Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is defined as an anxiety disorder that arises following an emotionally or physically devastating experience. Though many people are familiar with the term, they typically think of it affecting adults, particularly soldiers who were in combat. However, PTSD is often found in children. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, “Child protection services in the U.S. get around 3 million reports [of PTSD] each year. This involves 5.5 million children.” In recent years, child molestation has often been in the news, whether it be the Archdiocese of Boston, the Penn State sex abuse scandal, or the alleged cases of abuse at Horace Mann. And, according to the National Center for PTSD, nearly 100% of children who undergo abuse experience PTSD to some degree.
Children with PTSD usually exhibit modified sleep patterns, aggression towards others, depression, and anxiety. Untreated PTSD in children has been proven to affect performance in school, work, and social atmospheres negatively later in life. On the other hand, children who have family support and treatment at an early age show less severe symptoms.
In Dr. Robbie Adler-Tapia’s recent book, Child Psychotherapy, the focus is on traditional methods of treatment, as well as more recent developments. Dr. Adler-Tapia explores Developmental Psychology, Neurobiology, Neurochemistry, as well as Neurophysiology, applying these theories to Child Psychotherapy and determining best practices through looking at case studies. PTSD affects not just the individuals who are diagnosed, but those surrounding them as well. June 27th, National PTSD Awareness Day is devoted to raising awareness and understanding of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a condition that can affect anyone, at any age.