe space where you both can ask questions, and your teen can freely talk about any feelings that come up for her. However, avoid pressuring her to open up.
- Teach your teen about what she’s going through. Explain that symptoms like anxiety are a way the body tries to adapt to danger and that experiencing symptoms like flashbacks and nightmares does not mean she is going crazy.
- Show your teen some techniques she can use to soothe herself when anxiety comes up such as deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation.
- Establish a routine for your teen and your household. This means that after a traumatic event, it is best that your teen returns to her usual activities as quickly as possible, meaning a regular sleeping schedule has to be established, and activities like school, hobbies, and friends continued.
- Encourage your teen to get in involved in enjoyable activities, such as sports and hobbies he enjoyed before. It is common for teens with PTSD to isolate from the world, so taking them out of the house, whether to socialize with peers or to do some activities like shopping, going to the beach or a park, and spending the night playing board games is a good thing to do. Watching comedies can also work wonders.
As a final point, regular physical activity and a healthy diet will certainly aid in helping a teenager with PTSD.
Solstice East can help
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for young women ages 14-18 struggling with behavior and emotional issues such as those that can stem from peer-relationship struggles. This program focuses on helping young women heal, recover, and integrate healthy habits into their lives. Students will learn to build healthy relationships, cope with emotions, and effectively communicate. Solstice East gives young women the skills and confidence they need to lead happy and healthy lives. We can help your family today!
Contact us at 800-975-7303.