Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can happen to adults as well as children. The amount of trauma experienced by an adult can be experienced by a child too. But, their reaction to trauma differs with age.

Dr Prerna Kohli India’s Top Psychologist Talks on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children
Dr Prerna Kohli India’s Top Psychologist Talks on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children

Thus, below are few symptoms shown by a Child having PTSD:

Bed Wetting:

Even after learning how to use the toilet, the child starts to wet the bed. This event usually happens because of nightmares about the trauma. Also, the child doesn’t realise about this issue and keeps on wetting the bed.

Dr Prerna Kohli India’s Top Psychologist Talks on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children
Dr Prerna Kohli India’s Top Psychologist Talks on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children

No Talk:

Mostly, children become unable to or in extreme cases, stop talking. They forget how to talk and express their emotions. Also, in some cases, the child becomes unable to talk. Thus, becoming mute.

Acting Out:

The trauma caused by the event is very scary for them. But, as they are unable to express themselves, they start acting out the trauma. This usually happens during their play or when they are indulged in other activities like drawing, painting etc.

Become Clingy:

They will start to cling to a parent or a guardian who they are close to. The fear of the trauma scares them to an unimaginable extent. Thus, making them cling to a loved one for safety and comfort.

Destructive Behaviour:

Sometimes, the child starts to act in a destructive manner. As they are unable to explain what is going on with them, they will start becoming angry and destructive.

Dr Prerna Kohli India’s Top Psychologist Talks on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children
Dr Prerna Kohli India’s Top Psychologist Talks on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children

With age, the symptoms are shown by a child also evolves. Thus, children of different age will exhibit different symptoms.

Thus, below are the symptoms shown by child, age-wise, suffering from PTSD:

Under Age 6:

Children under the age of 6 will usually show the symptoms mentioned above. They will cling to a parent or start acting out in their play.

Dr Prerna Kohli India’s Top Psychologist Talks on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children
Dr Prerna Kohli India’s Top Psychologist Talks on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Children

Between Age 7-11:

Children between the age of 7-11 start showing symptoms similar to above. They will have nightmares and will start avoiding school or school work. They might isolate themselves or start acting out in an aggressive manner. Their drawings or paintings might become an expression of the trauma.

Between Age 12-18:

Children between the age of 12-18 will usually show the symptoms which an adult will show. This may include, and not limited to, depression, anxiety, acting out, substance use or even constantly running away from home.

PTSD can happen to anyone, regardless of age. If you or someone you know is suffering from PTSD then please visit a mental health professional immediately.

 

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