Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychological illness in which people repeatedly remember relive, or dream about a terrible experience” (“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” 710). Explanations of PTSD mainly focus on the way the mind is affected by traumatic experiences. The mind is unable to process information and emotions properly when one is faced with overwhelming trauma (Cohen Web). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder changes the body’s response to stress by affecting the stress hormones and chemicals that deliver information between the nerves (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Web). The “fight-or-flight” response is damaged in a person with PTSD. They are constantly feeling stressed or freighted even when they are no longer in danger (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Web). This disorder can led to substance or alcohol abuse, depression, and or panic attacks (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Web). Due to many soldiers developing this disorder it was formally known as battle fatigue, combat fatigue, and shell shock (“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” 710). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is becoming an increasingly important disease. With the current wars, the number of people being diagnosed with PTSD is constantly increasing. Currently, there is no definitive cure for Post-Traumatic; therefore the therapies are at this point, the next best effective solutions. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can result from witnessing or experiencing a natural disaster, personal assault, war, or any life threatening or violent situation (“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” 710). A flood or fire, domestic abuse, prison stay, rape, and terrorism are all examples of trauma(Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Web).
People living with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder experience many symptoms. The chief symptoms include repeated dreams, memories, and flashbacks of the event. In addition, sleeplessness, difficulty concentrating, and being easily startled are also symptoms (“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” 710). The survivor may also experience many emotional symptoms, such as anger, fear, helplessness, guilt, numbness, and isolation from others (“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” 710). There are three categories of symptoms for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The first category is reliving. Reliving includes flashbacks, repeated upsetting memories of the event, repeated nightmares of the event, and strong uncomfortable reactions to situations that remind one of the event. The second category is avoidance. Avoidance involves feeling like one does not care about anything, feeling detached, and incapability of remembering important aspects of the trauma. Also included in this category is a lack of interest in daily activities, avoiding people, places, or thoughts that remind one of the events, and feeling like there is no future. The final category is arousal. This category includes difficulty concentrating, becoming easily startled, and exaggeratingly responding to the source, awareness, being irritable or having outbursts of anger, and trouble sleeping (“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” Web). Today, treatment plans are individualized for each person and the symptoms they have. The plan usually involves standard psychoanalytical therapy or talk therapy, along with medication if needed (Thomas 51). There are several forms of therapy that survivors may take advantage of. One of the most common forms of therapy is therapy in which the survivor talks to a counselor. 3
Talk therapy is the process of connecting thoughts and feelings. It is believed to be beneficial to get these thoughts and feelings out into the open. It identifies the way the patient processed the event when it occurred, and how they understand it afterwards (Thomas 51-52). Cognitive-behavioral therapy goes one step beyond talk therapy. This treatment has the patients share their negative thoughts and emotions about the event;...
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