Raising Sons: Could He Have PTSD?


Raising Sons & PTSD

Did you know that PTSD is not exclusive to our military servicemen?  We hear about “post- traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD) most often as a result of some of the horrific sights our young men witnessed while serving in the military.

What Is PTSD

Many times, a parent misses the signs of PTSD in their child.  PTSD is NOT exclusive to our servicemen.  It can plague your child and needs to be addressed ASAP! 

The Mayo Clinic defines it like this:

“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event-either experiencing it or witnessing it.  Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.”

The Most Common Causes

Why does this happen and how can a child have PTSD?  I’m asked this question often.  Witnessing a traumatic event, they consider to be scary, hurtful, harmful or dangerous.  Below I list some of the most common:

  1. Abuse-verbal, physical or sexual
  2. Seeing a traumatic sight-a dead or hurt pet, a car accident or someone or something injured
  3. Watching unsupervised T.V.-there are numerous shows and video games that show violence
  4. Being bullied
  5. Parents arguing or fighting
  6. Hearing about a traumatic event that happened to a family member or loved one

What to Look For

If your son is displaying:

  • irritable or aggressive behavior 
  • having problems with concentration (intrusive thoughts)
  • a change in sleep habits
  • hopelessness
  • lack of interest in activities once enjoyed 

It’s time to get him to a Licensed Professional Counselor for an assessment.  PTSD doesn’t go away on its own, it festers and shows itself many times in unhealthy ways.  Keep in mind when I say it will “show itself,” that could be now or later in his life!  I recommend getting to the issue now.  The percentages of curing are higher; the potential to heal and lead a healthy life is greater. 

Knowledge Is Power

If you’ve read my book “Saving Our Sons”- A Parent’s Guide to Preparing Boys for Success you remember Ethan.  His case study is eye opening to the detrimental effects PTSD can have on an adolescent boy.

Arm yourself with knowledge and information on this subject so that your son doesn’t go through what I did, or what Ethan did as a child.  It took years of my adult life to work through the PTSD related issues caused from living with an abusive alcoholic father.  I wish someone would have intervened and helped me when I was a boy.

Are you concerned your son may be dealing with post-traumatic stress?  Do you have unanswered questions?



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