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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

A former Findlay man has been indicted in Licking County on two counts of murder, in connection with the June 21 death of his 3-year-old stepson. Licking County Assistant Prosecutor Dan Huston argued during the trial that the offender punched the child in the stomach, probably several times, after becoming frustrated with him for soiling his pants. However, friends of the alleged perpetrator testified that he served in the U.S. Army until he suffered a tramatic head injury during a Humvee accident in Iraq in 2006, and said he may suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. The perpetrator was later convicted and sentenced to 15 years to life sentence despite his defense of suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. (Dillon, 2008)

Posttraumatic stress disorder is characterized by obsessions, which cause significant anxiety or distress, and/or by compulsions which serve to neutralize anxiety. According to the diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, “the essential feature of posttraumatic stress disorder is the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure to an extreme traumatic stressor involving direct personal experience of an event that involves actual or threatened death or serious injury.” (American Psychiatric Association, 2005) Many Americans experience individual traumatic events ranging from car and airplane accidents to sexual assault and domestic violence to events that took place while serving in the military. Research shows that in one out of ten Americans, the traumatic event causes a cascade of psychological and biological changes known as post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD, posttraumatic stress disorder, changes the biology of the brain. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and PET (positron emission tomography) scans show changes in the way memories are stored in the brain. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is an environmental shock that changes your brain, and scientists do not...
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