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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder :o. Miguel Valdez Psychology Period 4. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety problem caused by a traumatic event, such as combat, a natural disaster or crime, or even a traffic accident. Associated Features.

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post traumatic stress disorder o

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder :o

Miguel Valdez


Period 4

post traumatic stress disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety problem caused by a traumatic event, such as combat, a natural disaster or crime, or even a traffic accident.

associated features
Associated Features
  • excessive guilt
  • rapid emotional fluctuations
  • spacey, confused, or as if in a daze
  • self-destructive and impulsive
  • weak, nauseated, achy (somatic/bodily complaints)
  • a sense of ineffectiveness, shame, despair, or hopelessness
  • permanently damaged
  • a loss of previous beliefs
  • constantly threatened or on guard
  • changes in personality
associated features1
Associated Features
  • DSM-IV-TR Criteria

Criterion A: stressor

The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of the following have been present:

The person has experienced, witnessed, or been confronted with an event or events that involve actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others.

The person's response involved intense fear,helplessness, or horror. Note: in children, it may be expressed instead by disorganized or agitated behavior.

associated features2
Associated Features

Criterion B: intrusive recollection

The traumatic event is persistently re-experienced in at least one of the following ways:

  • Recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images, thoughts, or perceptions. Note: in young children, repetitive play may occur in which themes or aspects of the trauma are expressed.
  • Recurrent distressing dreams of the event. Note: in children, there may be frightening dreams without recognizable content
  • Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense of reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashback episodes,including those that occur upon awakening or when intoxicated). Note: in children, trauma-specific reenactment may occur.
  • Intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
  • Physiologic reactivity upon exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event
associated features3
Associated Features

Criterion C: avoidance/numbing

Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness (not present before the trauma), as indicated by at least three of the following:

  • Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma
  • Efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma
  • Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma
  • Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities
  • Feeling of detachment or estrangement from others
  • Restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to have loving feelings)
  • Sense of foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span)
associated features4
Associated Features

Criterion D: hyper-arousal

Persistent symptoms of increasing arousal (not present before the trauma), indicated by at least two of the following:

  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Irritability or outbursts of anger
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Exaggerated startle response
associated features5
Associated Features

Criterion E: duration

Duration of the disturbance (symptoms in B, C, and D) is more than one month.

Criterion F: functional significance

The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Specify if:

Acute: if duration of symptoms is less than three months

Chronic: if duration of symptoms is three months or more

Specify if:

With or Without delay onset: Onset of symptoms at least six months after the stress.

  • The cause of PTSD may be due to a traumatic event that affected them during that time and now whenever they see or hear something that might remind them of the experience and bring back painful memories.
    • Some examples may be people who were victims of violence, experiencing a life-threatening calamity, involved in serious accident.
    • Survivors must learn how to cope with the painful memories of the traumatic events.
  • Vietnam veterans ranging from 19 to 30 percent of those exposed to low levels of combat, and 25 to 70 percent of those to high levels.
    • PTSD is more common in people who have been in combat due to the fact of witnessing people being killed, hearing explosions and being in life threatening events.
  • Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy: Therapy also involves identifying upsetting thoughts about the traumatic event–particularly thoughts that are distorted and irrational—and replacing them with more balanced picture.
  • Family therapy: helps everyone in the family communicate better and work through relationship problems caused by PTSD symptoms.
  • EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing): Eye movements and other bilateral forms of stimulation are thought to work by “unfreezing” the brain’s information processing system, which is interrupted in times of extreme stress.
  • Medication: Antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft are the medications most commonly used for PTSD

People have anxiety and they also tend to have nightmares of what happened. They also may feel empathy towards others because they may feel guilty and they are also more emotional.

Most people who take medication don't always get completely rid of PTSD but lower its effects.

  • What is one common way that a person may develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?
  • If you had this disorder do you think you’ll be able to overcome this obstacle?

Halgin, R.P. & Whitbourne, S.K. (2005). Abnormal psychology: clinical perspectives on psychological disorder. New York, NY: McGrawth.

Myers, D.G. (2011). Myers psychology for ap. New York, NY: Worth Publishers.