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Mental health professionals should be aware that PTSD can develop at any time in life and is a response to a wide variety of stressful events. An knee injury, a single incident of verbal abuse, or an automobile accident—what doctors would consider "relatively minor" trauma—can cause emotional repercussions that may be just as disabling as those caused by witnessing wartime atrocities.

Family doctors are often the first to recognize signs of emotional distress in their patients, even if they are not directly involved in treating those who have recently experienced trauma. Terr lists the most prevalent PTSD symptoms in an article. Terr argues that, unlike adults, who "re-see" traumatic events in the form of nightmares and the flashbacks so characteristic of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), children do so mostly during periods of rest, daydreaming, and sleeplessness.

In addition, children may often participate in recurrent posttraumatic play that may involve recreating either a specific component of the traumatic incident or the violence itself. Specific phobias in children can be identified with more ease after the traumatic incident in question is recognized.

Even if the doctor doesn't immediately suspect emotional trauma when a kid appears with irrational dread of certain things, people, or circumstances, he or she should nonetheless take the time to get a detailed history.

Common phobias that need to be examined include aversion to light, strangers, solitude, the outdoors, certain foods, certain animals, and even certain cars. A child's outlook on others, the world, and the future can be altered by traumatic experiences. Most kids are quite trusting and upbeat. If a child reports that their parent reacts negatively when they misbehave or that their parent can't always protect them, doctors should be on the lookout for signs of emotional trauma.

Recent research has shown that while the vast majority of family practice and pediatric residents make time for patients and their families to discuss any emotional or behavioral concerns, only about half of the time do the residents provide any kind of information, reassurance, guidance, or referral. A simple intervention can lessen explain the concept of trauma-informed care.

There is little evidence that art therapy is effective in the long-term for treating post-traumatic stress disorder. There is limited research on the efficacy of arts treatments, although they have been used well in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions with children and in other sensory-based models like SITCAP (Steele & Raider, 2001).

Last but not least, play therapy is a sensory-based method that has been frequently applied to the treatment of trauma in children for decades (Gil, 2006; James, 1989). Attachment (Booth & Jernberg, 2009; Klorer & Malchiodi, 2003), story sharing (McMahon, 2009), crisis intervention (Webb, 2007), and emotional repair and restoration are all emphasized in these methods (Gil, 2006).

Overall, play therapy helps children heal from trauma via communication and imaginative exposure through the use of props, toys, and self-expression (Malchiodi, 2005). parents' worry for their children's health and assist them alleviate some of the symptoms.

Knowing the signs and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in children might help doctors avoid missing the condition and better organize their thoughts on trauma in kids. Intervention is most effective in the days and weeks after a traumatic event, according to studies.

Childhood trauma can have long-lasting consequences for a child's mental health and well-being, including difficulties with trust, initiative, social skills, self-esteem, and impulse control. If the kid is sent for therapy quickly, the symptoms can be managed and developmental delays avoided. As a result, children with PTSD are commonly misdiagnosed.

Children with "behavioral problems" may potentially be dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder. By being aware of PTSD in children, eliciting a thorough history, explaining the disorder, referring the patient to an appropriate mental health professional as soon as possible, and taking steps to ensure that the appointment with the mental health profes-sional is kept, physicians can prevent more serious sequelae that might otherwise hinder their patients' psychosocial development.


Mimi Rothschild

Mimi Rothschild is the Founder and CEO of the Global Grief Institute which provides Certification training programs forGrief Coach, Trauma Coach, End of Life Coach, and Children's Grief Coach. She is a survivor who has buried 3 of her children and her husband of 33 years. She is available for speaking engagements and comments to the press on any issue surrounding thriving after catastrophic loss. MEDIA INQUIRIES:

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