What is Trauma in Childhood?
Most people imagine something that only occurs to other people when they hear the term “trauma.” Childhood trauma or adverse childhood experiences have affected almost 35 million children and adolescents in the United States, according to the National Survey of Children’s Health. You might be asking what qualifies a childhood traumatic incident given that this figure appears high. Abuse (physical or sexual), witnessing domestic violence, neglect, accidents, sudden or chronic sickness, a death in the family or parental illness, substance abuse, divorce, or jail are all examples of childhood trauma. Traumatic occurrences can be perplexing and unsettling for youngsters. You might want to think again if your teen girl has had a traumatic event in light of this.
Panic Attacks and Teen Trauma
Teenagers frequently have panic attacks after a severe occurrence. Your teen may get overcome by an unseen onslaught of anxiety and panic for no apparent cause.
A panic attack appears and sounds worse than it is, similar to a violent storm. Typically, the attack’s catalyst is not harmful. But to a frightened youngster, the threat appears all too real. Your teen’s terror response may be significantly disproportionate to reality during a panic episode. Now is the moment to practice tolerance and kindness.
You may try your best to help if your teenage girl that is experiencing a panic attack by reassuring and tending to them. However, a panic episode frequently seems to endure for an eternity. Both the teen who is feeling it and the parent who is observing it are affected by it. It is quite distressing to witness your daughter have a panic attack. If you have personal experience with this, we completely understand your intense worry.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Teenagers
Teenagers who experience extremely stressful, intense events may develop anxiety disorders including acute stress disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Both of these are mental diseases, however, whereas PTSD sufferers experience long-lasting trauma symptoms, those with acute stress disorders only experience short-term anxiety symptoms. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, is a mental condition that affects persons who have gone through one or more traumatic incidents.
The body’s early fight or flight reaction to risky or stressful situations lessens even if traumatic experiences in children, adolescents, and teens are extremely overpowering and cause acute anxiety, helplessness, or panic in teen girls. Therefore, even if a girl struggles with an acute stress condition, the majority of them eventually make a full recovery. In spite of this, 15.9% of these adolescents experience post-traumatic stress disorder.
A teen’s development and diagnosis of PTSD are influenced by a number of variables. The individual’s living situation and economic status are among these variables. According to epidemiology research conducted in high-income nations, whereas many young adults who have experienced traumatic events may have symptoms of post-traumatic stress, only 8–10% of them go on to develop post-traumatic stress disorder. However, in low-income nations, up to 25% of kids who experienced a traumatic event went on to acquire post-traumatic stress disorder.
Treatment for Trauma in Teen Girls
In order to address safety concerns (such as self-harming or suicidal ideations) and confront illogical thinking, teenagers can benefit from dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a collaborative, support-based, and cognitive intervention. Since managing safety and at-risk behaviors is frequently one of the key objectives of this intervention, DBT necessitates both individual therapy and a DBT-based group intervention with peers of the same age. Four modules are covered in this intervention, including:
- Self-awareness and accepting viewpoints of oneself, the world, and other people
- How to manage connections interpersonally and engage in positive interactions with people
- Tolerance for suffering is the ability to endure upsetting and painful situations by accepting life as it is right now. For instance, radical acceptance is a component of distress tolerance that teaches the teenager how to adjust their mindset and distinguish between willingness and willfulness.
To control suicidal thoughts, anxiety, melancholy, irritation, and other emotions and regulate emotions in a healthy way, emotional regulation skills are taught. You can read more about DBT and our therapeutic process here.