How Trauma in Adolescents Creates Mental Health Challenges That Require Treatment


How Trauma in Adolescents Creates Mental Health Challenges That Require Treatment

When adolescents experience trauma, they are impacted in many ways. This includes mental health effects that cause daily issues in a teen’s life and their development. As a result, trauma in adolescents creates the need for mental health treatment that helps a teen heal from both the original trauma and the impacts of it on their mental health. Treatment at Sustain Recovery takes the connection between trauma and mental health into account. Here, teens are treated in a manner that helps them to heal from both while building skills to manage their mental health far into adulthood.

Trauma in Adolescents

The term trauma is not defined by a specific event. Rather, it is the way a person feels during and after the event. Therefore, a variety of events can be traumatizing for adolescents. Both experiencing or witnessing events that cause distress or fear are considered trauma.

Trauma in adolescents can be caused by a variety of incidences or events. For example, repetitive trauma can result from consistent bullying or abuse. However, trauma in adolescents can also occur due to car accidents, natural disasters, or a loved one being seriously ill. A teen’s experience of individual or repetitive trauma is unique to them and can create both short-term and long-term challenges.

Trauma and Mental Health Challenges

Experiencing trauma greatly impacts individuals, especially adolescents. This is due to the amount of development that is occurring in the teen years. The stress of experiencing or witnessing trauma impacts the brain and body. This can then have lifelong impacts on a person due to the physical changes in brain development and the patterns formed due to trauma.

It is especially problematic when an adolescent does not process and heal from trauma. Unprocessed trauma results in an adolescent feeling the initial trauma with additional stress on the mind and body for days, months, or even years after. Stress from unprocessed trauma results from mental health symptoms such as nightmares, which disrupt sleep, and flashbacks. However, the underlying stress also impacts overall mental health.

While trauma uniquely impacts each adolescent, many experience mental health challenges due to trauma. Experiencing trauma in adolescence can result in mental health challenges such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The symptoms and longevity of these challenges vary for each individual teen.

Mental Health Treatment

When an adolescent is struggling with their mental health, treatment helps them to get back on track. The specifics of mental health treatment will vary for each teen. Individualized care, which is what we offer at Sustain Recovery, allows treatment to be designed to address each teen’s specific challenges.

Common forms of mental health treatment often incorporate medications, therapeutic modalities, and holistic treatment options. A combination of these helps teens to address their mental health from all sides. Each category includes multiple different types of treatment. In individualized treatment, each teen’s mental health treatment incorporates the specific types of treatment that will be most effective for their healing.

Treatment for Trauma in Adolescents

When a teen is going through mental health treatment, trauma treatment is often incorporated because teens with mental health challenges often have a history of trauma. This is why mental health professionals must be aware of trauma and how it impacts teens. Doing so will allow them to be able to use a trauma-informed approach to help adolescents heal from their mental health challenges and trauma.

There are many different treatment options that help adolescents to heal. Therapeutic modalities like cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT) help teens to process their thoughts, feelings, actions, and beliefs that are a result of trauma. However, depending on the individual, other types of treatments are often used to help them reprocess their trauma. Additionally, medications can be used to decrease symptoms.

Addressing the Root Issues

Mental health challenges and trauma are tightly intertwined. Trauma in teens can cause mental health symptoms that can short-term issues. However, when trauma is not addressed, it can cause long-term mental health issues in teens due to trauma impacting how the brain is developing.

When a teen is in treatment for mental health challenges, it is important that the root issues are addressed. If trauma is one of the root causes of mental health challenges, addressing the trauma directly can help teens to feel better on a daily basis by decreasing their mental health symptoms. For example, if anxiety is caused due to trauma, treating trauma can help an adolescent’s anxiety symptoms to decrease.

Additionally, addressing trauma in mental health treatment gives teens a chance to get back on track after the trauma. While they may experience some lasting impact from their trauma, many teens can and do heal. Therefore, trauma does not have to be a turning point to experiencing poor mental health. Adolescents with a history of trauma can heal and move forward with their lives.

When an adolescent experiences trauma, they often have accompanying mental health symptoms. These mental health challenges require treatment. However, it often includes processing the trauma they have experienced or witnessed. At Sustain Recovery, we offer treatment that helps teens to process trauma and heal from mental health challenges that are a result of trauma. Our programs integrate knowledge of trauma and mental health in a manner that addresses each and how they impact each teen individually. If you are interested in learning more about our mental health and trauma treatment programs, we want to hear from you. Call us today at (949) 407-9052 to learn more about how we help teens and families heal.