People with PTSD were once assumed to be solely those who had served in the military. According to a study, even bullying and relationship abuse can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder. Here’s how bullying can cause PTSD in children.

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Bullying has a long-term effect on those who are bullied. They are frequently plagued by feelings of anxiety, fear, insomnia, and despair, among a slew of other issues. Because of the victim’s sense of helplessness and vulnerability, being a victim of bullying can lead to mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

In addition, new studies have demonstrated that bullying and PTSD are linked. Anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are common following a traumatic event like bullying.

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PTSD is characterized by nightmares, flashbacks, or persistent thoughts that relive the incident. Persons with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may try to avoid triggering events, people, or locations to avoid unwelcome and intrusive memories. Trauma memories can cause emotional and/or bodily responses.

The most common trigger for PTSD is an event in which the victim felt threatened, was harmed, or witnessed someone else die as a result of a threat or injury.

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According to studies, girls are also more likely to suffer from PTSD than boys. Moreover, the stress of bullying does not go away when the bullying is no longer taking place. As a result, long after the bullying has stopped, a person may experience symptoms of PTSD.

Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) In Children

How Bullying Can Cause PTSD In Children
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Adults and children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) share many symptoms but also have certain differences. Even if you don’t suspect your child of having PTSD, it’s important to be aware of these characteristics.

Here's a list of PTSD symptoms by age for kids.

1. School-Age Children (5–12 Years)

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Adults with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) commonly experience flashbacks or memory issues. However, this is not always the case for children. The events of the bullying may be written in the wrong order. In addition, children may assume that there were indications that bullying would take place. Because of this, they assume that if they pay attention, they will be able to avoid future bullying incidents.” Hypervigilance may result as a result of this belief.

PTSD can manifest itself in children’s play. For example, they may continue to play out a portion of the experience again and again. However, although kids may play this way in an attempt to overcome or make sense of what happened to them, their distress will not be reduced. Sadly, this form of entertainment rarely helps to alleviate their anxieties. In addition, children may incorporate some of the trauma into their regular routines. It’s not uncommon for a bullied student to bring his own baseball bat to school as a kind of defense.

2. Teenagers (aged 12 to 18)

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Some symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in teenagers begin to resemble those of adults as they approach maturity. As an example, people may be plagued by disturbing thoughts and recollections, as well as frequent nightmares, flashbacks, and distressing emotions when reminded of the incident. Teens are more impulsive and violent than younger kids or adults. Even though children are troubled by memories of traumatic events, this does not indicate that they are easily observed. It’s common for kids to suffer in quiet.

Other than PTSD, children, and teens who are bullied often experience anxiety, concern, despair, rage, loneliness, a sense of worthlessness, and inability to put their trust in others, all of which can lead to depression and even suicidal thoughts.

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The greatest method to avoid the long-term ramifications of bullying is to intervene as soon as possible. Observe the warning signs of bullying, as some youngsters may not tell their parents about it.

What You Can Do

Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often subside on their own after a few months. However, if they do not receive therapy, some youngsters will continue to show symptoms for years. Paying attention to how your child is doing is one of the best strategies to help them overcome bullying and deal with the symptoms of PTSD. Be on the lookout for indicators such as insomnia, irritability, and aversion to certain individuals or locations. In addition, keep an eye out for changes in academic performance and interpersonal difficulties.

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If your child’s symptoms don’t seem to be improving, you should consider seeking professional assistance for your child. Your pediatrician can connect you to a mental health professional with experience treating children diagnosed with PTSD.

Bullying can cause PTSD in children so speak with the therapist and find out how they handle PTSD cases. Inquire about the therapist’s approach to PTSD. You and your child are welcome to meet with multiple counselors until you discover one that works best for you and your family.