post traumatic stress disorder

Topics: Cognitive behavioral therapy, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Psychological trauma Pages: 4 (1088 words) Published: December 4, 2013


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Amanda Smith
Stark State College

Abstract
Posttraumatic stress disorder according to the DSM V is now a trauma and stress related disorder and is no longer an anxiety disorder. This change is because the cause for PTSD is due to trauma and is not a general anxiety (American Psychiatric Publishing, 2013). PTSD occurs to individuals who have suffered a traumatic event such as rape, witnessing death, victims of natural disasters (hurricanes and tornadoes), war, and traumatic accidents. The etiology, course, prevalence, treatment and prognosis of PTSD will be examined during the course of this paper.

The etiology of PTSD is a traumatic event that caused an individual to feel extreme stress, horror or helplessness. The brain is very efficient and will protect itself from pain as we have learned extensively throughout class. When a traumatic event occurs, such as being raped or being involved in a combat situation, the body reacts and protects itself but the brain is also protecting itself. Brain imaging studies show that the hippocampus and the amygdala are highly affected by traumatic events (Cohen, 2006). The amygdala is responsible for creating the fear response and can set off a “false alarm”. In patients with PTSD it shows a hyperactive amygdala. The hippocampus is responsible for our formation of memory and studies have shown that there is a loss of volume which can cause some of the memory conditions involved with PTSD (Cohen, 2006). Another factor of PTSD is the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a hormonal system that is related to “normal stress reactions” and is also different if patients with PTSD (Cohen, 2006).

There are three separate diagnoses for PTSD and are as follows; acute, chronic and delayed onset. For each there is a different course the disorder will take. Acute PTSD occurs when symptoms are present for less than 3 months. Chronic PTSD is...

References: American Psychiatric Publishing. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. 2013. Retrieved from http://www.dsm5.org/Documents/PTSD%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf
Cohen, H. (2006). What Causes PTSD?. Psych Central. Retrieved from http://psychcentral.com/lib/what-causes-ptsd/000162
Department of Psychiatry Penn Behavioral Health. Retrieved from http://www.med.upenn.edu/ctsa/ptsd_symptoms.html
National Institute for Mental Health. Retrieved form http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml
U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. 2007. Retrieved from http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/pages/how-common-is-ptsd.asp
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