Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Children and Adolescents that Resonates into Adulthood

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Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Children and Adolescents that Resonates into Adulthood

Abstract

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is discussed with a concentration toward children and adolescents that have not received the proper treatment. The effect of the improper treatment causes adulthood to be more difficult, due to self-coping, depending on the severity of the trauma. The problem presented indicates a misconnect between diagnosis and continued wellness in children and adolescents that have experienced various descriptions of trauma in their early and mid-childhood. Trauma is broken down and described also. Issues, such as misdiagnosis, lack of education, self-coping, and suicide were labeled as causes and effects of improper treatment. Diagnosis by development stage, not age was also introduced and reviewed. The study concluded with diagnosis by developmental stage as a successful and positive start toward diagnosing children and adolescents appropriately. Advantages and disadvantages of diagnosis by developmental stage were also discussed. The study also noted that the DSM-% has now made a subtype of post-traumatic stress disorder dedicated to this area of study. Social implications were also reviewed.

Keywords: post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma, DSM-5, development, children, adolescents

Table of Contents

Introduction……………………………..……………………………………………………..4

Contemporary Issues……………………………..…………………………………………….5

Background Definitions……………………………………………………………………….7

Problem Statement…………………………………………………………………………….8

Integrated Literature Review……………………………………………………………………9

Critical Analysis…………………………..……………………………………….…………..13

Problem Resolution…………………………..………………………………………………..17

Social Implications……………………………………………………………………………18

Capstone Reflection…………………………………………..…………..……………………19

References…………………………………………………………………….………………20

Post-traumatic stress disorder in Children and Adolescents that resonates into adulthood.

Introduction

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault (USDVA, 2017). Post-traumatic stress disorder harbors within the lives of many, often going unnoticed. Per the National Center of Victims of Crime (2017), approximately 15 million children and adolescents are not yet diagnosed with mental illness, yet they should be. Post-traumatic stress disorder is not avoidable, but the length of time it lingers is situational. The longer post-traumatic stress disorder stays around, the bigger the effect it has on the friends and family of the affected person (Health eNews, 2013). PTSD is a mental illness that needs to be addressed so that the person gets the help they need.

People are not born with post-traumatic stress disorder. It becomes a part of them once the person has been exposed to the trauma. Health eNews (2013) reports that the government and policy makers were trying to find a cure to post-traumatic stress disorder. Many believe that this mental illness is preventable and once exposed, easily curable. Sierra Juliet (2014) acknowledges in her article that policy makers and many others do not understand that post-traumatic stress disorder is indeed real. The billions of dollars that is going to Post-traumatic stress disorder Prevention Programs such as, “Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness” is a waste because there is no way to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder from happening if there was a bad experience during combat (Juliet, 2014). Just as a soldier experiencing war trauma, an adult who was raped, a person traumatized from 9/11, children and adolescents can experience the same traumas. It is important to remember that children have feelings and can experience serious trauma based on their individual situations. This can lead to erratic behaviors in class and at home that could become uncontrollable. The deeper the child or adolescent sinks, the harder it will be to pull them back and reverse the mental abuse

I chose the topic of Post-traumatic stress disorder because it is important to help acknowledge that children and adolescents need help too. If not, it will carry over into adulthood and could hinder everyday living and interaction. Per the National Center of Victims of Crime (2017), 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 20 boys are sexual assault victims. About 20 percent of adult females and 5-10 percent of adult males recall sexual assault and abuse (NCVC, 2017). Child and adolescent post-traumatic stress disorder needs to be addressed and coping mechanisms need to be reviewed, throughout multiple professions, to be able to handle a child or adolescent appropriately and with compassion. Dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder is a battlefield of the mind. Any profession that deals with children and adolescents needs to understand how to handle a child with a mental illness like post-traumatic stress disorder and who to call when necessary. No class can teach you how to prevent the illness, but there are classes that can teach you how to be a support for those who suffer from the illness (Juliet, 2014).

Contemporary Issues

My research topic is about the lifelong effects of post-traumatic stress disorder in adults that stem from childhood and adolescence. Because children and adolescents are not being evaluated correctly, near, or at, the time of the trauma, their behaviors and additional psychological issues begin to form, change, and create internal issues within themselves. The problem is the misdiagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents. They are labeled incorrectly and ignored because of their behaviors and, most times, left to deal with their emotions, hurt, and (sometimes) reoccurring trauma alone. Based off the research of Kaminer, Seedat, & Stein (2005), they concluded that children and adolescents were not being evaluated at their specific stage of development. This means that children and adolescents were not able to be fully examined and properly evaluated. They were being assessed by the standard of an adult being screened for post-traumatic stress disorder. This causes an issue because the maturation of the child determines how the child and/or adolescent is going to respond to the trauma. Weinstein, Staffelbach, & Biaggio (2000) notes that Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and Post-traumatic stress disorder are both commonly diagnosed and have a very high commonality when it comes to symptoms and diagnosis. Children that have been sexually abused often get the mistaken diagnosis of Attention-hyper deficit disorder (ADHD). Tanya Anderson (2005) states that the trauma that a child exposed to can develop the child’s well- being, mental health, and the ability to build any types of relationships with others well. She also reiterates that trauma will affect each person differently, due to the different developmental stages and lifestyle maturation.

Dealing with a child who has been exposed to trauma can be a very difficult process, especially if the child is at a developmental stage that he or she cannot express what is going on. This leads to a long line of guessing what the issue could be. Over 5 million children experience trauma in some form and being that more than 40 percent of children and adolescents will develop a form of mental illness, it is important to learn the signs of trauma (Perry, 2007). These traumatic events could include: death, physical abuse, life threatening illnesses, natural disaster, sexual assault, kidnapping, etc. (Perry, 2007). Teachers, parents, and communities need to understand the power and damage post-traumatic stress disorder can have on a child and what to look for. The main symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder is stress (Perry, 2007). Stress can be very unpredictable and if a child or adolescent is going through a traumatic experience, their stress level could intensify, causing other behavioral issues, that were once believed to be something else. Knowledge is power. Post-traumatic stress disorder research in children and adolescents is on the rise. Weinstein, Staffelbach, & Biaggio (2000) states that inquiring about the trauma will help to understand the level that specific child is on. In turn, this can give a lead on what type of help that child may need. The idea is to completely deviate away from solidifying post-traumatic stress disorder into one group, along with adults, children, and adolescents. Teacher and involved parent participation may help the child to reveal about the trauma. If not, parents and teachers knowing what to look for at the different stages of life, could help to prevent a child from a lifelong battle with mental illness. My research study will help to expose the different possible avenues one could take to, not only learn about post-traumatic stress disorder, but recognize it and properly diagnose it so the child gets the help they need. Post-traumatic stress disorder is very serious, and if dealt with correctly, can avoid not only a troubled child or adolescent, but an adult as well.

Background Definitions

Knowledge is key to understanding. Information also helps to aid knowledge. Below are definitions that will be used throughout my Capstone.

Anxiety is an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marketed by physical signs; the doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it (N.A., 2018).

-A Childis characterized as a youth human being below the puberty age (N.A, 2018).

Adolescents are described as in transition from a child to an adult (N.A, 2018).

Post- traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, is a mental health disorder that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault (USDVA, 2017)

-A stage is defined as a single step or degree within a process; a process, development, or a series of sequential forward steps (N.A, 2018).

Stress is defined as the importance attached to a thing. There is an emphasis, value, and a significance toward an event or thing (N.A., 2018).

Trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape, or natural disaster (APA, 2017).

Problem Statement

Post-traumatic stress disorder can disrupt the lives of those exposed to its effects. After a traumatic experience, anxiety, depression, mania, and denial can linger days, months, and years after the event takes place. Children, unfortunately, are not excluded out of the running for life’s unexpected events and post-traumatic stress disorder. Sexual abuse, physical abuse, school shootings, car accidents, death, and natural disasters can scar a child (Hamblen & Barnett, Ph.D., 2016). Those emotional, mental, and physical recollections can begin to limit and debilitate the person forever. Per statistics, of 3.4 million referrals, it was reported that: 75 percent suffered neglect, 17.6 percent dealt with physical abuse, and 9.1 percent of the children endured sexual abuse (Hamblen & Barnett, Ph.D., 2016). 60.6 percent have experienced forms of victimization and in one year 47 percent experienced at least one form of trauma (Hamblen & Barnett, Ph.D., 2016). Numbers continue to increase because of possible misunderstanding or misdiagnosis.

Post-traumatic stress disorder in children usually goes unnoticed or misdiagnosed. Because it is a child, the signs vary. Nightmares, fear, negative thoughts, detachment, insomnia, and irritability are all signs of post-traumatic stress disorder in children, yet it is easy to misdiagnose these symptoms as everyday issues (Lubit, 2016). As a developing child, some signs can be masked by the idea of age and maturation. Because the issues are brushed off, the child or adolescent is forced to live with their issues and never attempt to resolve them. If not dealt with anxiety, depression, anger, and irritability could manifest and create lifelong issues (Babbel, Ph.D., 2011); Although as an adult, the effects of childhood post-traumatic stress disorder could taper off, if one has self-control (Babbel, Ph.D., 2011). How can we normalize post-traumatic stress disorder, educate the parents and get help to those that are suffering in silence? How can trust evolve and children speak up about the abuse that they endure? How can we educate the adults in place that each child must be handled delicately? How do we eliminate negativity about post-traumatic stress disorder and attend to the needs of the children suffering every day? What can we do to help?

Integrated Literature Review

Introduction

Post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents can take a very strenuous toll on them physically, emotionally, and mentally. With their minds constantly learning, not dealing with a trauma correctly can encourage the wrong healing behaviors and reinforce the negative behavior. Childhood trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder is not easily recognizable, all the time, because of the different stages a child goes through. It is important to remember that for one to grow, issues must be dealt with to weed out the negativity and enforce positive communication and growth.

D. Kaminer, S. Seedat, & D.J. Stein (2005), acknowledges that post-traumatic stress disorder in children is on a steady incline. Many times, the diagnoses are being overlooked because of inaccurate application. The article stated that a lot of the time an adult diagnosis is used to assess a child, often leading to an overlook in the symptoms, causing a misdiagnosis (Kaminer, Seedat, & Stein, 2005). Sexual abuse is one of the main traumas associated with childhood and adolescent post-traumatic stress disorder. Per Schoedl et al. (2009), children that are under 12 and have been sexually abused tend to show more depressive symptoms as they approach and enter adulthood. Children that are 12 and older and are sexually abused tend to produce more post-traumatic stress disorder like symptoms in adulthood (Schoedl et al., 2009). Coping with the issues sometimes does more damage than treatment to deal with the issues. Sometimes coping reinforces the wrong behavior toward the trauma causing more issues in adulthood (Compas et al., 2001). Although coping is a measure of recovery, not having the techniques on how to cope and recover properly can cause one to heal incorrectly. Children and adolescents are more sensitive to traumatic events. Early exposure of these events, planned or unplanned, can lead to psychological orders, in addition to post-traumatic stress disorder (Donnelly, 2003). The use of medication can be an essential tool when trying to help a child or adolescent recover, potentially reversing the psychological damage upon entering adulthood (Donnelly, 2003).

Relationship Narrative

These four article relate to my problem because the lack of acknowledgement of post-traumatic stress disorder in our children and adolescents play a part in how they grow up and cannot function in society. People blowing up children in schools, churches, and places of employment do not just happen by choice, nor is every incident associated with a mental disability. Unfortunately, that is sometimes unknown because the person may not have ever received medical attention for previous life trauma. Children are more sensitive and need assessment that matches with their stage of development at the time (Kaminer, Seedat, & Stein, 2005). It is impossible to screen a child for post-traumatic stress disorder based off adult criteria. Being that trauma can be inflicted upon a child or adolescent, not recognizing the symptoms of a possible threat or behaviors indicating trauma can damage the child more because they are let to deal with all their emotions by themselves (Compas et al., 2001). Without treatment, whether through medicine, counseling, etc., the child is more likely to act out because of the pain, anger or hurt they cannot verbally express. Schoedl et al. (2009) acknowledges depressive symptoms as a possible side effect of trauma that could to further issues.

How we choose to react when learning about the onset of trauma in a youth can determine a better outcome for that child. Not being aware of or choosing to ignore the signs that a child needs help can set them up for a life of upset and turmoil that could have possibly been prevented. A child knowing that someone sees them hurting and seeing that someone does care can help restore them to a place of serenity that was almost taken away from them completely.

Four points

Synthesis

Kaminer, Seedat, and Stein (2005) researched posttraumatic stress disorder and trauma exposure. Their research acknowledged 4 points that reached out to me: 1) the misdiagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder in children is possible, 2) childhood treatment effectiveness, 3) the different developmental stages, and 4) investigation of current treatments (Kaminer, Seedat, & Stein, 2005). These four points were considered the most contributing factors toward the issue of child and adolescent post-traumatic stress disorder. This article, using the four main points, listed above, concluded that the misdiagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder in children and the different stages of development can affect the child following into adulthood. By examining the current treatments, post-traumatic stress disorder treatment in children can continue to evolve and become more recognizable and treatable in childhood versus intense adulthood (Kaminer, Seedat, and Stein, 2005).

Critical Analysis

Kaminer, Seedat, and Stein’s (2005) article is very extensive review that divulges into the background of post-traumatic stress disorder and its lasting effects. The authors reveal that adult diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder is easily recognizable because of common misdiagnoses (Kaminer, Seedat, & Stein, 2005). The amount of abuse that children and adolescents suffer from are almost equivalent with possible adult trauma. Just as crime, sexual abuse, verbal abuse, natural disasters, military exposure, verbal abuse, and mental abuse can severely affect an adult, it can be much worse for a child. Children, sometimes cannot fully grasp the concept of regulated emotions (Kaminer, Seedat, & Stein, 2005). The key for this article is that childhood experiences can be greater or equal to adult experiences. It also means that the danger when approaching a said situation must be done with caution.

Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder is upcoming and is picking up speed with being able to diagnose effectively. Treatment must be able to adapt with each developmental stage and cater to the specific need of the researcher. Children that experience re-experiencing the traumatic events, avoidance of the situations and not acknowledging the issue at hand, and numbing oneself to help ease the pain of the trauma and pain need to be evaluate properly so that each child gets the correct treatment (specific to the issue). Being able to identify the issue within the child or adolescent, around the time of the incident, can potentially reduce the risk of adulthood posttraumatic stress disorder and rid the person of intense fear and skepticism as an adolescent or an adult (Kaminer, Seedat, & Stein, 2005). As an adult, it becomes more difficult to break a mental barrier. In this case, issues that have not been dealt as a child or adolescent can turn from a treat to a dangerous situation. Because misdiagnosis is very common, researchers suggest that posttraumatic stress disorder classes should be required at lunch time. These recognition courses could not only protect himself, but others as well. Teachers, parents, and active moms need to know how to spot posttraumatic stress disorder during these public outings, school, etc. To ensure that children and adolescents get the proper help when necessary. By doing so, they potentially lived a very decent life with less mental and psychological stressors (Kaminer, Seedat, and Stein, 2005).

Critical Analysis

Critical Analysis I

The major problem with childhood and adolescent post-traumatic stress disorder is that it is a disruptive disorder if left out of control. It has many signs and symptoms that can be misconstrued and depicted as another psychological disorder. Coping mechanisms do not always work with post-traumatic stress disorder; misdiagnosis and a lack of information on this neuropsychological disorder is at an all-time high. Post-traumatic stress disorder can derive from trauma that may or may not been dealt with already. Another major issue with child and adolescent post-traumatic stress disorder is the amount of time that lapses between the onset of the trauma and the initial acknowledgment of the problem. Problems that linger tend to create bad coping mechanisms like bullying, cutting, suicide, and anger management issues. The two main causes, in my opinion, is: 1. Misdiagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, leading to self-methods of coping, and 2. The lack of education of the seriousness of Post-traumatic stress disorder.

Per Silva (2005), trying to diagnose a child with post-traumatic stress disorder based on the scale of an adult is very misleading and will misread the child.  It does not allow the child or adolescent to receive the help they truly need. Analyzing a child on an adult scale will not allow the symptoms to be examined due to the different levels of development. Being able and communicate effectively, on the level that the child is on, helps to potentially alleviate the issues usually had. Because a child must go to school, teachers, counselors, and staff that encounter children need to have the knowledge about post-traumatic stress disorder to help detect this situation if it happens again. Weinstein et al. (2014) mention that one should inquire about trauma. If doing so, it can cause the children to be more open and honest, no matter how good or bad.

When someone does not know, they cannot do. Margolin and Vickerman (2011) address that when a child or adolescent is exposed to family trauma and exposure, talking about it when it is new could be helpful. If not, the child could experience multiple mental disorders, along with post-traumatic stress disorder. Ongoing abuse continues because of the lack of knowledge about the situation. It is better that the child or adolescent learns to voice their troubles rather than leaving it bottled up (Margolin & Vickerman, 2011). Effects of a person with post-traumatic stress disorder can become very severe because the child is trying reach out, but if not ready to receive, it gets left alone (Margolin & Vickerman, 2011).

Critical Analysis II

Post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents is consistently growing due to a lack of development in its diagnosis system. It has become a very common disorder amongst children and adolescents, yet it does not have solidarity. Misdiagnosis of childhood and adolescent post-traumatic stress disorder is very common. Linda Spiro, PsyD (2018) states, “When symptoms have multiple causes, mistakes are made.” Common symptoms like: inattentiveness, repeating thoughts, disruptive behavior, etc. are thought to mimic Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Oppositional Defiance Disorder, even though, these symptoms listed are post-traumatic stress disorder qualifiers (Spiro, 2018). Misdiagnosis can lead to self-coping which could be harmful. When a child or adolescent experiences a traumatic experience, and do not have support or someone to reach out to, they begin to self-cope to deal with the hurt and other emotions. Unfortunately, when experiencing those traumas, self-coping provides an inadequate way to deal with the stressor (Wayne, 2016).

The lack of knowledge of post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents can cause educators to mishandle that child or adolescent. Cohen & Scheeringa (2009) state that specificity and the lack of symptoms in a child or adolescent may cause a diagnosis to not be available. If the child is not able to be diagnosed, that can cause for a mishandle of that child. If the educators don’t know the child has an issue, they are not able to handle them acting out correctly. Being able to identify a child at risk and get them the right treatment will allow the child to develop in their own way (Cohen & Scheeringa, 2009). Anxiety is another cause of post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents. When a child has direct experience with a trauma, triggers can cause them to re-experience the trauma and avoid situations, places, people, or things (ADAA, 2016). The effects from anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder can result in tragedy, such as suicide. The AACAP (2017) reports that suicide is the second leading cause of death for children and adolescents. The suicide attempts stem from anxiety, depression, bullying, trauma, and violence. So, if educators miss the signs, doctors cannot the child or adolescent diagnose effectively and correctly, and self-coping occurs incorrectly, this combination can create suicidal thoughts and potential actions.

Children that have dealt with trauma and developed post-traumatic stress disorder often can get help readily accessible to them. Some children are not so fortunate. The children that enter or already are in the legal system often do not get the help that they need (Klain, 2018). The lack of assistance and guidance causes for the child or adolescent to be vulnerable to other traumas, such as violence, drugs, cognitive, and relationship problems. As mana as 46 million children are affected by trauma and a lot of them are often placed in the system, after the trauma (Klain, 2018). Klain (2018) states that if the child or adolescent is left untreated, after entering the system, the trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder can permanently affect their development; it can have a lifelong effect on them.

I am not surprised at the cause and effects of this topic. Post-traumatic stress disorder is overlooked and not understood in the child and adolescent area. The idea that children are not equally affected by trauma is a false understanding. I feel that more and more children are being diagnosed falsely, which causes them to act out because they are not getting the necessary treatment. It is important to remember that a child is evolving and establishing their mannerisms and characteristics in the child and adolescent phase. What they learn is crucial with how they handle situations once they maturate into an adult. Misdiagnosis is one of the largest contributor to the problem of post-traumatic stress disorder in children and adolescents. Misdiagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder in children and expecting them to be alleviated of some of the issues they are having. It is equivalent to prescribing cough medicine for a headache; although its meant to heal, it’s doing its job, just not in the right area. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a developing idea; it is possible to prevent the misdiagnosis or lack of diagnosis of children and adolescents. Meltzer et al. (2013) state that less than half of the patients are misdiagnosed or undiagnosed. The severity of the post-traumatic stress disorder can play a part in the quickness of the diagnosis (Meltzer et al., 2013). The more intense the post-traumatic stress disorder is, the more likely it is to be recognized and attended to. Those with mild to moderate symptoms can get passed off for other mental health issues (Meltzer et al., 2013). In this case, there are more kids being left untreated because they do not set off the radar for immediate medical diagnosing and attention.

Problem Resolution

The resolution I selected for my problem is to develop a varying criterion to help diagnose children and adolescents with post-traumatic stress disorder accurately. This level of development will allow specificity to occur when dealing with each individual child. If established, the adult criterion that children and adolescents were previously assessed by would be replaced and apply to adults only. The levels of variation within this study would allow researchers to adequately assess the child, not by age, but by their specific level of development. The USDVA (2017) supports the separation of children by description and age. This breakdown allows the child to be categorized by age and assessed to record the different levels of mental development of kids all in the same age range (USDVA, 2017). This advantage will allow the researchers to conduct study on how children at different ages can be at the same level mentally due to trauma. This can also allow for the researchers to know that the level of development is not always determined by age. With each study, more and more levels to the developmental process can be added. This allows for a better and more specific breakdown for each child. The idea is to not have a generic diagnosis. To be able to target a child or adolescent’s specific intensity of post-traumatic stress disorder is the goal. A disadvantage of this resolution is that it will take time to evolve. Although there are many children that will help with the foundation for the new criteria, the information must first be valid and reliable. The criterion must be able to apply to any child that has trauma and cater to their specific needs to allow for a specific course of action that is designed to help their specific needs. Because this criterion is very important, validity must be present at each stage of the developmental process and once completed (UFS, 2015). With the inclusion of the new subtype in the DSM-5 under PTSD, Post-traumatic stress disorder in preschool children will open the door to more research because it is a newly developed subtype (USDVA, 2017). With the development of this research, it will expand to different age ranges and the study will grow.

Social Implications

Throughout this study, the causes and effects of misdiagnosis has been discussed. This study has acknowledged the outcomes of those that were misdiagnosed and how it can affect their late childhood, leading into adulthood. Although trauma is often unwarranted, there are plus sides to receiving the help necessary to move on in life happily. Hyman, Gold, & Cott (2003) attest that children and adolescents that receive help begin to have a higher self-esteem. They report that those children that receive self-esteem support for their trauma, it was most helpful in not advancing the post-traumatic stress disorder and trauma flashbacks (Hyman, Gold, & Cott, 2003). Another great form of support was crisis and trauma counseling. Kendall-Tackett (2002) suggests that support groups reduces the difficulty of adult functions years after the trauma. For example, children and adolescents that do not seek help of any sort often head into adulthood and struggle with relationships (family, significant other, coworkers, etc.), negativity toward other people, and harming themselves or others (Kendall-Tackett, 2002). Counseling after the onset of the childhood or adolescent trauma allows that individual the option and opportunity of a better life and peace of mind; the proper coping mechanisms to exist within the world that caused them the trauma are beneficial and can be monitored for lifelong use. Because the subtype of childhood and adolescent post-traumatic stress disorder is new, research is limited on how this affects children that fall out of the standard deviation. As research occurs, children that do not fall into the norm can be researched as a comparison to those that are within the norm. The more research done on this topic, the more likely it is to be able to help a lot more children and adolescents with their trauma.

Capstone Reflection

Overall, I am proud of the work I produced this quarter. Capstone was very challenging yet very enlightening. This is, by far, the most tedious and detail oriented project I have completed and I am very proud of myself for not quitting when I was ready to. This quarter was more challenging that every other, but I have learned my strength throughout the course of this class. I never know how anal I was about making a paper informative until now. The process of writing, editing, rewriting, giving up on myself, and regaining my confidence to continue was crazy. The topic of Child and Adolescent Post-traumatic stress disorder has officially sparked my interest in helping more children become correctly diagnosed so they receive the proper treatment and can heal correctly. I realize that a lot of the adult issues we go through result from some sort of mental trauma that has preceded the present moment we stand in. Some traumas allow us to function with our day to day lives, while others leave us in a mental torture chamber, waiting on someone to help us free our unwanted demons. The key is to be able to accurately assess each situation based on their own personal development. It is when we stop looking at people as a group and begin to look at them as individuals, we begin to see the individual issues we each face. Not all African Americans struggle with single parent homes and violence. Not all Caucasians are born into money and have their lives set up for them. Not all Mexicans are here illegally. Therefore, not every child has the same situation, nor can they be scaled based off someone else’s situation, age and background. Trauma is an everyday thing and takes no sides when choosing its victim. It is important that each situation is handled delicately and with the same importance as those with more severe issues. I am very proud of myself and I am thankful.

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