I was shocked by this headline in The Guardian this week. It was not so much the figures that shocked me but that they have been allowed to rise so much while at the same time funding for mental health services for children and adolescent services has been steadily cut. This was happening before I stopped working in the field but has continued since. One in eight women between the ages of sixteen and twenty four screens positive for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder! (In older age groups men are more affected.)
For me, two things need to happen. Firstly the causes need to be addressed. Constant re-stimulation by reminders of the trauma through social media is thought to be a major cause of the increase. Education for all young people on how to avoid this through changing habits and privacy settings. Secondly, anyone of any age with PTSD needs to be able to access high quality therapy without having a long wait in order to do so. When I worked with a lot of young people who had this problem in in-patient services, many could have been treated as out-patients had they been able to access treatment in a more timely fashion. Most young women who go on to get a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder started of with PTSD. Sometimes the link was due to a dysfunctional family but often it was due to the family not being able (sometimes through lack of knowledge about services but more likely the lack of anything appropriate) to access high quality services.
Working as an Aromatherapist I see a significant number of people with PTSD, both men and women. Essential oils that can help with this include Frankincense, Rose and many others. Massage will not be the best option for all but for many it can bring significant relief.I used Massage and Aromatherapy with many young people when I worked at a therapeutic community for 16-21 year-olds in North West London.
I bring this experience to my practice in Central Cambridge and Trumpington. With under 16’s I would need an appropriate adult to accompany clients for at least the first appointment and would wish someone to be available for 16-17 year old clients too. In some cases if the client prefers, they could be just outside the room during treatment.
If you or someone you know might benefit from massage and aromatherapy from a therapist who has over 25 years of experience working in mental health do get in touch.