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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). By: Amelia Neiger and Emily Houston . According to the National Institute of Mental Health. . .

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post traumatic stress disorder ptsd

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD)

By: Amelia Neiger and Emily Houston

according to the national institute of mental health
According to the National Institute of Mental Health. . .
  • “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.”
  • PTSD includes 3 specifications: Acute (lasting less than 3 months), Chronic (lasting 3 or more months), and Delayed Onset (if onset of symptoms is at least 6 months after stressor)
causes
Causes
  • Experiencing, witnessing, or being confronted with an event involving serious injury, death, or threat to the physical integrity of an individual
  • Helplessness and/or intense fear or horror.
  • The more severe the trauma, the worse the stress symptoms are.
  • When any traumatic events occur to a person with a physiologic vulnerability based on genetic contributions and other personal characteristics, PTSD results.
symptoms
Symptoms

The PTSD symptoms are grouped into 3 categories:

1. Re-experiencing Symptoms

  • Flashbacks
  • Bad dreams
  • Frightening thoughts
symptoms cont
Symptoms Cont.

2. Avoidance Symptoms

  • Avoiding places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
  • Feeling emotionally numb
  • Feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry
  • Losing interest in previously enjoyed activities
  • Forgetting the dangerous event.
symptoms cont1
Symptoms Cont.

3. Hyper-arousal Symptoms

  • Being easily startled
  • Feeling tense or “on edge”
  • Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts.
etiology
etiology
  • Reports of battle-associated stress reactions date back to as early as the 6th century B.C.
  • In the early 19th century military medical doctors began diagnosing soldiers with "exhaustion" after the stress of battle. This "exhaustion" was characterized by mental shutdown due to trauma.
  • The modern understanding of PTSD dates from the 1970s, largely as a result of the problems that were still being experienced by US military veterans of the war in Vietnam.
diagnosis
diagnosis
  • At first the diagnosis stated that PTSD “[developed] from an experience that anyone would find traumatic, leaving no room for individual perception or experience of an event.”
  • Now the definition has expanded saying that PTSD “develops in response to events that are threatening to life or bodily integrity, witnessing threatening or deadly events, and hearing of violence to or the unexpected or violent death of close associates.”
  • Traumatic experiences include (but are not limited to) the following: combat, sexual and physical assault, being held hostage or imprisoned, terrorism, torture, natural and man made disasters, accidents, and receiving a diagnosis of a life threatening illness
treatments
Treatments

Treatments for PTSD help you deal with the trauma you’ve experienced—not avoid it.

  • Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy. Directly “exposes” the traumatic experience by discussing thoughts, feelings, and situations that remind you of the trauma.
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing). This method “unfreezes” the brain’s information processing system.
  • Family Therapy. This helps your family understand what you are going through.
  • Medication can help relieve depression and anxiety, but it does not treat the causes of PTSD.
  • The best treatment appears to be group therapy.
facts
Facts
  • Studies show that nearly half (48%) of the patients in general medical practices with PTSD were receiving no mental health treatment at the time of intake to the study
  • PTSD is most common in soldiers and military veterans.
  • 5.2 million adult Americans experience PTSD
  • 3.6% adults deal with PTSD
  • about 30% of war veterans experience PTSD
  • Medication has been found to alleviate the various symptoms. People who get therapeutic inventions immediately following the incident are better off. Unfortunately, there are a few cases when the victim does not completely recover.
wendy s story
Wendy’s story

Three months ago, Wendy was in a major car accident. She sustained only minor injuries, but two friends riding in her car were killed. At first, the accident seemed like just a bad dream. Then Wendy started having nightmares about it: waking up in a cold sweat to the sound of crunching metal and breaking glass. Now, the sights and sounds of the accident haunt her all the time. She has trouble sleeping at night, and during the day she feels irritable and on edge. She jumps whenever she hears a siren or screeching tires, and she avoids all TV programs that might show a car chase or accident scene. Wendy also avoids driving whenever possible, and refuses to go anywhere near the site of the crash.

citations
Citations

(n.d.). In Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Retrieved November 16, 2010, from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml

Myers, D. G. (2007). Psychology (8th ed., pp. 652-653). New York: Worth Publishers.

Rothschild, B. (1998). In Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Identification and Diagnonsis. Retrieved November 16, 2010, from http://www.healing-arts.org/tir/n-r-rothschild.htm

Smith, M., Segal, R., & Segal, J. (2001). Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In helpquide.org. Retrieved November 17, 2010, from http://helpguide.org/mental/post_traumatic_stress_disorder_symptoms_treatment.htm