University of Phoenix
February 28, 2011
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that is caused by a traumatic event. PTSD can be developed when an individual experience, or observe an event that caused intense fear, helplessness and horror (Mayo Clinic, n.d.). Post-traumatic stress disorder has identifiable symptoms, specific therapeutic interventions, and affects all segments of the population. PTSD is commonly associated with our military personnel who were involved in combat, from World War 1 to the police action in Iraq this illness has been labeled a variety of names by the military such as: shell shock, battle fatigued, gross stress reaction, and post –Vietnam syndrome (Edwards, n.d.). PTSD is an emotional illness that has only been recognized as a formal diagnosis since 1980 (Edwards, R., 1996). Complex PTSD (C-PTSD) results from prolonged or severe exposure to a traumatic event and is characterized by extended problems with emotional and social functioning (Edwards, R., 1996). The most common symptoms associated with PTSD are intrusive memories which may include flashbacks, or reliving the traumatic event for minutes or even days at a time; and, upsetting dreams about the traumatic event (Mayo Clinic, n.d.). Avoidance and emotional numbness which may include trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event, feeling emotionally numb, avoiding activities once enjoyed, hopelessness about the future, memory lapses, poor concentration, and difficulty maintaining close relationships (Mayo Clinic, n.d.). Another identifiable symptom of PTSD is anxiety or increased emotional arousal which may include irritability, anger, aggression, overwhelming guilt or shame, self-destructive behavior such as substance abuse, trouble sleeping in the form of nightmares and/or insomnia, being easily startled or frightened, hearing or seeing things that aren’t there...