Immediate Therapy Helps Children Avoid PTSD

By Staff Writer

Improving communication with loved-ones immediately following a potentially traumatic event may help children avoid developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a recent study from researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

As many as 20 percent of children who experience a traumatic event, such as physical or sexual assault, a car accident, witnessing violence, or injury, will develop PTSD. Individuals who suffer from the condition are much more likely to experience drug or alcohol addiction that requires therapy from addiction treatment centers, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

However, researchers found that intervention programs that improve communication between children who have experienced traumatic events and their caregivers, by teaching the adults to recognize and manage symptoms of stress, may help reduce the likelihood that the child will develop PTSD.

Researchers said that helping children to deal with their feelings rather than allowing them to keep their feelings buried may explain the positive outcomes of therapy. They hope that the therapy will be used nationally to help children who experience a traumatic event.