Resilience Rising: Innovative Approaches to PTSD Treatment for Children

When a person experiences PTSD, symptoms may interfere with daily functioning and cause distress. They can be triggered by reminders of the traumatic experience, such as thoughts, feelings or words, or by certain people, places or situations. A health care professional with expertise in trauma can diagnose PTSD and recommend treatment.

Many types of PTSD Treatment have been studied, and some have shown promising results. These treatments can include psychotherapy, medications and other interventions. Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, is the most common and effective PTSD treatment. This can help change negative thinking patterns and teach coping skills. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be particularly helpful for PTSD. This treatment teaches patients to practice skills outside of weekly sessions, and it helps them identify and reframe distorted beliefs about the event that led to PTSD. CBT is an APA “strongly recommended” treatment for PTSD.

Another type of psychotherapy, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), has been found to be effective in treating PTSD. In EMDR, a patient recalls the traumatic experience while following the therapist’s movements or sounds. It is not clear how EMDR works, but it is believed that it can help to ease the way the brain processes memories of trauma.

The PTSD symptoms that most commonly occur in children are related to a child’s experience of a frightening or disturbing event. Children with PTSD often have difficulty expressing their fears, so they may withdraw and hide from others. They may have trouble at school, be aggressive or become easily irritable and depressed.

Several studies have found that a combination of therapy and medication can reduce PTSD symptoms in children and adolescents. These treatments can be provided in a group or individual setting, depending on the needs of the child.

It is important to remember that children can recover from PTSD, and that more knowledge about how to treat it is being revealed all the time. There is no shame in having a mental health condition, and it’s never too late to seek help.

A good place to start is with a primary care provider who can refer the child or teen to a mental health specialist. There are also a number of organizations that provide peer support for families dealing with PTSD, including veterans’ groups, community-based mental health centers and online support communities.

A psychiatrist or psychologist can evaluate a child or adolescent for PTSD and recommend a treatment plan. In addition, some antidepressants are used to treat the anxiety and depression that can be associated with PTSD, such as paroxetine or sertraline. These medicines are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). A health care professional who has experience in treating PTSD can prescribe other medications as needed. The most important thing to do is follow the treatment plan and keep in regular contact with a mental health professional. Most people with PTSD improve with treatment, but it takes time. Those who have been diagnosed with PTSD should make an effort to get plenty of rest, eat well and stay physically active.