Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Teens

Everyone processes trauma differently. A traumatic experience only has to happen in a split second for it to affect you long-term. When teens experience or witness something scary or distressing, the mental and emotional impact can extend for years into adulthood.

Post-traumatic stress disorder can affect all ages because trauma doesn’t have an age requirement. It’s also important to note that trauma isn’t the same as mental distress. Nearly everyone experiences suffering or distress at some point in their life, but not everyone is exposed to trauma. If you experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, Lightfully Teen is here to help you move along on your mental health journey toward a happy, fulfilling future.

What Is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric disorder that can develop after an experience or event that was perceived as scary, dangerous or life-threatening. It can stem from personally experiencing, witnessing or hearing about the event from a third party, causing long-term emotional, psychological or spiritual harm.

PTSD can make it difficult to complete your daily activities and maintain healthy relationships because you may avoid certain situations that can trigger memories of the event. You can also feel overwhelming negative emotions, such as anger, anxiety and fear.

PTSD in teens is especially common in survivors of:

  • Abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Physical harm
  • Natural disasters
  • Car accidents

What Are the Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Trauma affects everyone differently, which is why PTSD doesn’t always immediately develop after the event or experience. The symptoms can occur anywhere from three months to several years later.

Common PTSD symptoms include:

  • Reactivity and arousal — Risky or self-destructive behavior as well as angry outbursts and heightened irritability

  • Avoidance — Avoiding specific places, people or situations that could trigger traumatic memories

  • Negative thoughts — Pervasive feelings of shame, anger and fear that can impact your sense of self and beliefs

  • Intrusive thoughts — Recurring, unconscious thoughts relating to the event, such as flashbacks and nightmares

How Can Lightfully Teen Help Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD can cause intense fear and anxiety that interferes with your quality of life. But with proper treatment, you can learn healthy coping skills that will reduce the impact that the trauma has on your emotional, psychological and behavioral health.

At Lightfully Teen, we use process-based therapy (PBT) to make sure that you’re treating your entire well-being, not just your diagnosis. Because you’re more than just your PTSD.

We use PBT to help teens with PTSD learn coping skills and emotional management through integrated interventions, such as arousal reduction and mindful interventions, to show measurable results. The interventions stem from four core processes that contribute to PTSD:

  • Difficulty with emotions
  • Difficulty with thoughts
  • Difficulty with behaviors
  • Difficulty with relationships

Lightfully Teen Programs Can Help Treat Your Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Process-based therapy can help your post-traumatic stress disorder in our three levels of care: Residential Treatment, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), also called our Day Treatment Program.

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