IT HAS TO BE IN APA WITH CITATION AND AT LEAST 3 REFERENCE. Many children face special issues that impact everyday life, whether it is within themselves, their families, or their environment. The PMHNP must be sensitive to these many issues that children and adolescents are faced with during important developmental years. In this Discussion, you select a special population and analyze the psychological issues that the population faces. You also address the assessment and treatment needs of the population.

In this discussion, we will focus on a special population of children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. Trauma refers to an event or series of events that are deeply distressing or disturbing, resulting in long-lasting psychological and emotional effects. Traumatic events can include physical or sexual abuse, neglect, natural disasters, accidents, community violence, or witnessing violence in the home.

Children and adolescents who have experienced trauma often exhibit a range of psychological issues. One common issue is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which involves recurrent and intrusive memories of the traumatic event, avoidance of reminders of the event, negative changes in mood and cognition, and hyperarousal. Children with PTSD may have nightmares or flashbacks, become easily startled or irritable, and may have difficulty concentrating or sleeping.

Another psychological issue that traumatized children may face is depression. Depression in children can manifest as persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities, changes in appetite or sleep patterns, difficulty concentrating, and thoughts of death or suicide. Children who have experienced trauma may feel a sense of hopelessness and have difficulty finding pleasure in previously enjoyed activities.

Anxiety disorders are also common among children and adolescents who have experienced trauma. Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), specific phobias, and separation anxiety disorder may develop as a result of the trauma. Children with anxiety disorders may exhibit excessive worry, fearfulness, avoidance behaviors, and physical symptoms such as headaches or stomachaches.

Behavioral issues are often observed in children who have experienced trauma. These can include aggression, defiance, and impulsivity. Traumatized children may have difficulty regulating their emotions and may have frequent outbursts or tantrums. They may also engage in high-risk behaviors, such as substance abuse or self-harm, as a way to cope with their trauma.

Additionally, children who have experienced trauma may exhibit difficulties in forming and maintaining relationships. They may struggle with trust, have difficulty connecting with others, and may have disrupted attachment patterns. Trauma can have a profound impact on a child’s ability to form healthy and secure relationships, which can contribute to long-term social and emotional difficulties.

Assessing and treating children who have experienced trauma requires a comprehensive and trauma-informed approach. The assessment process should take into account the child’s developmental level, cultural background, and individual strengths and challenges. Standardized measures, such as the Child and Adolescent Trauma Screen (CATS), can be utilized to screen for trauma exposure and symptoms.

A trauma-informed treatment approach should focus on creating a safe and supportive environment for the child. Evidence-based therapies, such as Trauma-focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), can be effective in reducing symptoms of PTSD and promoting healing. These therapies involve helping the child process their traumatic experiences, develop coping skills, and gradually reduce fear and avoidance.

In addition to individual therapy, it is important to involve the child’s family in the treatment process. Family therapy can help improve communication, provide support, and address any family dynamics that may be influencing the child’s recovery. Supportive services, such as case management and social support groups, can also be beneficial for both the child and their family.

In conclusion, children and adolescents who have experienced trauma face a range of psychological issues that require careful assessment and treatment. It is crucial for PMHNPs to be sensitive to the unique needs of this population and to utilize trauma-informed approaches in their practice. By providing a safe and supportive environment, utilizing evidence-based therapies, and involving the child’s family in the treatment process, PMHNPs can effectively address the psychological needs of children who have experienced trauma.

References:

1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

2. Cohen, J. A., Mannarino, A. P., & Deblinger, E. (2012). Trauma-focused CBT for children and adolescents: Treatment applications. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

3. National Child Traumatic Stress Network. (2017). Child trauma toolkit for educators. Los Angeles, CA: UCLA-Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress. Retrieved from https://www.nctsn.org/resources/child-trauma-toolkit-educators.