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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder In Children


Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that may occur after your child has experienced a traumatic situation or event. This event may have caused him to feel intense fear, pain, or sorrow. He may think he or someone close to him is going to get hurt or die. He may also continue to feel helpless after the event. These feelings affect his daily activities and relationships.



  • Antianxiety: These medicines help your child feel less nervous.
  • Antidepressants: These medicines decrease or stop the symptoms of depression and other behavior problems.
  • Sedatives: These medicines help your child stay calm and relaxed. They may also help him sleep better at night.
  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's healthcare provider if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him or her if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your child's healthcare provider as directed:

Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your child's visits.

What you can do to help your child:

  • Help your child cope with traumatic events. Talk openly about what happened and listen to your child's worries. Assure your child that all family members are safe.
  • Teach people who are close to your child about PTSD, including his teacher. Work together to help your child.
  • Encourage your child to exercise and play. It may help him feel better. Walking is a good exercise for you to do with your child.
  • Help your child get plenty of rest. He should get 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night. Comfort your child if he has trouble going to sleep or nightmares.

For support and more information:

  • National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Public Information & Communication Branch
    6001 Executive Boulevard, Room 8184, MSC 9663
    Bethesda , MD 20892-9663
    Phone: 1- 301 - 443-4513
    Phone: 1- 866 - 615-6464
    Web Address:

Contact your child's healthcare provider if:

  • You and your child cannot make it to your next appointment.
  • Your child is not sleeping well or is sleeping too much.
  • You feel you cannot help your child at home.
  • Your child is taking antidepressants and his depression gets worse, or he talks about harming himself or committing suicide. Call if he begins to behave differently.
  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your child hurts himself or others.
  • You feel like hurting your child.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder In Children (Aftercare Instructions)

Associated drugs

Micromedex® Care Notes