Trauma in Teens

People of all ages may suffer from trauma. Moreover, a traumatic event for a teenager can be difficult for them to deal with. In some cases, trauma can take months or years to overcome while others have no trouble at all. Trauma in teens could happen to any teen and it requires specialist treatment.

What is Trauma in Teens?

Everyone responds and reacts to traumatic events differently, some better than others. A traumatic experience is something anyone can encounter, often without warning. It is an event that threatens our safety or puts our life or the lives of others at risk. When these events occur, life is temporarily disrupted by higher than normal levels of stress and distress and day to day things become challenging for a short or perhaps extended period of time. Understanding how your teen copes with and manages these emotions after a traumatic event is important, although very often, a teen’s coping mechanisms are not immediately apparent.

Trauma Affects:

  • Anxiety;
  • depression;
  • substance abuse;
  • self-harm; and
  • suicidal thoughts.

Each and every individual will respond to a traumatic event differently to another, no two cases are ever the same.


  • Stronger emotions than normal and guilt
  • Overreaction to minor irritations
  • Repetitively thinking about the traumatic event
  • Talking about the traumatic event too often
  • Sleeping patterns becoming erratic
  • Withdrawal symptoms from family, friends and loved ones
  • Spending more time alone
  • Overprotective of family and friends
  • Returning to immature ways of behaving
  • Returning to rebellious behavior
  • Demand for independence
  • Concerned only about what is immediately important
  • Loss of interest and passion for school, friends, hobbies, and life in general
  • Negative outlook on life
  • Distrust of others
  • Depression
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Difficulty in concentrating and problem-solving.

Treatment of Trauma in Teens

Treatment following a traumatic event is not always needed, as there is a natural recovery period. This natural recovery period varies from person to person and from event to event. However, for any concerned parent – obtaining treatment for your teen (even when a teenager does not feel it is necessary) is recommended. Even if nothing serious is apparently wrong and the teen may well recover fully on his/her own, it is worth having an evaluation that may aid recovery. For example, there are sometimes long term effects that may not be displayed at first that a proper evaluation may help to expose. Very often an evaluation is necessary for peace of mind or for just understanding what is happening. Should there be a greater concern, a course of therapy along with some medication can be prescribed (sometimes simply some medication to aid sleep is helpful). It is often difficult to predict how a teenager will respond to trauma as there is a variety of aggravating and mitigating circumstances that need to be taken into consideration.

Hillcrest and Trauma in Teens

Hillcrest has a qualified and experienced team of professionals to properly and fully evaluate and treat trauma in teens. As a mental health facility that understands trauma and appreciates that it is different for every patient, Hillcrest provides individualized programs, designed specifically for teenagers and delivered by experienced, and specialist staff in a calm and relaxed atmosphere. The Hillcrest team treats each case individually to ensure the very best results. The long term healing, happiness and care of your teenager is as much our concern as it is yours.

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