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Ways Traumatic Events are Defined in Teenagers

Trauma can change a person once they have experienced something that has shaken them to their core. Feeling like their safety is being jeopardized can create high levels of psychological, emotional, and physical stress that can disrupt their capacity to function in their everyday life. Teenagers who encounter a traumatic event in their life will often react differently than younger children or young adults who will mostly rely on their parents or close family members. Teens usually turn to their peer groups for support and if they do not have a group of friends, will usually retreat to isolation. Since teenagers typically avoid their parents during this stage of their adolescence, parents will need some guidance to understand the missing parts to an overly emotional teenager's true angst and should be informed of trauma treatment programs.
  • Strong emotions stemming from sadness, anxiety, or guilt.
  • Overreactions to minor irritations which are really a deflection from the real issues.
  • Knowledge that they are repeatedly thinking about the event by nonchalantly talking about it frequently.
  • Digression in responsibilities such as work, school, or family obligations.
  • Expression of rebellion.
  • Overprotection of loved ones.
  • Pessimistic outlook regarding their future.
  • Distrust of anyone.
  • Disturbance in sleep patterns along with sudden nightmares.  
  • Increased dependence on others.
  • Loss of interest in things that were once of importance to them.
  • Difficulties with problem solving.
  • Troubles with concentration and short-term memory.
When trauma occurs with a teenager, they will no doubt go into crisis mode that can deplete them of their energy and efforts to be part of life. Someone who has gone through a devastating trial will most likely become unusually tired. Unexpected heightened stimulation due to a traumatic event will push the teen in flight or fight status by creating an abundance of energy to increase the chance of survival. There is no one form of therapy that will help a teenager heal from the aftermath of trauma. The key is to try and get them into therapy as soon as possible because the longer the feelings surrounding the trauma are suppressed, the harder it will be to process them in the future. Finding a therapist and therapy that is right for your adolescent can be a huge relief from the intrusive symptoms that follow trauma. Therapy is a great tool to help guide a teenager through the healing process that can help them continue to thrive in all they do.

If you or an adolescent you know needs to get help for drug or alcohol abuse, Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center can give you the guidance that you deserve. Establishing a strong network of family and community can reinforce practices for living substance free.

Call us today to start living in your recovery: 662-598-4214