Traumatic events can have devastating effects on children, especially if they're left with unresolved issues. Things like car accidents, the death of a loved one, or abuse can leave a child with scars that will last forever. Unfortunately, one of those scars is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder—or PTSD. This condition can cause emotional, psychological, and even physical symptoms. If your child has been through a traumatic event, you need to seek help for them as soon as possible. In addition, you need to be aware of the following warning signs of PTSD.
Your Child Is Having Problems at School
If your child is suddenly having problems at school, those problems could be associated with PTSD. This condition can cause numerous educational difficulties. Unfortunately, these difficulties are often attributed to other things such as ADHD, boredom, or behavioral problems. If your child has suddenly begun acting out at school, you should seek help for them as soon as possible. Some changes to look for include:
- Sudden drop in grades
- Ditching school
- Acting out in class
- Fights with classmates
Your Child Has Begun Having Nightmares
When a child endures a traumatic event, the memories are stored in their brain. During the night, while your child is sleeping, those memories can push through and present themselves as vivid nightmares or flashbacks. If your child has begun having vivid nightmares, or other sleep disturbances, they may be suffering from the effects of PTSD. Talk to your doctor or counselor about the problems your child is experiencing.
Your Child Is Experiencing Physical Symptoms
PTSD doesn't just affect your child emotionally or psychologically. PTSD can also affect your child physically. These physical symptoms often present themselves as stomachaches, headaches, or fatigue. Watch your child. If they're complaining of physical symptoms that aren't illness-related, it's time to talk to a counselor.
Your Child Is Avoiding Certain Situations
Traumatic events can leave your child with vivid memories. These memories can be difficult for a child to deal with. As a result, they may avoid situations that remind them of the events. For instance, a child who's been in a serious car accident may suddenly avoid cars—even looking at them. If your child is avoiding situations that remind them of the event, they may be suffering from PTSD.
If your child has suffered a traumatic event, they're going to need help dealing with their feelings. Talk to counselor at an organization such as Lifeline about getting your child the help they'll need to heal properly.