How Can Young People Move Forward from PTSD?

Because they have not yet developed the full range of coping responses and emotional resources that may be available to them later, youths are at greater risk for PTSD than the average adult.

They also face higher risk of many traumatic situations, including abuse by parents or caregivers. A second diagnosis, Complex PTSD, has been proposed to address the idea that long-term abuse or neglect can produce PTSD in the absence of a single defining event.

These steps are essential:

Recognize Emotional Triggers

Triggers are stimuli that aggravate symptoms in PTSD sufferers and may cause flashback episodes. Sufferers should not be expected to face triggers unexpectedly until they have had professional help. A caring and understanding environment is essential.

Practice Relaxation Skills

Relaxation alone is not enough to uproot the complicated subconscious factors involved in PTSD. However, learning techniques like progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing can establish greater control in some situations and may prevent panic.

Reframe the Event

To move forward, adolescents and teens ultimately need to address unresolved feelings around the traumatic event. This can take many forms, but should be facilitated by experts. Journaling, art therapy, and a wide range of other methods can help them come to terms with the past.

Consider Medication

In the most severe cases, medication can help in combination with other care. No matter the exact therapy, young people are emboldened when they face feelings of helplessness in a safe, empowering environment. This enables them to return to building a healthy adult frame of reference about their capabilities in life.

To learn how wilderness therapy can help, contact WinGate.

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WinGate Therapy

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