December 15, 2012
Post -Traumatic Stress Disorder
When hearing about Post-traumatic stress disorder, majority of people think about war veterans. Many Americans suffer from Post -traumatic stress disorder. However some are not aware that they have it. Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is rarely acknowledged or fully understood.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event. Three point six percent (five point four million) of U.S. adults have Post-Traumatic stress disorder in a given year (National Center for PTSD). When in danger, it’s normal to feel scared. This fear activates many changes in the body to prepare to fight against the danger or to escape it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a strong reaction meant to protect a person from harm. With PTSD, this reaction is damaged or altered. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened even when they’re no longer in threat. Any person can get Post-traumatic stress disorder at any time or age. This includes war veterans and survivors of physical and sexual assault, abuse, accidents, disasters, and many other serious events. Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Thirty percent of war Veterans end up with Post-traumatic stress disorder (Capehart & Bass, 2012). Some people get PTSD after a friend or family member experiences danger or are harmed. The sudden, unexpected death of a loved one or any life threatening event can also cause Post-traumatic stress disorder. Before the title became Post-traumatic stress disorder, war veterans called these symptoms “Shell Shock.” Some of the soldiers presented with symptoms like staring eyes, severe tremors, blue cold extremities, unexplained deafness or blindness, and paralysis (Javidi & Yadollahie, 2012). Today, men and women of all ages and race are being diagnosed with post- traumatic stress disorder. It is more common in young adults due to being exposed to precipitating conditions. After a traumatic event, many people may develop symptoms like severe anxiety, amnesia, poor concentration, loss of appetite, sexual dysfunction, depression and sleep disturbance. However, the symptoms may not only resolve but also get worse in some of the victims, and the condition progresses to post-traumatic stress disorder. It is still not clear why some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder and why others do not. There are many known reasons that would determine if a person may develop post-traumatic stress disorder. Both the length of time and strength of the trauma are among key risk factors (Barrow, 2010). People with this disorder sometimes relive the event, which in turn disrupts day to day activities. Some people may experience flashbacks of the event that cause this trauma. Many victims will have nightmares and upsetting memories that remind them of the event or tragedy that took place. Victims will most likely have mixed feelings and lack of interest in things they once cared about. Victims will also avoid places and people that could or would remind them of the event that took place. Victims of post-traumatic stress disorder can be easily startled or have angry outburst. For example, the tragedy of September 11, 2001 may have caused post-traumatic stress disorder in some people who were involved, in people who saw the disaster, and in people who lost relatives and friends. Veterans returning home from a war often have post-traumatic stress disorder (Capehart & Bass, 2012). The cause of post-traumatic stress disorder is unknown. Psychological, genetic, physical, and social factors are involved. Post-traumatic stress disorder changes the body's response to stress. It affects the stress hormones and chemicals that carry information between the nerves (neurotransmitters). There is no test that can diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder. Diagnosis is based on...
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