If your teen has experienced a devastating event and you suspect they have developed some form of trauma because of it, it’s important to get help fast. Recognizing the signs of trauma is crucial to getting your teen the help they need. Teens often hide their emotions, but when they have experienced trauma, they may hide away even more.
Identifying trauma in teens
Children and teens could have forms of trauma if they have lived through an event that could have caused them or someone else to be injured. These experiences may induce overwhelming feelings of terror or helplessness. The most common causes of trauma in teens can be any of the following:
- Physical assault
- Sexual assault
- Natural disasters
- Loss of a loved one or grief
These incidents can occur once or multiple times.They generate feelings of guilt, anxiety, or shame. Trauma in teens needs to be identified and handled appropriately so that the teen can get help as soon as possible. The reactions teens feel is called traumatic stress. This can last a long time after the initial event is over.
When trauma in teens occurs it is likely that they will not be able to understand or process the overwhelming amounts of feelings that are occurring internally. As a parent, or loved one, it is imperative to offer and provide a safe space for your teen to explore their emotions.
If a traumatic event has occurred in your teens life recently look for the common reactions to trauma in teens:
- strong emotions such as sadness, anger, anxiety, and guilt
- overreacting to minor irritations
- repetitively thinking about the traumatic event and talking about it often
- disturbed sleeping patterns
- withdrawing from family and friends
- wanting to spend more time alone
- returning to younger ways of behaving (including giving up responsibilities or a sudden return to rebellious behavior)
- depression and feelings of hopelessness
Solstice East can help
These experiences are disorienting for all parties involved and can leave parents feeling scared. If you believe that your teen is experiencing the after effects of a traumatic experience, call (800) 264-8709. The expert team at Solstice East are readily prepared to provide help and support to your teen and family.