Often people are traumatized by traumatic events that take place their lives. We seldom expect these events to happen so we often do not know how to react when it does happen, this can lead to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
In this assignment is the definition of PTSD, the reason why South Africa has such a high prevalence of PTSD and also the methods of prevention of PTSD will be discussed.
DEFINITION OF POSTTRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be defined as a response people have to traumatic events in life and can arise as an immediate, delayed and/or protracted response (Seedat, 2011). These events can be natural disasters, such as a tsunami or earthquake, or it can be ‘human-made’ like a hijacking or an assault, and even things like apartheid and xenophobia (Austin, et. al. , 2011:111) (Seedat, 2011).
PTSD can lead to a person feeling helpless and having an intense fear (Austin, et. al. , 2011:111). To diagnose a person with PTSD, three main criteria of symptoms must be visible in the person namely the person must be re-experiencing the traumatic event, the person must have an avoidance associated stimilu, and the person must have a hypervigilance and chronic arousal (like having anger issues or not being able to sleep) (Austin, et. al. , 2011:111) (Seedat, 2011). These three symptoms can be in a minimum state, but all three need to be visible before a person can be diagnosed with PTSD (Austin, et. al. , 2011:111). All symptoms must be shown for a month or more and cause signifcant distress or impairment in social or occupational areas of functioning and if these symptoms carry on for more than three months it can be seen as chronic PTSD (Seedat, 2011).
Different psychological factors can play a role in the development and maintanence of PTSD. These factors were identified by Edwards (2005c) as emotionally distressing and problematic processes of guilt, shame, grief, anxiety, dysfunctional and/or