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PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is PTSD?

PTSD is a mental health condition that is triggered by a traumatic situation or event. Your child may have seen the situation or event, or experienced it. Your child may continue to feel sad or helpless after the event. Your child may feel anxious or scared, even when he or she is not in danger. These feelings can affect your child's daily activities and relationships.

What are the signs and symptoms of PTSD?

Symptoms may get better after a few weeks or months. Symptoms may come and go over time. Your child may have one or more of the following:

How is PTSD diagnosed?

Healthcare providers will ask about your child's symptoms and use a guide to diagnose PTSD. Your child may have PTSD if he or she has had the following symptoms for at least 1 month:

How is PTSD treated?

PTSD affects people differently. It is important to work with your child's healthcare provider to find the best treatment for your child. Your child may need one or more of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

What can I do to help my child?

Where can I find support and more information?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I call my child's doctor or therapist?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

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