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When to Seek Professional Help for Teen Trauma

Someone receiving professional help for teen trauma

Most people are exposed to some kind of traumatic event during childhood or adulthood. Events like these are significant because they generate extreme stress. Teens and younger kids lack the coping mechanisms for stress that adults have already developed. As a result, they’re more likely to need professional help in the aftermath of trauma. For teens, that help takes the form of adolescent trauma therapy. Does your child need this kind of therapy? Several things may indicate that the answer to this question is yes. Call 888.291.2309 to speak with someone from Imagine Fort Collins about our adolescent trauma therapy program in Colorado.

What Is Trauma?

The term traumatic event applies broadly to any event that severely strains your built-in ability to deal with stress. As a rule, events of this type have specific characteristics, such as:

  • Pose or realistically seem to pose an immediate threat to your life
  • Put someone you love in the same kinds of danger
  • Cause you to witness death or other dire traumatic outcomes

In the wake of such an event, reactions such as extreme fear, shock, and denial are expected. These reactions mark the opening stages of trauma. They often resolve on their own. In this situation, trauma remains just a short-term concern. However, not everyone experiences such natural trauma resolution. Instead, the effects of their exposure grow worse. It is when this happens that the need for professional help typically arises.

Dealing with trauma as a teenager is generally more complicated than dealing with it as an adult. That’s true because the average teen has only partially developed their capacity to cope with extreme stress. Like adults, most teens overcome their short-term trauma reactions without professional support. But there is an increased risk that they will not experience this kind of unaided relief.

The Importance of Professional Help for Teen Trauma

How can you tell when it’s time to consider seeking professional help for teen trauma? Potential signs in your child that such support is needed in the aftermath of a traumatic event include:

  • Unusual sleep problems
  • Avoidance of contact with friends or family members
  • The frequent presence of feelings such as anger, anxiousness, or sadness
  • An unexplained drop in academic performance
  • Conduct problems at home or in school
  • Lack of interest in things customarily viewed as fun or pleasurable
  • New involvement in substance use or an increase in existing use

Your teen may also develop diagnosable symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Such symptoms commonly include nightmares and other unwanted reminders of a traumatic event. They also include a powerful urge to avoid any trauma reminders. Unusual jitteriness is also common.
Trauma therapy can be used to help both adults and teens recover from trauma exposure. However, trauma therapy for teens is fundamentally different from therapy for adults. Teenagers typically have some unique recovery needs. By seeking professional help for teen trauma, you help ensure those needs are met.

Seek Professional Help for Teen Trauma in Colorado at Imagine Fort Collins

Have more questions about when to seek help for teen trauma? Talk to the adolescent mental health experts at Imagine Fort Collins. We have the answers you need to make timely decisions on seeking care for your child.

Trauma therapy for teens is widely used at Imagine Fort Collins. With our customized help, your teen can address the roots of lingering trauma reactions. They can also overcome these reactions and return to an engaging, fulfilling routine. Contact Imagine Fort Collins today at 888.291.2309 to speak with someone from our caring and compassionate team and learn more about our trauma services for teens in Colorado.