Stress in your Child

How to Identify Stress in Your Child

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in children and adolescents may include the following, but vary among individuals.  Such symptoms are indicative of PTSD when they reflect a change from the individual’s prior functioning, behavior, or emotional experience.

To identify stress in your child, look for these symptoms:

  • difficulty sleeping
  • sad or depressed mood
  • feeling jittery or on guard
  • being easily startled
  • loss of interest in things they used to enjoy
  • feelings of detachment, numbness, and lack of responsiveness
  • periods of blanking out, staring off while awake
  • discomfort with physical affection
  • irritability
  • increased thoughts about and fear of dying
  • regressive behaviors (baby talk, thumb sucking, bedwetting)
  • increased complaints of physical discomfort often with the bodily location changing frequently (headaches, stomach aches)
  • increase in aggressive behavior
  • avoiding certain places or situations that bring back memories
  • flashbacks or intrusive images
  • losing touch with reality
  • reenactment of an event for a period of seconds or hours or, very rarely, days
  • difficulty concentrating

If  your child has experienced a traumatic event, and you are noticing any of the above signs of distress or trauma, contact me or seek other professional help as soon as possible.

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