PSTD in Children and Teens

soldier with ptsd talking to doctor
Anyone Is Susceptible To PTSD
October 26, 2017
girl with insomnia looking into the distance
Why Can’t I Just Sleep
October 27, 2017
depressed girl laying on couch

Children and teens can have extreme reactions to trauma, but their symptoms may not be the same as adults.  

In very young children, these symptoms can include:

  • Bedwetting, when they’d learned how to use the toilet before.

  • Forgetting how or being unable to talk.

  • Acting out the scary event during playtime.

  • Being unusually clingy with a parent or other adult.

To be diagnosed with PTSD, a person must have all of the following for at least 1 month: 

  • At least one Re-experiencing symptom

  • At least three Avoidance symptoms

  • At least two Hyperarousal symptoms

  • Symptoms that make it hard to go about daily life, go to school or work, be with friends, and take care of important tasks.

As stated in Part 1: The options to treat PTSD is Psychotherapy, Medication or Alternative Methods.

Treating PTSD with Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy is “talk” therapy. It involves talking with a mental health professional to treat a mental illness. Psychotherapy can occur one-on-one or in a group. Talk therapy treatment for PTSD usually lasts 6 to 12 weeks, but can take more time. Research shows that support from family and friends can be an important part of therapy.

Treating PTSD with Medication

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two medications for treating adults with PTSD: 

  • Sertraline (Zoloft)

  • Paroxetine (Paxil)

Both of these medications are antidepressants, which are also used to treat depression.

The FDA issued a Black Box Warning (A “black box” warning is the most serious type of warning on prescription drug labeling.)

Black Box Warning

The warning emphasizes that patients of all ages taking antidepressants should be closely monitored, especially during the initial weeks of treatment. Possible side effects to look for are worsening depression, suicidal thinking or behavior, or any unusual changes in behavior such as sleeplessness, agitation, or withdrawal from normal social situations. The warning adds that families and caregivers should also be told of the need for close monitoring and report any changes to the physician. The latest information can be found on the FDA Web site

Treating PTSD with Medication

Doctors may also prescribe other types of medications, such as the ones listed below. There is little information on how well these work for people with PTSD.

  • Benzodiazepines

    • These medications may be given to help people relax and sleep. People who take benzodiazepines may have memory problems or become dependent on the medication.

  • Antipsychotics.

    • These medications are usually given to people with other mental disorders, like schizophrenia. People who take antipsychotics may gain weight and have a higher chance of getting heart disease and diabetes.

Alternative Option – The Neurofeedback Approach: 

  • Research over the past 40 years has demonstrated that inappropriate brainwave activity is at the core of most neurological disorders.

  • Neurofeedback is a sophisticated form of biofeedback that actually trains the brain to normalize the brainwaves and make them flexible and adaptable to situational needs.

And the results are permanent!

What is Neurofeedback? 

Neurofeedback is based upon the principle that there is a normal pattern of brain wave activity and that the brain regulates itself based upon this pattern. Research demonstrates that this normal pattern of brainwave activity may become disrupted, resulting in a dysregulated brain and causing neurological symptoms.  

Dysregulated Brain Wave Patterns are Identified on a Quantitative Electroencephalogram or QEEG

The goal of neurofeedback is to transform an unhealthy, dysregulated brainwave pattern into a normal, healthy, organized pattern.  As such, we are not concerned with diagnosing or labeling a particular condition. Our focus is to identify dysregulated brain wave patterns and provide neurofeedback training to correct those dysregulated patterns.  Research has proven that a well regulated, balanced brain will operate more efficiently and optimally resulting in the elimination of symptomatology.

If you or a family member are experiencing negative symptoms associated with PTSD or other anxiety disorders, please call us at (844) 272-4666 or go to and book a free neurofeedback session to learn more about an alternative method to help alleviate these symptoms and regain a balanced mental health.

We want to meet you, hear your story and discuss options on how to help.

A free session is our way to provide you an opportunity to try neurofeedback and answer any questions you may have in a convenient and stress-free environment.

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