Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

upset boy against a wall

Treatment

Treatment plays a very important role in overcoming PTSD. The sooner it is received, the better the chance of a good outcome.  Those who don’t receive treatment have a much higher risk of developing other psychiatric disorders, such as major depression.  They also have a greater risk of developing a problem with substance abuse (or worsening one that’s already present).  This is because individuals with PTSD often resort to alcohol or drugs to self-medicate and numb the painful feelings and memories. 

Therapy is the primary treatment for PTSD.  Support groups or group therapy can be especially beneficial for kids because it helps them realize they’re not alone and it gives them a safe place to talk freely about their feelings.  Medication may be used to help reduce symptoms of anxiety or depression, but it is not recommended as the primary or sole treatment for PTSD.  With children, medication should always be used with caution, and preferably prescribed by a child psychiatrist.

MORE:  Does My Child Need to See a Psychologist? }

Supporting Your Child with PTSD 

If your child has experienced a traumatic event, it’s important to watch for signs of PTSD.  Any changes in behavior (particularly regressed behavior), sleep, appetite, and/or moods should be noted.  Keep in mind that symptoms may not appear right away. 

Be very supportive, and let your child know that you’re always available to listen, if and when she feels like talking.  Don’t pressure your child to talk about the trauma.  The impact of trauma can be very confusing to your child.  Reassure your child that she's not going crazy, and that the traumatic incident was not her fault.  Help your child to feel empowered and to regain a sense of control over her life.

Trauma is far too often an unfortunate aspect of life.  With lots of love, support, and professional treatment, PTSD can be overcome.  

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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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17 comments

  1. Stella says:

    very hard i have suffered from ptsd for 13 years. i dont think it will ever go away but every day its easier to deal with.beacuse of my 4 children and one on the way they make it easier because i see i have something to live for.

  2. Stephanie says:

    It is sad at how common PTSD is

  3. LIZ says:

    very interesting article, i didnt know so many things about this, but i love to learn

  4. LeMona says:

    I believe I have PTSD but not too certain only because I find myself very depressed, especially when it’s just my son and myself. I am certain that I’ve had for a very long time due to that I was molested by my uncle, who til this day walks free. Reason he’s not in jail doing time for what he’s done is my grandmother’s health. I still carry that burden and I am very fearful that possibly the PTSD I have might affect my role in being a mother to my 8 week old son. Is there any great books that I can read at home to prevent it’s progress? I want control over the PTSD, not have the PTSD have control over me.

    • kim says:

      I was raped by a man from the town i went to high school and because of hardships my boyfriend and i had to move back in with my mom in that same small town and i am constantly worried i’ll see him everywhere i go. I am very happy with most of my life (loving family, amazing boyfriend, and now a baby) i still find myself not wanting to be around people ever. I have days where i don’t know if my baby will feel distant from me or disconnected because of the vibe i feel i exert. You need to have a great support system suffering from PTSD, if you don’t the harder it will be on you! also, finding more ways to bond with your baby and get some help because that life you created will be the best thing that ever happened to you!

  5. veronica says:

    I went through this with my first child and im pregnant with my second child. Im afraid im gonna go through it again but worse this go around could this be possible?

  6. Kathryn says:

    I had ptsd since I was 14 from a rape and I started seeing a therapist right away and got a lot of help, and the nightmares finally started dying down and it seemed like everything was getting better, then the end of August a week after finding out I’m pregnant, I watched my fiancé get hit by a semi truck after exiting the car when we were in a minor accident. So now here I am 24 weeks pregnant and grieving over the loss of my fiancé, and baby’s father. The ptsd is back of course, but I am seeing a therapist again and going to support groups and such, but really people need to realize seeing a therapist doesn’t mean you’re crazy, if you suffer from ptsd or anything like it things won’t get better if you don’t get help.

    • Kim Shannon says:

      Hi Kathryn! You have been through so much; but it sounds like you are doing everything you can to be the best woman you can be for yourself and your future child. I wish more people were able to approach life’s roadblocks in this same way. Good luck to you! Keep your head up and stay strong – you’re an example to others with similar struggles! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  7. Madison says:

    I don’t have this problem, but my heart goes out to everyone who does.

  8. Lisa says:

    As a child I was physically, emotionally and sexually abused. I’m 19 now, and have been seeing a therapist since I was 12. Finally I was starting to sort of heal over everything that happened to me as a child, and now it’s worse. Two days ago I was released from the hospital after I miscarried what would have been my first child. Since then I have nightmares about my baby drowning in blood, being choked by its umbilical cord, etc. Other times the guy who did all of that to me in my childhood finds my baby & does things, sexual & physically harmful, to it. It would seem like PTSD is going to be a part of my life for a long time, if not my whole life.

    • Megan Klay says:

      I’m so sorry to hear that these things happened to you, Lisa. And I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of your baby and the nightmares you’ve had. All the best to you!

    • So sorry for your loss, Lisa. Your strength and openness is truly something to be admired. I hope that someday you’ll be free of these nightmares. I also hope that you can feel the outpouring of love and support that we try to exude here. Wishing you peace, comfort, and a beautiful future. Take care.

  9. Liz says:

    I have PTSD from repeated marital rape and other forms of domestic abuse. It’s not a joke, and it’s something you have to be serious about healing from. In March I will be three years away from him, and I am now for the last few months, able to manage it. I am not ready for dating, but I am EXTREMELY proud of myself.

    I am proud of ANYONE who has been through it, is going through it, or may go through it. There absolutely needs to be more education about domestic violence and sexual assault out there, and there needs to be more talk about it!

  10. Timothy says:

    Never had this problem “yet”

  11. Nat says:

    the “PTSD workbook” is a great starting resource for people struggling I know it helped me a ton through the first stages of healing and you also need to remember that PTSD is something you learn to live with rather then cure. when you learn your triggers and learn to desensitize your self you are well on your way but there will be bad days when something sneaks up on you or a trigger you were not aware of jump out. Life is a journey and life with PTSD is a lot about getting to know yourself and taking care of yourself.

  12. Samantha says:

    Unfortunately I have PTSD, not only from sexual assault as a young girl but also a victim of domestic violence. If you have PTSD get help! Don’t be ashamed.

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