Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Cultural Bias and Seeking Treatment

Topics: Psychological trauma, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Anxiety disorder Pages: 8 (2766 words) Published: April 28, 2013
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: Cultural Bias and Seeking Treatment Nicole Doyle
Walden University Capstone Project

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a widely studied anxiety disorder that has more recently been found to have better recovery with a strong support system (Gabert-Quillen, et al., (2012). The American Psychological Association (APA, 2012) defines this as an anxiety disorder that occurs after experiencing a traumatic event. There are studies that focus on veterans but there is a need for work to be done for active duty personnel who are suffering from PTSD through multiple exposures to war. With the stigma the military feels when seeking treatment for this makes it a question in how to integrate treatment more favorably to combat personnel who do not feel like they have the support of their peer group and experience discrimination issues that are similar to racial discrimination (Wei, Wang, Heppner, & Du, 2012).

Another area that has more recently been studied and can help with treatment is looking at diagnostic problems that may arise through other disorders being present, which has brought up the question of subtypes of PTSD (Humphreys, et al., 2010). This also brings up the question of cultural bias in testing as a current issue and relevant when looking at how to treat PTSD differently by culture by looking at how the disorder is perceived socio-culturally and how the treatment can be culturally appropriate (Poortinga, Y., 1995). Problem Statement

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a global problem that can happen to anyone and at any age. This disorder can affect a person’s life in many ways, with symptoms being feelings of anxiety that were not there before, nightmares, flash-backs, and reliving the event in their mind, to name a few (APA, 2012). It can be linked to many other personality disorders such as depression and in many cases can lead to physical injury or suicide (Gifford, 2008). Veterans of any military would be susceptive to this disorder through their experiences with as much war and fighting as there is around the world. The problem this study addresses is that there needs to be global recognition, diverse and culturally based treatment paths for this disorder in order to create positive social change. Although there are treatment plans in place and questionnaires available for military and civilian’s the stigmatism involved in seeking treatment can create a barrier between recognizing the problem and getting help. Integrated Literature Review

As part of the research for this problem, the article reviewed is Social Constraints, Posttraumatic Cognitions, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Treatment-Seeking Trauma Survivors: Evidence for a Social-Cognitive Processing Model. It was written by Bradley E. Belsher from Palo Alto University and VA Medical Center, Washington, DC, Josef I. Ruzek from Palo Alto University and National Center for PTSD, and VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Bruce Bongar, from Palo Alto University and Stanford University School of Medicine, and Matthew J. Cordova from Palo Alto University and VA Northern California Health Care System. The authors conducted a study that measured the variables to explore whether there were significant and positive relationships between social constraints and PTSD, social constraints and posttraumatic cognitions, and posttraumatic cognitions and PTSD (Belsher, Ruzek, Bongar, and Cordova, (2012).

The issue of the Social-Cognitive Processing Model (SCP) was reviewed in treating PTSD as a source for this article in 2001 discussing how recovery is facilitated through supportive relationships (Belsher et al., 2012). The article also looks at the issue of social constraints and the negative affect that having unsupportive relationships or feelings of alienation (Belsher et al., 2012). Trauma victims are affected by this through treatment and post-trauma adjustment in the way that...
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