Teen trauma is not uncommon. According to a recent survey, 61% of teenagers (ages 13 to 17) have experienced at least one traumatic event in their lives. Three or more of these occurrences had occurred in 19% of the cases.

These figures are unsurprising when you consider how difficult teenagers' lives are. Adolescence is a period of change and development. Teens are also being exposed to the outside world on a wider scale. As they grow older and take strides toward adulthood, they are exposed to more things.

How Can Your Teen Experience Trauma?

Teenagers are more likely to be traumatized if they have experienced childhood trauma, such as being in an unstable or unsafe environment, being separated from a parent, having a serious childhood illness, or experiencing any form of childhood abuse, including neglect, physical, verbal, or sexual abuse.

Addressing Teen Trauma

It's difficult to deal with adolescent trauma. Traumatic events and their repercussions can overwhelm both parents and children. To treat trauma in the family, parents must be courageous in taking the first steps. It is difficult for anyone.

Traumatic Stress

The word "traumatic stress" refers to an individual's physical and mental reaction to circumstances that threaten their life or physical/psychological integrity, or the life or physical/psychological integrity of someone crucially important to them. Traumatic stress is characterized by acute physical and emotional reactions, such as a beating heart, shaking, dizziness, nausea, dry mouth and throat, and loss of bladder or bowel control, as well as a variety of physical sensations.

Common Responses after Witnessing or Being Witnessed to a Traumatic Event

• Has difficulty sleeping or has nightmares.

• Has had a change in your conduct or mood (aggressive, sad, withdrawn).

• Shame, sadness, and fear are buried or avoided by the teen.

• He begins to have issues with his friends.

• 'I'm physically unwell,' she says (headaches or stomach aches).

• Has difficulty concentrating in school, accomplishing assignments, and completing tasks.

• Feels accountable or guilty for the trauma.

• He doesn't want to discuss what happened or their sentiments.

• Starts doing impulsive or dangerous things (driving quickly, using drugs and drinking).


The definition of PTSD is found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. PTSD is classified as a mental illness. Someone who has been through a terrible situation may develop this disorder. Panic attacks, nightmares, flashbacks, avoidance syndrome, and incongruent dread are possible PTSD symptoms.

PTSD is a complicated phrase used to describe the long-term effects of traumatic events. Some of these traumatic occurrences, such as the death of a loved one or a terrible vehicle accident, occur only once. Some traumatic incidents, on the other hand, recur. Child maltreatment, bullying, sexual exploitation, and sexual abuse are examples of ongoing teen trauma. Repeated occurrences of teen trauma might be very harmful.

PTSD Symptoms

• Agitation

• Living for the present, not the future

• Aches and pains

• Fatigue

• Social withdrawal

• Feeling sad or hopeless

• School failure and underachievement

• Muscle tension

• Risk-taking and irresponsible behavior

• Guilt and shame

• Shock or denial

• Insomnia or nightmares

• Muscle tension

• Irritability and mood swings

• Difficulty concentration or declining academic performance

• Making poor decisions

Panic Attacks

Teens frequently get panic attacks after experiencing a distressing event. Your teen may be overcome by an unseen onslaught of fear and terror for no apparent reason.

Like a terrible storm, a panic episode appears and sounds worse than it is. Typically, the attack's trigger isn't harmful. To a frightened child, though, the threat appears all too real. As a result, your teen's anxiety response during a panic attack may be far out of proportion to reality. Patience and care are required during this time.

How to Assist When Your Teen is Experiencing Panic Attacks

When your child has a panic attack, you can calm and care for them as best you can. It'll be over soon. Even yet, a panic episode can feel like it lasts an eternity. This emotion impacts both the teen who is undergoing it and the parent who is observing it. It's tragic to watch your child suffer from a panic attack. If you have first-hand experience with this, we understand your serious worry.

Concluding Words

The short- and long-term consequences of every traumatic experience are determined in part by the event's objective character and in part by the individual's subjective response to it. The traumatic impact of interpersonal events like physical or sexual abuse or victimization, for example, may vary based on aspects like the perpetrator's identity, the frequency of the abuse, and whether or not force was used. Not every traumatic incident causes traumatic stress, and what is stressful to one person may not be traumatic to another. True Health Center for Emotional Wellness can help assist in addressing teen trauma through medical treatment and counselling.

Author's Bio: 

The Center for Emotional Wellness is an intensive outpatient program in Tampa, FL specifically tailored to adolescents and young adults.