LCP Fix Teen Trauma Treatment - Clearfork Academy

Teen Trauma Treatment

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect anyone, even teens. Trauma treatment at Clearfork Academy gives young adults the tools they need to manage their PTSD symptoms and improve their mental health.

Treating Trauma in Teenagers at Clearfork Academy

At Clearfork Academy, we offer a safe environment for teenagers to recover from traumatic events. We understand that getting treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder can be difficult for the teenager as well as their family and offer family therapy sessions so that you can understand and support your teenager as best you can.

What Are the Different Treatment Options for Trauma in Teenagers?

Post-traumatic stress disorder can seriously affect the behavior and life of teenagers. The teen years are particularly difficult to navigate, and trauma can compound this. A teen may not feel able to communicate how they are feeling or tell people what has happened. This can lead to problems such as substance abuse and conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sixty-six percent of teens and young adults have been exposed to at least one traumatic event in their lifetime, so it is important to take treatment seriously.

The most common ways to treat teen trauma are through therapies including cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive processing therapy, hypnotherapy, and group therapy. These allow you to speak about the trauma in a safe environment and learn coping mechanisms so that you can begin to recover. It is also important to treat any co-occurring conditions, such as addiction.

Why Teen Trauma Needs to Be Treated

Traumatic experiences can lead to long-term negative effects, including substance abuse and addiction, PTSD, and other mental health disorders. Trauma can begin to affect a teenager's daily life, including their relationships. This can be due to their behaviors changing in response to the trauma.

For example, their emotional responses may become detached to protect themselves from thoughts and feelings about the event. This can lead them to seem distant and uncaring. Another factor is that the brain is changed by early life stress, which increases the risk of developing unhealthy behaviors later in life. It is therefore important to intervene with professional treatment early.

Teen Trauma Causes

Trauma can be caused by many different sorts of events, and a specific event may lead to a trauma response in one person but not another. A traumatic event is one that causes a perceived threat to safety and which may put the life of the person or others around them at risk. Examples of trauma that may affect teenagers include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Local, national, or international tragedy
  • Bullying
  • A mental illness such as depression or anxiety
  • The death of a loved one

Events can be one-time things such as the death of a loved one or an ongoing situation such as prolonged physical or sexual abuse.

Understanding Teen Trauma Symptoms

A traumatic event causes you to go into fight or flight until the perceived danger has passed. This uses up a lot of energy. Symptoms of teen trauma include:

  • Sadness, anger, and guilt
  • Withdrawing from friends and family members
  • Avoiding people, places, and things that are associated with the event
  • Sleep problems
  • Spending more time alone
  • Being protective of friends and family members
  • Rebellious behavior
  • Poor verbal skills
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Memory problems
  • Unexplained frequent illnesses such as headaches and stomach aches
  • Sleep problems such as nightmares
  • Loss of interest in hobbies
  • Depression

It is normal to experience symptoms of trauma for about one month after a traumatic event, but symptoms can persist for much longer, leading to more serious effects. If you are worried about a teenager because, for example, they are partaking in reckless behavior, substance use, or have persistent depression or anxiety, it may be time to seek treatment.

Teen Trauma and Panic Attacks

It is common for people to experience panic attacks after a traumatic event. They are not usually physically dangerous but can seem to be for the traumatized person. It is important to remain understanding if you see someone experiencing a panic attack. Their response may seem out of proportion to what is happening, but it is a normal response to trauma. For those who have experienced trauma, it is possible that the triggers that cause someone to have a panic attack are linked to the event, for example, people, places, or things that are associated with it.

The Symptoms of a Panic Attack

The symptoms of a panic attack can be very scary. People sometimes say that it feels as if they are having a heart attack. Common symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Pounding heart
  • Dizziness
  • Shaking
  • Loss of balance
  • Chills or hot flashes
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain and cramping

These symptoms tend to pass quickly once the panic attack is over. The biggest problem is usually the fear of having another attack which can cause avoidance to become worse. Remember that the panic attack will pass even if it feels like it will last forever. If you are with someone who is experiencing a panic attack, be patient and understanding and let them know that it will pass.

Teens and PTSD

PTSD is considered to be a mental disorder according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). It is a potential long-term consequence of trauma. Symptoms of PTSD include substance misuse, avoidance syndrome, flashbacks, and nightmares.

When someone recovers from a traumatic event without developing PTSD, they may experience unpleasant emotions when they think about the event, but these will get decrease with time. With PTSD, you may feel that you are back at the scene of the event, and the feelings you experience will be just as intense as when the event happened. This can continue for years after the event.

How Is Trauma in Teenagers Diagnosed and Evaluated?

To get evaluated and diagnosed for teen trauma, you should visit a therapist or psychiatrist. They will be able to conduct the evaluations needed for a diagnosis. Two common tools include the Children's Revised Impact of Event Scale (CRIES-13) and the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale, Child and Adolescent Version (CAPS-CA). Both are validated trauma screening tools that can evaluate trauma and the risk of developing PTSD. The former is used for general use, while the second is suitable for specialist care. Based on these tests, a mental health professional can tell you which steps to take to receive treatment. At Clearfork Academy, our experts will give you the best treatment possible, tailoring your treatment program to your individual needs.

Teen Trauma and Family Problems

Teen trauma can cause family problems if communication and understanding are not good between the teenager and their family. It is important to be as supportive as possible, letting your teenager know that you are there for them and looking out for signs of trauma because it is possible that you are not aware they have experienced a traumatic event.

5 Ways That Teen Trauma Triggers Family Problems

Family can help a teenager to recover from a traumatic event, but they can also make things more difficult. Things that can trigger family problems include:

  • Not wanting to talk about the event with the teenager
  • Misunderstanding the teenager’s behavior and thinking they are being difficult
  • Trying to get emotional support from the teen if the event was a shared one
  • Blaming the teen for not getting over the trauma
  • Arguing about different points of view about the event

FAQ About Teen Trauma Treatment

Below are some commonly-asked questions about Clearfork Academy and the typical teen experience during treatment. If you don’t see your question below, please click here to see all FAQs or reach out to us directly for more information.

How to Motivate a Teenager With Trauma to Start Treatment

Motivating a teenager to start treatment requires you to be open and understanding with them. Reassure them that you will listen without judgment and only give advice when they ask for it. From a place of care and understanding, it will be easier to support them with getting treatment.

Why a Traumatized Teen Has Trouble Communicating

The teen years are a challenging time to process trauma. A teen may not communicate because they:

  • Think their family will not understand or will be upset
  • Need time to understand the event
  • Prefer talking with friends
  • Feel shame about the event
  • Distract themselves from the event
  • Fear judgment

Can Trauma in Teenagers Be Cured?

If you are experiencing teen trauma, you will not feel the way you do forever. With the right trauma treatment, it is possible to recover and live a healthy and happy life. At Clearfork, we provide a safe and wholesome environment for recovery.

How Can Parents Support Their Teenager Who Is Struggling With Trauma?

As the parent of a teenager who is struggling with trauma, you can:

  • Be flexible and patient
  • Remember, they are the same person they were before
  • Let them know their reaction is valid and normal
  • Show that you care and are genuinely interested in them and their life

Are There Any Alternative or Complementary Treatments for Trauma in Teenagers?

At Clearfork, we believe that it is important to think about recovery holistically. We provide complementary treatments for trauma in addition to primary ones. These include yoga and alternative therapies such as art and equine therapy.

Teen Trauma Treatment at Clearfork Academy

Clearfork Academy focuses on the needs of teenagers who are struggling with trauma and any co-occurring conditions such as substance abuse and PTSD. We provide a safe environment for you to focus solely on recovery, allowing your family to join specific treatments so that you all get the support you need.

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