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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder In Children – Important Issues

Posted Apr 01 2009 12:56pm

No matter how strong or well trained, you are susceptible to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is often associated with war veterans who are being haunted by bad memories of a traumatic event that has caused them tremendous physical and emotional pain and suffering. War heroes who have risked life and limb to fight for his or her country. PTSD cases among war veterans are indeed very common but the truth is they are not the only ones who get affected with PTSD.

Children who are living in conflict areas and who have experienced emotional, physical and sexual abuse are as much prone to suffer from PTSD as war veterans are. Children who are not abused or do not experience conflict but are living in extreme poverty are also most likely to develop PTSD. It is estimated that millions of children all over the world are suffering from PTSD given the number of places that are currently experiencing conflict and extreme poverty. Millions more are expected to suffer from PTSD in the coming years unless the number of conflicts is greatly reduced and extreme poverty in many places have been addressed.

If you know a child who has experienced a very traumatic experience and suspect that he or she might be suffering from PTSD in children, then you must be on the lookout for the different PTSD symptoms among young individuals. What you must know is that PTSD manifests differently in children compared to adults. Most adults with PTSD for example tend to reenact the traumatizing event that happened to them in their daily activities. Many children who have PTSD, on the other hand, tend to reenact the triggering traumatizing event through play.

Most of the differences between adult and children PTSD sufferers lies in the fact that children have not yet developed the complex communication skills that adults possess. Children cannot be expected to verbalize their feelings or narrate in their own words the events that have caused them the trauma.

Another information that you must know about children suffering from PTSD is that their symptoms tend to differ depending on age. The older the children, the more complex is the manifestation of PTSD. This is the reason why it is very hard to diagnose PTSD with children especially with very young children. However, there are some common behaviors that may indicate PTSD in children. These include intense fear, inability to fall or stay asleep and separation behavior.

Because of their unique condition, children with PTSD should be handled with utmost care and special modes of treatment must be developed that addresses their unique needs.

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