Trauma can impact everyone’s lives differently, and traumatic events that happen to a teenager can seriously impact their ability to have a normal life. Teens, when compared to adults, have inadequate coping skills. After a traumatic event, they may experience anxiety and depression, or turn to alcohol and drugs as a solution to make invasive thoughts and memories go away.
In addition, what is traumatic to a teenager may not seem traumatic to an adult. Even changing schools or school districts can seem like a traumatic event to a young child, or seeing something disturbing on the news. Often, teens do not know how to deal with their feelings surrounding these events, and memories can manifest themselves in many negative ways.
There are many symptoms that may indicate that a child or teen has experienced a traumatic event, unbeknownst to the parents. Do keep in mind that symptoms are typically present for at least a month. Some of these symptoms include invasive memories and nightmares, dissociating, avoidance of regular life or avoidance of things that they used to enjoy, diminished interest in things and events that they used to enjoy, social avoidance, increased anxiety, impulsivity, and self-destructive behavior.
How can Wilderness Therapy help?
Typically, a traumatic event is characterized by a teen witnessing a trauma, experiencing it firsthand, or having a close relative or friend that has experienced firsthand trauma. Here at Rites of Passage NW, we can help teens recover from traumatic events with intense therapy from certified professionals. In addition to introspection, journal writing, and wilderness therapy, we also offer individual counseling and group therapy for those teens who need extra help beyond drugs and alcohol. Often the root of drug and alcohol abuse and dependence has a very real reason, such as grief and loss, or traumatic experiences.