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Trauma Can Cause PTSD In Kids, Teens

A new study discovered that post-traumatic stress disorder’s risk in teens and children is higher when they start thinking that their response to the trauma is abnormal.

According to the University of East Anglia in the United States researchers mostly children recover after a trauma, but few children develop PTSD that may gone on for even months and years and some even into their adulthood.

The PTSD symptoms can usually be a common reaction after a trauma in children. These include symptoms like nightmares, flashbacks and memories. Health professionals do not diagnose it in first month after the trauma has happened as it is a normal response and not a disorder, said Richard Meiser-Stedman, the lead researcher. He added that as they wanted to study more regarding why some children have symptoms of extreme traumatic stress weeks or days after the trauma and why others do not show any response at all, while some recover fully without any kind of treatment, whereas others experience persistent problems.

This study included 200 children between the age group of 8-17 who were treated at an emergency department after incidents like car accidents, dog attacks and other assaults. Meiser-Stedman said that they found that symptoms of PTSD are found early on – between 2 and 4 weeks after a trauma. He added that usually the initial reactions are caused due to confusion and fear after a trauma. Mostly children recover without any treatment, found the investigators. The intensity of physical injury do not predict PTSD nor do any other factors like life stressors, self-blame or the kind of social support they can rely on, said Meiser-Stedman.

He explained that youngsters who do not recover fully and who head towards a chronic PTSD path after two months of trauma are likely to think negatively regarding their trauma and reactions.

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Kevin Wells

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