As an unfortunate reality, tragedy knows no boundaries and touches lives without discriminating or giving warning. According to one study from the University of Florida, an estimated five million minors face some type of significant trauma annually. By the time a young person turns 18, he suffers a 43 percent chance of exposure to such an event. While not all tragedies necessarily cause long-lasting trauma, professionals, educators, parents and others involved with young people must know how to address trauma in our children.
Researchers generally summarize trauma as a significant event that threatens the safety or life of an individual or of a key person in his life. More than just a physical challenge, the National Institute of Mental Health describes trauma as a serious problem. For example, The NIMH estimates that about 40 percent of teens have personally witnessed some type of violence. Seventeen percent have been victims of physical attacks while 8 percent have suffered sexual assault. Common traumatic events might include: school violence; bullying; divorce; the loss of a parent, dear family member or close friend; and similar impacting incidents.
Common Symptoms of Trauma – What to Look For
In order to properly treat trauma, advocated for young people need to correctly identify the related symptoms. However, not all indicators are external. Additionally, the NIMH reports that cultural values affect how a person reacts to trauma.
Experts agree that some of the indicators of trauma might include the following: Isolation,
- Irregular sleep patterns,
- Extreme emotions,
- Pulling away from family and friends,
- Overreacting to irritations,
- A compulsive focus on the traumatic incident and
- Other related behaviors.
Since many of these behaviors are typical of going through adolescence, parents and educators must know their teens intimately. You can do this by having regular conversations with your adolescent male so that you can connect with him and be aware of any problems as they occur. By maintaining a regular and working relationship, you can watch out for any changes that could indicate a more serious problem.
Help for Sufferers of Trauma
Advocates for adolescents can help male teens cope with trauma by expressing compassion and love and keeping an open line of communication. Involved adults should never be force the teen into talking about their experience but should encourage him to find someone they are willing to talk to.
Involve a Therapeutic Boarding School
While therapeutic boarding schools have previously suffered from a negative image, federal and local agencies now provide more oversight than ever on how these school are run. When parents, educators and professionals have explored all viable options, a therapeutic boarding school might provide answers for a struggling teen. The young person can relocate to a safe environment, allowing him to gain a new perspective on life and learn critical skills that will help him in the future. In addition to addressing trauma, the therapeutic boarding school offers academics, a solid work ethic, emotional help, group therapy and more.