How To Recognize Trauma In Your Teen
Recognizing trauma in an adolescent can be difficult. Many of the symptoms of trauma, also known as post-traumatic stress disorder, are similar to typical behavior that teens exhibit. However, trauma is a serious disorder that has far reaching effects that can carry on for adolescent girls well into adulthood, affecting their confidence, their ability to have intimate relationships, and their overall motivation in life.
Roughly 4% of all adolescents will develop PTSD with the majority of that percentage being female. As a parent, friend, or teacher, recognizing the signs of trauma in order to help that girl get the treatment they need can have a drastic impact on their success navigating life as an adult.
Signs And Symptoms Of Trauma
Some symptoms of trauma are hard to distinguish from normal adolescence. These are behaviors such as irritability, rebellion, and sleeping too little or too much. However, trauma is a direct response to a traumatic situation, such as serious surgery, a car accident, death of a loved one, witnessing a violent event, or suffering from chronic physical, mental, and even sexual abuse. Additionally, trauma can occur from less severe events also, such as from social rejection, victimization at the hands of a bully, the grief of losing a friend, boyfriend, or girlfriend, and the divorce of parents.
Typical signs to watch for are:
• Trouble sleeping especially due to nightmares
• Flashbacks where the traumatic event is re-experienced
• Depression and irritability
• Plummeting grades
• Suddenly dressing inappropriately and acting out
• Refusing to talk about what happened
• Saying that they don’t remember the details of the traumatic event or downplaying the severity of the event
• Alcohol or substance abuse
Trauma in teen girls is not something that just goes away. Without professional treatment, trauma can haunt adolescent girls well into adulthood. Turning Winds is a residential treatment center that recognizes that trauma can occur from a variety situations ranging in severity. Turning Winds RTC also recognizes that some teen girls are more sensitive and/or susceptive to trauma and, thus, may turn to unhealthy and destructive behaviors from “less severe” situations.
As an all-girls program, Turning Winds RTC is dedicated to providing evidence-based treatment that is distinctive to the needs of adolescent girls. Therapeutic treatment for grief and trauma may take many forms, such as equine therapy, intensives, group therapy, and even family therapy to help provide healing for the entire family and to repair damaged relationships. All treatment is individualized to best meet the needs of every girl who attends Turning Winds RTC in order to help them recover from their trauma and move on with their lives.