Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that develops in individuals that have been subjected to scary, shocking, life-threatening occurrences/events or who have witnessed violent actions that make them afraid or stressful when reminded of the same National Institute of Mental Health, 2013). Adolescents and children also experience the same when exposed to such occurrences in their life but with slight differences to those of adults. As per statistics, estimates show that about 5% of adolescents meet criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. Prevalence is lower for males than females at 8% and 2.3%, respectively (Hamblen & Barnett, 2016). However, there are no significant studies on the prevalence of this condition in younger children. The following paper, therefore, discusses post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescent regarding events, symptoms, interventions and guidance to parents looking after children with the condition.
Traumatic Events in Children and Adolescents
There are many kinds of events that might subject a child or an adolescent to post-traumatic stress disorder. A typical example of such overwhelming traumatic events is sexual abuse in children and adolescents. All children and most adolescents depend on those close to them for care and safety. Due to this, this makes them more vulnerable to acts of sexual abuse by those close to them if not anyone who pretends to be friendly to them. In fact, most of the sexual offenders are known and trusted people by the victims (Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies, 2003).Sexual abuse includes rape, molesting a child and being forced into witnessing or being part of sexual abuse scene. It is estimated that among the events that may result in post-traumatic stress disorder in children, sexual abuse takes 10% prevalence (Hamblen & Barnett, 2016).[“Write my essay for me?” Get help here.]
Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Sexual Abuse Victims
Just like other individuals exposed to traumatic events, sexually abused children and adolescents encounter various problems in life which are observed through symptoms they present with. Depression is a common symptom observed in most adolescents that are victims of sexual abuse. Being a mental disorder, depression is easily noticed since these victims will tend to isolate themselves away from other people. Poor self-esteem and stigma is another symptom observed in children and adolescents who are categorized as victims of sexual abuse. Most of them will tend to feel unworthy can be physically be exhibited by how they carry out their day to day activities. The other symptom is difficulty in trusting other people, or simply developing lack of trust to almost everybody. Due to the abuse they underwent, these individuals may tend to keep off from anyone that may try to be close to them with the fear that they could do the same to them (Hamblen & Barnett, 2016).[Need an essay writing service? Find help here.]
Intervention for Treating Trauma Resulting From Sexual Abuse
Exposure therapy is one of the many interventions used in treating post-traumatic stress disorder among victims of sexual abuse. Given the fact that individuals with treating post-traumatic stress disorder always try to avoid reminders of the trauma they underwent, exposure therapy is the best intervention for them. It helps in reducing irrational feelings held by a person towards the given situation by safely and strategically exposing them to various aspects of the fear. This could, therefore, be used for children or adolescents who fear to be alone or in dark places since it reminds them of the bad experience they might have experienced in such places (Good Therapy, 2015).
Ways of Supporting Parents with Children Undergoing Sexual Abuse Trauma
One of the most important ways of supporting parents taking care of children and adolescents that have experienced sexual abuse in the past is making them understand what their children are going through. To start with, parents might be advised to try and create trust with their young ones. This could even call for rehabilitation of the parent to create appropriate opportunities for relationships with adults. I would, therefore, call for honesty and dependability of the parent or guardian to ensure trust. It is after this that you may recommend for the various ways the parent or guardian should be advised on the importance of ensuring protection for the victims from future victimizations. They could also be educated on ways of educating children or adolescents on what sexual abuse means and how it might have occurred.[Click Essay Writer to order your essay]
Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. (2013). Child sexual abuse. Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies. Retrieved January 7, 2017, =
Good Therapy. (2015). Exposure therapy. Good Therapy. Retrieved January 7, 2017, =
Hamblen, J., & Barnett, E. (2016, February 23). PTSD in children and adolescents. US Department of Veteran Affairs.
National Institute of Mental Health. (2013, August 13). Post-traumatic stress disorder. National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved January 7, 2017, from