Traumatic experiences can be debilitating for anyone, but they are particularly difficult for teenagers. The teen years are already a hard time for kids and dealing with trauma without intervention can be devastating. If your child has experienced trauma, you need to seek out mental healthcare to help the cope with the aftermath. The following are some things you need to know as you navigate this difficult time with your teenager.
Find A Provider
The first thing you need to do is see your child's pediatrician. The doctor will check your child's overall health. During this time, discuss the trauma your child is dealing with and ask to be referred to a mental health provider. This can be a psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor.
Learn About The Therapies Available To Teenagers
There are several forms of therapy that can help your child deal with trauma. Some of the best behavioral therapies include teaching children how to deal with anything that causes them stress. Teens can also learn some relaxation skills to help them deal with any physical reactions they have as they deal with trauma. Another form of therapy is exposure strategy. This therapy has your teenager talk very slowly about the trauma to help prevent stress. It helps the child learn how to begin to open up more about the trauma without suffering side effects so they can develop their own narrative about what happened to them. Your child's counselor can teach them how to overcome any negative views of themselves as they cope with the trauma and deal with their feelings in a healthy way rather than becoming self-destructive.
Consider Medication Therapy
Many teens experience trauma in a psychological way, but they can also respond to the trauma biologically. In these instances, teenagers may also benefit from medication therapy to help them cope with their trauma. A counselor can provide cognitive and behavioral therapy while working in tandem with a psychiatrist to prescribe medication. Medication is used to help control the symptoms your child has, such as insomnia, nightmares, anxiety, and depression. Always carefully research the medication options presented to you before you move forward to make sure you and your child are comfortable with the medication. Not every child is going to respond the same way to all medications. It may take some trial and error before you find the best medication for your child. While medication alone is not the best treatment, it can be a good tool in your child's mental health treatment. For more information, contact a counselor near you.