For my project I chose to take a closer looked at Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) due to sexual trauma. I found interest in this topic because my mother has been diagnosed with PTSD and she suffers from the symptoms of it daily. I also have two friends who are twins who I believe suffer from PTSD but are not diagnosed. For this project I will be using my mother, one of my friends and my cousin who works for the Coalition Against Rape and Abuse (CARA) to thoroughly explore this topic. I attended a support group my cousin supervised at CARA. I also gave my mother and my friend a questionnaire to fill out to see how serve their PTSD was and also presented to them ways to deal with their PTSD. The following is an overview of my project as well as the information I presented to my mother and friend to help them live with PTSD. PTSD Defined:
According to the U.S National Library of Medicine PTSD is explained in the following: “Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. It can occur after you've seen or experienced a traumatic event that involved the threat of injury or death. PTSD can occur at any age. It can follow a natural disaster such as a flood or fire, or events such as: assault, domestic abuse, imprisonment, rape, terrorism, and/or being in a war. The cause of PTSD is unknown. Psychological, genetic, physical, and social factors are involved. PTSD changes the body's response to stress. It affects the stress hormones and chemicals that carry information between the neurotransmitters in the brain. It is not known why traumatic events cause PTSD in some people but not others. Having a history of trauma may increase your risk for getting PTSD after a recent traumatic event. Symptoms for PTSD fall into three main categories: 1. "Reliving" the event, which will disturbs day-to-day activities by causing flashback episodes, where the event seems to be happening again and again, repeated upsetting memories of the event, repeated nightmares of the event and/or strong, uncomfortable reactions to situations that remind you of the event. 2. Avoidance: Emotional "numbing," or feeling as though you don't care about anything by making the victim feel detached, unable to remember important aspects of the trauma, having a lack of interest in normal activities, showing less of your moods, avoiding places, people, or thoughts that remind you of the event and/or feeling like you have no future. 3. Arousal: Difficulty concentrating, startling easily, having an exaggerated response to things that startle you, feeling more aware (hyper-vigilance),feeling irritable or having outbursts of anger, having trouble falling or staying asleep and/or feeling guilt about the event (including "survivor guilt"). You might also have some of the following symptoms, which are typical of anxiety, stress, and tension: They include agitation or excitability, dizziness, fainting, feeling your heart beat in your chest and/or headaches. Signs and tests
There are no tests that can be done to diagnose PTSD. The diagnosis is made based on certain symptoms. Your health care provider may ask for how long you have had symptoms. This will help your health care provider know if you have PTSD or a similar condition called Acute Stress Disorder (ASD). In PTSD, symptoms are present for at least 30 days. Your health care provider may also do mental health exams, physical exams, and blood tests to look for other illnesses that are similar to PTSD. Treatment
Treatment can help prevent PTSD from developing after a trauma. A good social support system may also help protect against PTSD. If PTSD does occur, a form of treatment called "desensitization" may be used. This treatment helps reduce symptoms by encouraging you to remember the traumatic event and express your feelings about it. Over time, memories of the event should become less frightening. Support groups, where people who have had similar experiences share their feelings, may also...
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