Trauma (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can happen after a serious traumatic incident or many traumatic events. Any event or incident can be considered traumatic if it is very upsetting, scary, shocking or causes physical or emotional harm directly to you or someone else.

As people cope and manage with situations differently, people experience traumatic situations and cope with them differently. Not everyone who experiences a traumatic event will experience psychological trauma or PTSD.

People who are traumatised and experiencing PTSD may experience symptoms such as:

• flashbacks
• nightmares
• anxiety and feeling ‘on edge’
• up and down emotions, such as feeling tearful, irritable or numb

Complex PTSD is a more serious reaction to a long-lasting traumatic experience, for example abuse, neglect or frequent violence.

Top Tips

It is important to remember that everyone copes with things differently. If a young person is struggling to cope after a traumatic event, it is important that they let someone know and get the appropriate help, support and advice.


There are many strategies and techniques to help young people cope with flashbacks and anxiety. Visit the Childline website and check the anxiety help section on this website.


Some people find it helpful to keep a log of when they experience trauma symptoms to notice if there are any patterns or triggers. This might help the young person to make a plan of how to manage these situations if they come up.


Having hobbies, interests and spending time with friends can be really helpful when experiencing symptoms of trauma – they can be a good distraction.


  • Symptoms and Strategies for PTSD in Children and Teens - credit AnxietyBC
  • Symptoms and Strategies for PTSD in Children and Teens - credit AnxietyBC