Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an incapacitating condition that occurs after an individual has witnessed or experienced a terrifying event. This traumatic event leads that child, teen, or adult to experience persistent, frightening thoughts, memories, and flashbacks. When this disorder is present in adolescents or teens, it usually becomes a chronic disorder. A teen’s risk for developing PTSD will depend upon their proximity to the event, the severity of the trauma, the resilience of the teen, their coping skills, and the support resources that are available to them. Some of the events that may cause PTSD in an adolescent may include:
- Serious accidents
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Natural disasters
- Violent personal attacks (kidnapping, torture, being held captive, mugging)
Village Behavioral Health, a PTSD treatment center in Knoxville, TN, has had many years of experience helping adolescents or teens develop healthy lifestyle choices, learn to manage their PTSD, and develop the long-lasting skills needed to lead a happy, fulfilled life. The staff at our PTSD treatment center understands how emotional and terrifying life is right now and we provide a safe, serene environment where the healing process can truly begin. Through effective treatment and unwavering support, the PTSD treatment plan at Village Behavior Health can help struggling teens learn to live life again.
How to Help a Loved One or Family Member Get Treatment for PTSD
Experiencing a traumatic event is always devastating, but not every adolescent who has faced trauma will go on to develop PTSD. An adolescent who has PTSD begins to experience symptoms within three months following the trauma. Below are some common symptoms that may indicate your adolescent or teen has developed PTSD:
- Disturbances with sleep
- Depressed mood
- Easily startled
- Loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy
- Irritability or more aggressive than before
- Newly-developed problems at school
- Problems concentrating
- Begin to show regressive behaviors in which they act younger than their age
- Worry about dying
- Physical symptoms (stomach aches, headaches)
Since early detection and intervention is imperative to reduce the symptoms of PTSD, enhance the adolescent’s growth, and improve their quality of life it is important to seek help if you notice these symptoms in your teen. A child psychologist or other qualified mental health professional can conduct a thorough psychiatric evaluation and will be able to determine if your child does indeed have PTSD. The mental health professional can then make recommendations for treatment based upon the current needs of your child and the family as a whole.
Right now, your adolescent or teen is likely seeing the world as a negative, unsafe place and they will rely on you to provide them with support to get through this difficult time. Assure your adolescent that you will always be there for them – no matter what. Provide them with opportunities to speak openly about their feelings and make sure that you actively listen to what they are saying. Additionally, make sure that you don’t dismiss their feelings as unimportant or irrational. Having a solid support network is critical for your teen at this point in time.
Why Consider Treatment for PTSD in Knoxville, TN
In addition to living in fear and reliving the traumatic experience through flashbacks, teens who have gone through a trauma often experience other problems. Teenagers with PTSD feel as if they are being looked down upon, have low self-worth, and have an inability to trust others. They may have aggressive behavior, display out-of-place sexual behavior, engage in self-harm, and abuse drugs and alcohol. Over time these symptoms will not get better, in fact, they will worsen, which is why it is important to take your adolescent to a PTSD treatment center for proper, lasting treatment.
A residential PTSD treatment center that specializes in treating teens who have been through trauma and have developed PTSD is an effective way to help these teens get their life back. Residential PTSD treatment centers are an ideal treatment option for those suffering with PTSD as it allows the adolescents or teens to escape from the stressors of everyday life, allowing them to focus more effectively on recovery while slowly learning to trust their environment again. There are many different PTSD treatment options that our treatment center can offer, including individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and medication management all designed to get your adolescent back to their life.
Our PTSD Treatment Center Philosophy
Village Behavioral Health, a PTSD treatment center in Knoxville, offers troubled teens a structured, caring, and supportive environment where the healing process from mental health disorders can begin. Our residential PTSD treatment plan offers 24-hour supervision, highly structured intensive therapy, and a safe space for troubled teens to recover from trauma. Our calming environment offers adolescents who come to us the opportunity to learn adaptive coping skills needed to work through their trauma and other disorders. We work to heal the emotional trauma in order to allow our clients to successfully and happily rejoin their family and community.
Treatment Options for PTSD at Village Behavioral Health
When your child arrives at our PTSD treatment center at The Village, they will first undergo a comprehensive assessment in order to allow us to best determine how to treat their specific needs. With the compiled results of the assessment, we will sit down with you and your teen to create an individualized treatment plan.
Medication: In most instances, a teen who has gone through trauma will have severe anxiety, fear, and hopelessness that can initially be controlled with medication. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medication can help your child feel calmer, more in control, and able to better apply the coping strategies they are learning in therapy. Some teens may only require medication for the short-term and are able to wean off of the medication under the supervision of our physician, while others may require long-term medication management. At our PTSD treatment center, we have an in-house psychiatrist and nurse practitioner who closely monitor the medication usage of each teen.
Individual therapy: Individual psychotherapy is often used to help adolescents discuss potentially painful emotions surrounding their trauma that they may not feel comfortable discussing in a group setting. Our therapists at our treatment center can help an adolescent identify feelings of fear, learn self-soothing activities, restore trust in others, and build hope for the future. Our therapists may use trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for treating PTSD teens because it allows them to help teens examine the negative thoughts they have and replace them with more positive ways of viewing the world.
Group therapy: Groups are the main component of the treatment process at Village Behavioral Health. We offer multiple groups each day that will allow you to work with peers who are struggling with similar problems so that you each can grow together. Group topics may focus on developing better coping skills, helpful ways to react to frightening events that trigger PTSD symptoms, and educate individuals on trauma in general.
Family therapy: Family involvement for an adolescent with PTSD is essential to ensure successful recovery from the trauma. Family sessions are held at least once a week, but can be held more often if needed. These sessions are used to address your adolescent’s PTSD in the family as a whole, showing ways in which you can be supportive to your child through their recovery.
Our residential PTSD treatment center uses an eclectic approach to treatment and so we odder a number of experiential methods alongside traditional therapeutic approaches. Experiential methods at our PTSD treatment center may include:
- Music therapy
- Dance therapy
- Sports and recreational therapy
- Adventures – such as our ropes course
- Relaxation and meditation
Continuing Care and Levels of Care at our Treatment Center
At Village Behavioral Health, a PTSD treatment center in Knoxville, we begin planning for your aftercare the moment you walk through our doors. You will work closely with your teen’s therapist, who will help show you step-down options that may be beneficial for your child once they complete our residential program. The next best step may include an Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) or a Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), which will allow your teen to focus on their recovery during the day and slowly reintegrate back into home life in the evenings. Several weeks before you leave our program, your teen’s treatment team will make a recommendation for their continued care. When an appropriate aftercare option has been identified, our discharge team will work with other providers to ensure you have appointments and referrals for an IOP, PHP, or traditional outpatient therapy as needed.