June is PTSD Awareness Month

Though most often associated with veterans who experienced atrocities of war, anyone, including children and teens, can suffer with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Children typically recover quickly from stressful events, but when it comes to severe stress, especially serious injuries, the death of a close family member or friend, sexual assault, living through a disaster, or witnessing a violent act such as a school shooting, children can often suffer the long-term effects of PTSD.

The National Center for PTSD estimates that 7-8% of people will experience PTSD during their lives. Worse yet, over 65% of children who are exposed to a traumatic event will, at some point, attempt to take their own lives.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the symptoms of PTSD are different for young children than those of older teens and adults. Children younger than 6 will often wet the bed, forget how or refuse to talk, act out the traumatic event during routine play, or become unusually clingy with a parent or other adult.

Research shows that depression rates increase after a trauma and tend to be especially high among children with PTSD. If your child or someone you love is struggling with depression or thinking about suicide, get help now. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, 1-800-273-TALK (8255), is a free resource, available 24 hours a day for anyone who is in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. The Crisis Text Line is a free 24/7 text line where trained crisis counselors support individuals in crisis. Text “Jason” to 741741 to speak with a compassionate, trained Crisis Counselor. Confidential support 24/7, for free.

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