What Causes Ptsd In A Child
A traumatic event that triggers PTSD may be:
Something that happened to the child
Something that happened to someone close to the child
Something the child saw
A child or teen may suffer from PTSD after one of these traumatic events:
Bad accidents, such as car or train wrecks
Invasive medical procedures, especially for children younger than age 6
Natural disasters, such as floods or earthquakes
Manmade tragedies, such as bombings
Violent personal attacks, such as a mugging, rape, torture, or kidnapping
Understand The Child And Family Cultural Perspective Relating To The Trauma Reactions To The Trauma And The Need For And Type Of Intervention
Because every child reacts to traumatic events in his or her own way, it is important to listen and try to understand childrens unique perspectives and concerns, as well as those of the family. Culture plays an important role in the meaning we give to trauma and our expectations for recovery. Thus, trying to understand the childs experience , as well as that of the childs family and community, can help guide intervention efforts. Those unfamiliar with mental health care may be reluctant to seek help and may need time to convey their concerns about treatment before they are ready to seek it. Also, children and families from ethnic and racial minority groups may encounter additional barriers, including limited access to mental health services and insensitivity from the majority culture regarding the impact of racism and poverty on their experience of traumatic events.
In some communities in which trauma exposure is prevalent both currently and historically, particular attention must be paid to the context of the trauma. Engaging community leaders such as clergy and other spiritual leaders, school personnel, health professionals, and caregivers will help everyone to understand the problems faced and the ways in which the community is prepared to handle them.
Men And Boys Are Also Affected By Sexual Violence
Millions of men in the United States have been victims of rape.
- As of 1998, 2.78 million men in the U.S. had been victims of attempted or completed rape.5
- About 3% of American menor 1 in 33have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime.5
- 1 out of every 10 rape victims are male.8
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Trauma & Ptsd Statistics
PTSD is a much more common disorder than previous studies have suggested, occurring throughout all age groups including children under the age of one. The lifetime risk for developing PTSD in US adults is 3.5%. The lifetime prevalence of PTSD is lower for those of European, African, Asian, and Latin American cultures at 0.5%-1.0%. Increased rates of PTSD are notable in those who have jobs that place them at risk for being a part of a traumatic event, such as police officers, nurses, and firefighters. The highest rates for PTSD occur among sexual assault survivors, military veterans who have been in combat, and survivors of genocide.
Causes and Risk Factors
When To Seek Help For Ptsd
A person who has experienced a traumatic event should seek professional help if they:
- dont feel any better after two weeks
- feel highly anxious or distressed
- have reactions to the traumatic event that are interfering with home, work and/or relationships
- are thinking of harming themselves or someone else.
Some of the signs that a problem may be developing are:
- being constantly on edge or irritable
- having difficulty performing tasks at home or at work
- being unable to respond emotionally to others
- being unusually busy to avoid issues
- using alcohol, drugs or gambling to cope
- having severe sleeping difficulties.
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Learn About Trauma & Ptsd
Originally understood as the aftereffects of war on certain military veterans, we now know that post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that can affect anyone. PTSD is caused by exposure to a traumatic event or frightening experience such as sexual assault, war, natural disaster, accidents or the threat of death to oneself or a loved one. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a long-lasting consequence of incredibly traumatic events that overwhelm the individuals ability to cope.
Most individuals who have been exposed to these sorts of traumatic events develop feelings of anger, shock, fear, guilt, and anxiety. These are completely normal reactions to an unnatural event and will fade over time. A person who has PTSD develops such unusually strong feelings after such an event that they prevent him or her from living a purposeful life. Unfortunately the symptoms of PTSD arent reduced over time usually these feelings intensify until the individual is overwhelmed and unable to function.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can develop at any age, even during the first year of life. Symptoms most often begin to appear within the first three months following the incident but can present months or years later.
Post-traumatic stress disorder can impact every area of a persons life, but with proper management and support, this disorder can be treated. You do not have to define yourself by PTSD.
Women And Girls Experience Sexual Violence At High Rates
Millions of women in the United States have experienced rape.
- As of 1998, an estimated 17.7 million American women had been victims of attempted or completed rape.5
Young women are especially at risk.
- 82% of all juvenile victims are female. 90% of adult rape victims are female.6
- Females ages 16-19 are 4 times more likely than the general population to be victims of rape, attempted rape, or sexual assault.3
- Women ages 18-24 who are college students are 3 times more likely than women in general to experience sexual violence. Females of the same age who are not enrolled in college are 4 times more likely.7
Read more statistics about campus sexual violence.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Post
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.
It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This fight-or-flight response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they are not in danger.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event. When in danger, its natural to feel afraid. This fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to prepare to defend against the danger or to avoid it. This fight-or-flight response is a healthy reaction meant to protect a person from harm. In PTSD, this reaction is changed or damaged. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when theyre no longer in danger.
- Feeling tense or on edge
- Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts
According to John H. Krystal, M.D., of Yale University School of Medicine:
To be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must have all of the following for at least 1 month:
Risk factors for PTSD include:
Comparison With Previous Studies
Kessler et al. found that the age group of 45 to 54-year-olds showed the highest risk of PTSD among men. Among women they found it to be between the age of 25 and 34 years. Creamer and Parslow found the highest risk of PTSD to be present between the age of 18 and 24 years for both men and women. When converting our results into comparable 10-year-span age groups the highest risk of PTSD was found between the age of 45 and 54 years among men, and 55 and 64 years among women. The results for men are congruent with the findings by Kessler et al. The results for women, however, show a 30-year difference in PTSD peaks between the two studies. However, the age group of 55 to 64-year-olds was not included in the Kessler et al. study. The inconsistency with the findings of Creamer and Parslow could be due to methodological or cultural differences.
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What Are Common Signs And Symptoms
PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types.
- Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
- Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again
- Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event
- Severe emotional distress to something that reminds you of the traumatic event
- Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
- Avoiding places, activities, or people that remind you of the traumatic event
Negative changes in thinking and mood:
- Negative thoughts about yourself, other people, or the world
- Hopelessness about the future
- Feeling detached from family and friends
- Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
Causes And Risk Factors For Ptsd
Researchers generally believe that post-traumatic stress disorder is not caused by one single factor rather a variety of risk factors and predispositions that work together to cause the development of PTSD following a traumatic event. The most commonly cited causes for PTSD include:
Genetic: Anxiety disorders tend to run in families. People who have first-degree relatives who struggle with anxiety disorders are at a greater risk for developing the disorder themselves. While not a definitive cause for PTSD, it does make a person more vulnerable to developing the disorder after a traumatic event.
Brain Structures: Its believed that certain areas of the brain that regulate emotions and fear are different than those who do not develop PTSD after a traumatic event.
Environmental: Those who have a history of trauma and stress are more likely to develop PTSD than those who do not have a similar history. Also, children who grow up in families where addiction is present are at greater risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder.
Psychological: People who struggle with certain types of mental illness, notably anxiety and depression, are at a higher risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder.
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Ptsd And Domestic Violence
While PTSD may not always develop immediately following an episode of abuse, the connection between PTSD and domestic violence is undeniable. The probability of domestic violence victims developing PTSD may be influenced by the severity and duration of violence, as well as the age the violence is experienced. The perceived level of threat from domestic violence for example, whether or not someone feels their life is in danger can also influence the development of PTSD. The intense emotional connection victims have with their domestic abuser is likely a large part of what makes domestic violence so traumatic.
After Exposure To A Traumatic Life Event Short
Children and adolescents vary in the nature of their responses to traumatic experiences. The reactions of individual youths may be influenced by their developmental level, ethnicity/cultural factors, previous trauma exposure, available resources, and preexisting child and family problems. However, nearly all children and adolescents express some kind of distress or behavioral change in the acute phase of recovery from a traumatic event. Not all short-term responses to trauma are problematic, and some behavior changes may reflect adaptive attempts to cope with a difficult or challenging experience.
Many of the reactions displayed by children and adolescents who have been exposed to traumatic events are similar or identical to behaviors that mental health professionals see on a daily basis in their practice.These include:
Functioning in the family, peer group, or school may be impaired as a result of such symptoms. Therefore, when working with children who may display these types of reactions, the clinician must make a careful assessment of possible exposure to trauma.
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A Close Look Atptsd Among Aging Adults
Post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, can happen to people of all ages. It is especially a common issue among aging adults because they have a more likely chance to have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. Examples of traumatic events that could lead to PTSD include military combat, a bad car accident, the unexpected death of a loved one, serious illness or injury to self or someone close, and sexual assault, to name a few.
This guide will account for PTSD among aging adults, veterans, and older homeless people. See what experts have to say about the subject, and learn more about the causes and symptoms of PTSD and how the condition can be treated.
Disclaimer: We are not doctors. This is for informational purposes only. As always, we suggest speaking to a medical professional to determine how to best address your specific situation.
+ Upsetting And Interesting Facts About Ptsd For 2021
The public is familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder as battle fatigue or shell shock, because of the war veterans that suffer from it. However, interesting facts about PTSD show that this disorder can strike anyone on the planet.
The natural fight-or-flight response is damaged in people who have PTSD. Their heightened sense of danger causes them to always feel like theyre in danger, even when theyre safe. What is more, the coronavirus pandemic has added to the facts about post-traumatic stress disorder too.
If you suspect that you or someone you care about has PTSD, dont worry. PTSD facts show that youre not alone. Millions of people all around the world share your struggle, and theres no need to be afraid. Just take a look at some of the data about post-traumatic stress disorder that we have collected, and about the treatment, too.
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% Of The Gulf War Veterans Have Ptsd
The nature of combat has changed greatly since WWI and WWII, so the statistics on post-traumatic stress disorder increased in the meantime. One of the reasons for bigger rates could be the fact that soldiers are returning home faster than before. The longer trip home allowed for sharing experiences with fellow soldiers and longer processing and healing time.
The Average Number Of Suicides Among Veterans Is 176 Per Day
This is the most recent data. PTSD can cause war flashbacks and acute stress disorder, among other things, which can further compel them to try to self-medicate, abuse drugs, or turn to excessive drinking instead of seeking professional medical help.
As PTSD in veterans facts and stats show, they are 58% higher risk of committing suicide than veterans who were not diagnosed with PTSD.
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Ptsd In Different Age Groups
The following chart lists symptoms that can be seen in children or youth suffering from PTSD at different ages. It’s important to remember that some of these symptoms may occur during stressful times and not just with PTSD. But if a child or youth has symptoms in reaction to a frightening event that remain for a long time, they may be suffering from PTSD.
Consideration Of The Senior’s Lifespan
Research has shown that seniors between 55-65 years of age are more like than older seniors between 75-85 to experience PTSD brought on by diagnosis and treatment of cancers. The older seniors are less likely to develop PTSD from medical issues like cancer due to their longer lifespan, having experienced more emotional challenges and developing ways to deal with them compared to younger seniors. Knowing this helps producing an effective and customized PTSD treatment plan, as approaching seniors in their 60s is not the same as treating PTSD in seniors in their 70s and 80s.
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About 8 Million Americans Suffer From Ptsd Per Annum
So is PTSD a disability? Actually, no, it belongs to the long list of mental health issues. The official PTSD definition states that this is a psychiatric disorder that occurs in people who have gone through a shock or a trauma such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war, combat, rape, or other violent personal assault. It can affect people of all ages, ethnicity, nationality, and culture.
Assess Need And Provide Care Consistent With The Childs Level Of Need And The Time Elapsed Since Exposure To The Traumatic Event
Different strategies are called for at different times and for different levels of symptom severity. For instance, because most children experience distress immediately after a traumatic event, a supportive, problem-focused approach may be useful in the acute phase of recovery. Later on, however, that same level of distress experienced by a child may indicate that a more intensive, trauma-focused approach is needed, such as one that emphasizes both skills training and the opportunity for the child to review the trauma. Similarly, it is useful to differentiate between universal assistance that is likely to be useful to all trauma-exposed children and families and targeted interventions that are appropriate only for those with demonstrated need .
Although behavioral problems are readily noticed by parents and teachers, childrens anxiety and depressive symptoms are not. Thus, it is good practice to assess anxiety and depression by asking children directly and obtaining childrens own reports on those symptoms. Routine screening for traumatic exposures upon intake is recommended, and larger scale screening efforts to identify trauma-exposed children who are experiencing problems may also be warranted.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Ptsd
Three factors have been shown to raise the chances that children will get PTSD. These factors are:
- How severe the trauma is
- How the parents react to the trauma
- How close or far away the child is from the trauma
Children and teens that go through the most severe traumas tend to have the highest levels of PTSD symptoms. The PTSD symptoms may be less severe if the child has more family support and if the parents are less upset by the trauma. Lastly, children and teens who are farther away from the event report less distress.
Other factors can also affect PTSD. Events that involve people hurting other people, such as rape and assault, are more likely to result in PTSD than other types of traumas. Also, the more traumas a child goes through, the higher the risk of getting PTSD. Girls are more likely than boys to get PTSD.It is not clear whether a child’s ethnic group may affect PTSD. Some research shows that minorities have higher levels of PTSD symptoms. Other research suggests this may be because minorities may go through more traumas.
Another question is whether a child’s age at the time of the trauma has an effect on PTSD. Researchers think it may not be that the effects of trauma differ according to the child’s age. Rather, it may be that PTSD looks different in children of different ages.