While help for post-traumatic stress in teens is becoming more accessible, there’s still much we don’t understand about the disorder and how it works.
In a new study, researchers believe they’ve discovered why some people develop PTSD and others don’t: molecular changes. There’s been research on how our genes and family history affect our chances of struggling with trauma, but these findings explore exactly why some people do or don’t suffer from symptoms of PTSD.
How our biology is possibly linked to issues with trauma
In a study conducted by researchers from the Netherlands, the participants were pulled from military personnel on deployment to a combat zone in Afghanistan.
According to their findings, it seems that blood-based miRNAs could be biomarkers for symptoms of PTSD. This could offer help for post-traumatic stress in teens by giving a new way to screen for it.
MiRNAs are micro ribonucleic acids and play important roles in gene expression and regulation. Changes in miRNA levels have been linked to various problems, such as kidney disease, some cancers, and mental health issues. Researchers believe this means they could have something to do with PTSD.
The lead author Dr. Laurence de Nijs from Maastricht University explains their findings:
“We identified over 900 different types of these small molecules. 40 of them were regulated differently in people who developed PTSD, whereas there were differences in 27 of the miRNAs in trauma-exposed individuals who did not develop PTSD.”
While de Nijs is optimistic about the results, he believes much more research has to be done in order to confirm their findings from this study.
Risk factors for developing PTSD
While one day we may be able to know exactly who needs help for post-traumatic stress in teens, we’re not quite there yet. In order to be aware if your child may be susceptible to PTSD, it’s important to know the risk factors.
Studies show that 6 to 30 percent (or even more) of trauma survivors end up developing PTSD, with youth being towards the high end of that percentage. Female and assigned female at births are also twice as likely to develop it compared to males.
Research-backed risk factors include:
- Pre-existing emotional disorder (for example, those with depression are much more likely to develop PTSD compared to those without)
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- A family history of anxiety
- A history of physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or abuse within the family
- An early separation from parents
- Lack of social support and/or poverty
- Sleep disorders (insomnia, sleep apnea, etc.)
If you believe your child may be struggling with a mental health issue, it’s critical to reach out to a professional for guidance.
Solstice offers help for post-traumatic stress in teens
Solstice is a groundbreaking residential treatment center for girls, ages 14 to 18. Our girls and assigned female at birth often grapple with depression, anxiety, trauma, ADHD, and other emotional or behavioral problems when they come to us. Dealing with these issues can get confusing and overwhelming fast–but we’re here to help guide you.
Through a unique combination of therapeutic programs based upon both traditional and holistic mental health treatment, we treat our clients with age and gender specific techniques. We strive to empower teenage people with the ability to believe in themselves and provide the tools and motivation required to instill these beliefs for life.
For more information about help for post-traumatic stress in teens at Solstice, please contact us at (866) 278-3345.