April 3, 2013
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a term that many people are familiar with. We hear this on the news or read about it in the newspaper from time to time. Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD for short is often included in conversations discussing people who have survived some sort of life threatening danger or trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder causes its victims to feel frightened, worried and stressed in normal situations in which an unaffected person would feel comfortable. Symptoms of PTSD fall into three main categories which are reliving, avoidance and arousal. An example of reliving would be described as having it disturb your day to day activity. Avoidance would be described as being emotionally numb or feeling as though you don’t care about anything and feeling detached or showing less of your moods. Arousal would be described as difficulty concentrating or being startled easily. Being hyper vigilant, feeling irritable or having an outburst of anger. There are many victims of this disorder but the focus in the past few years has seem be on war veterans and has been the cause of much study.
Throughout the past century, awareness and acceptance of PTSD has risen in militaries around the world. The disorder has evolved from being at its earliest stage, the Swiss disease, then the railway spine, in the nineteenth century; traumatic hysteria and traumatic neurasthenia, later on; shell shock, and during and post-World War II, combat fatigue. Not until the Vietnam War, was the term PTSD globally accepted and treated as a legitimate mental disorder. Today’s efforts in detection and early treatment of the disorder have come at the cost of much skepticism inflicted on many victims in the past.
Since then, organizations such as the United States Department of Veterans Affairs have been focusing on providing disability insurance, suicide prevention, dependents’ educational
References: 1. Bisson J, Andrew M. Psychological treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. Cochrane Database System Rev. 2007 2. Hetrick SE, Purcell R, Garner B, Parslow B. Combined pharmacotherapy and psychological therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder. 3. American Psychiatric Association(1994), A Dual Representation Theory of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.