It’s challenging to be a parent or guardian of a teen who requires trauma treatment. You want to protect your child and ensure that you’re doing all you can to improve their safety and well-being. Therefore, when you see your adolescent suffering, it hurts. Foothills at Red Oak Recovery understand how that feels, and we’re here to help. If you’re searching for a healthcare facility that offers trauma treatment in North Carolina, contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery by calling 866.300.5275.
What Are the Signs of Teen Trauma?
Unfortunately, teen trauma is not as rare as you might think. Many teens have been exposed to at least one traumatic experience in their lifetime, and some have already experienced three or more events. While parents and guardians can’t protect their children from all traumatic events, they can recognize when it happens and get the professional help they need. Some teen trauma signs to watch out for include the following:
- Anxiety: Teens can feel nervous and overwhelmed in ordinary or everyday situations. PTSD anxiety can come out of nowhere.
- Avoidance: Traumatized teens may actively avoid some people, places, and things associated with a traumatic event.
Bouts of depression and extended grief: In cases of traumatic loss, teens may go through an extended timeline of grief. This feeling can sometimes lead to severe depression.
- Changes in sleeping patterns: Nightmares, anxiety, or fear can keep teens up, while feelings of exhaustion may make them want to sleep more often.
- Fear: A teenage client may constantly be worrying or feel that something bad is going to happen again.
- Feeling nothing: Teens can feel numb in response to trauma symptoms. Often, they withdraw and isolate themselves. When the pain becomes too much to bear, teens would rather feel nothing at all.
- Night terrors: This type of sleep disturbance is typically experienced by young children. However, teen trauma often results in a new pattern of night terrors. Teens suffering from night terrors often wake cold, shaking, drenched in sweat, and often with no clear memories of the fear they experienced while asleep.
- Overwhelming shame or guilt: Sometimes, traumatized teens can blame themselves and feel embarrassment, shame, or guilt.
- Uncontrollable rage: Anger and very aggressive behavior may occur in teens dealing with trauma. Behaviors displaying rage can include screaming or making threats of physical violence.
How Does Trauma Occur?
Accidental trauma can still occur, even if parents and guardians are very protective of their children. For example, a teen can be badly injured in an unavoidable accident or witness a life-threatening incident. However, most teen trauma is not accidental and can result from emotional distress, mental suffering, physical violence, or sexual assault. This can include things that are somewhat commonplace during adolescence: bullying/loss of their friend group, moving, or divorce. Teen trauma should be treated as soon as possible because traumatic experiences often result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Why Is Healing Teen PTSD Important?
A single traumatic event is often called an acute trauma. Ongoing traumatic events, such as exposure to domestic violence, gang violence, or childhood abuse, are called “chronic trauma.” Both acute and chronic trauma can lead to teen PTSD. Children and teens can also experience vicarious or secondary trauma due to indirect exposure to traumatic events in close friends, family members, or the media. All these types of trauma can lead to traumatic stress and PTSD.
Traumatic stress can begin anywhere from a few days to a few months following the event. Over time, pressures of this nature can impact every area of a teenager’s life. Teens with PTSD use most of their mental and emotional energy to combat PTSD symptoms. Hence, they struggle with relationship maintenance and daily functioning. Here are some long-term effects of teen PTSD you should watch out for:
- Difficulty focusing
- Inability to form relationships with peers
- Increased risk-taking behavior
- Poor academic performance
- Resisting challenges due to fear
Teens with PTSD will find it difficult to grow, mature, and learn properly.
Why Is Trauma-Informed Treatment Necessary?
There are several benefits to seeking trauma-informed treatment, not only for clients but also for providers and staff. Many patients with trauma have difficulty maintaining open relationships with a healthcare provider. Trauma-informed treatment offers the opportunity for clients to engage more fully in their healthcare. They can then develop a trusting relationship with their healthcare provider and improve long-term health outcomes.
Trauma-informed treatment can also help reduce burnout among healthcare staff, which leads to reducing staff turnover.
Seek Trauma-Informed Care at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
If you’re looking for a healthcare facility that offers trauma-informed treatment in North Carolina, contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery. Call 866.300.5275 or reach out to our team online.