Stress You Can’t Address

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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) doesn’t affect wartime
veterans only-it’s a serious problem for children who’ve
experienced trauma. Children can develop PTSD when they’ve
experienced serious, acute trauma or when they’ve been in a chronic
stressful situation. 
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)
describes symptoms of PTSD in kids:

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  • Persistent re-experiencing of the trauma (memories and
    flashbacks of the trauma and recurring trauma-related
    nightmares) 
  • Seeking to avoid traumatic reminders (including places, people,
    and conversations)
  • A general numbing of emotional responsiveness 
  • Chronic physiological “hyperarousal,” including sleep
    disturbances, poor concentration, and being over-sensitive to
    threats
  • Actively re-experiencing trauma through repetitive play
    imitating the trauma 

Children are unable to effectively manage this type of stress by
themselves, and it’s important that if you note these symptoms for
a period longer than a month, to connect with parents and your
ministry leader to help seek professional support and
intervention.

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