“My Nightmares Aren’t Just About Calculus 101”: Transitioning to College with PTSD
College students with history of sexual trauma and PTSD are at higher risk for adverse academic outcomes and worsening of their symptoms while on campus. The prevalence of sexual violence on campus further increases their exposure to trauma and risk of revictimization. This chapter describes the case of a young woman with a history of childhood sexual trauma who initially presents to treatment during her junior year of high school. She relapses soon after her transition to college and eventually has to take a leave of absence at the end of her freshman year. Discussion focuses on identifying triggers for relapse of PTSD that are unique to the college setting, outlines strategies for optimum treatment and minimizing risk while on campus, and reviews ways universities have approached sexual violence awareness and prevention. Optimizing transition planning for patients with history of trauma and PTSD is also outlined and discussed.
KeywordsPost-traumatic stress disorder in college Sexual violence bystander education PTSD triggers on college campuses Sexual violence prevention Safety on campus
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