3 Tips for Helping Your Teen Cope after Trauma

Experiencing a traumatic event in life is difficult for anyone, but can be especially difficult for teenagers. Teenagers are still developing mentally and emotionally and may not have the inner resources to cope with trauma without significant help. Whether your teen has experienced the death of a loved one, an assault, a serious car accident, or any other type of trauma, it is important to take proactive steps to help them cope.

Know The Signs of PTSD

After a major traumatic incident, your teen may experience post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD requires treatment from a professional counselor, and the effects may linger for years without proper treatment. Common signs of PTSD include having flashbacks or nightmares related to the incident, difficulty sleeping, and being easily startled. 

In addition, your teen may be irritable, cry more easily than usual, or seem unusually tired. Remember that these are all normal responses to unexpected stress and trauma. If you notice these signs in your teenager, it's important to get them professional help.

Talk to Your Teen's School

In addition, it's important to let your teen's school know what is going on so that they can offer appropriate support. This may mean helping to lighten your teen's class load temporarily, letting them turn in assignments late, or even allowing them to complete some coursework online instead of in person.

Just be sure to let your teen know you are planning to speak to someone at their school so they do not feel blindsided. You should work with your teen to agree to which specific details of the trauma, if any, are okay to be shared. If your teen is not comfortable with your sharing specifics, you can simply let their school know they are going through a difficult time and may need special arrangements.

Work With a Trauma Treatment Program

Finally, one of the best things you can do for your teen is sign them up for a trauma treatment program for teens. A trauma treatment program for teens is a specific counseling program designed for teens who have been through a traumatic event. Your teen will receive counseling for their PTSD in a comfortable, safe setting. In some cases, a trauma treatment program for teens is a live-in facility allowing your teen to receive more intensive care.

Helping your teenager cope after serious trauma can be scary, but by following these tips and working closely with a trauma treatment program, you will be on the right track.