A traumatic event experienced by a person can imprint on his memory forever. Not infrequently, traumatic events can affect the mental condition of the victim. In the medical world, mental problems due to traumatic events that occurred in the past are called post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition is not only experienced by adults, children can also experience it.

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A frightening past event will usually continue to be remembered by a child who has PTSD, so that it is physically and mentally affected as well. Symptoms of PTSD usually appear soon after the event occurs. However, sometimes symptoms can also appear after 6 months or more. Well, so that parents are more sensitive to the condition of their children, you should recognize the following signs of PTSD. 

Signs of a Child with PTSD

Children with PTSD usually experience a lot of emotional and physical stress when faced with situations that remind them of the traumatic event. Children can have nightmares and have disturbing memories during the day. That’s not all, launching from Stanford Children’s Health these are other signs of PTSD:

  • Having sleep disorder.
  • Often feel depressed and upset.
  • Easily nervous, restless, or overly alert.
  • Loss of interest in the things they used to enjoy. 
  • Become less responsive.
  • It’s hard to feel love.
  • Be more aggressive than before.
  • Trying to stay away from certain places or situations that can remind him of the trauma.
  • Experiencing flashbacks that can be images, sounds, smells, or feelings.
  • Often gets into trouble or problems at school.
  • It’s hard to focus.
  • Acting childishly inappropriate for their age, such as thumb sucking or bed-wetting .
  • Have a headache or stomach ache.

Causes of PTSD in Children

Deep trauma is often a major cause of PTSD in children. Abandoned by a family, experiencing violence, or being seriously injured are examples of traumatic events that can trigger PTSD. Reporting from Kids Health, here are some examples of events that can cause trauma: 

  • Experiencing violence or rape.
  • Seeing fire or having been burned by fire.
  • Experiencing physical or sexual abuse.
  • Seeing or experiencing acts of violence.
  • Exist in situations of natural or man-made disasters.
  • Car accident.
  • Military battle. 
  • Witnessing others experience a traumatic event.
  • Diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

In some cases, PTSD occurs after a child has experienced repeated traumatic events. 

How To Cure It?

Treatment for PTSD depends on the child’s symptoms, age, and health condition and how severe the PTSD is. Early treatment is very important to relieve symptoms and promote normal development of the child. Not only that, the treatment also aims to improve the quality of life for children. 

The treatment option may be cognitive behavioral therapy in combination with medication. Through cognitive behavioral therapy, children will learn to cope with their anxiety and master situations that lead to PTSD. Meanwhile, drugs serve to reduce symptoms of depression or anxiety, so the child becomes calmer.