PTSD – (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Medical Definition from: http://www.anxietybc.com/parent/post.php
“A child who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic incident can suffer from severe anxiety problems that exhibit themselves after the trauma has occurred. Angry outbursts, nightmares and anxious behaviours are prevalent that were not there prior to the trauma. These behaviours can inhibit social interactions and make it difficult for the child to move past the incident.”
A child suffering from PTSD is clingy, anxious and hard to soothe. They are stuck in their fight/flight response, usually in one extreme or the other, sometimes pendulum swinging in between the two. For example; Susan was adopted when she was five but experienced severe abuse prior to her adoption, she was often locked in a closet for hours at a time or overnight. Now as an otherwise healthy child in a loving family she has an inordinate fear of closets and refuses to go near them. She is particularly afraid if someone else is in the room with her when she opens a closet door. This is beyond a reasonable fear and can result in a fight response (pushing the other person and running away) or a flight response (breaking down in inconsolable tears).
These behaviours have ‘triggers’ attached and make it difficult for the family to go out when they aren’t sure if another trigger response will happen out in public. PTSD can also exhibit in behaviours such as pulling out hair or picking at things when the child’s anxiety is triggered.
If you are a parent of a child with hidden disabilities there is a significant chance that YOU have PTSD in some form another (there is a range in this disorder). YOU have experienced serious trauma. Please make sure you take care of YOU. (we’ll be getting into that in the next few days).
**If you are new here you might want to know that this post is part of a series on hidden disabilities. I am going to be continuing this series for all of October as part of the 31 Days Challenge. You can see all of the amazing topics over at The Nester’s! To go back to the beginning of this series click on the Alphabet Soup tab and you can see the indexed list of chapters.