Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
By: Eric Wallace
May 18, 2013
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
When people think about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, everyone thinks about different things. The thoughts of men and women coming home from a war and truly are traumatized by what they saw, and are not able to recover to live a life like they had before they went to war. Doctors will be the first to say that this is not the only way for people to develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress. People right in any neighborhood can develop the disorder and have never stepped foot near an army, navy, or marine base in their life. There are many ways for a person to develop post-traumatic stress without going to war, which most people are probably unaware of when they start to read about it. Although every person suffers differently and the effects and symptoms of PTSD are frequently different with each person, they all suffer from the same disorder. Post-traumatic Stress or more commonly known as PTSD is a regular reaction to an uncharacteristic experience that is far outside normal human experience, causing substantial distress and damage to a person mentally, physically, and emotionally. When people have experienced a tragic life experience, many develop symptoms of PTSD because of the tragedy. Tragic experiences can range from going to war and seeing horrific scenes, a bad car accident that injured themselves and possibly others, and childhood situations such as molestation or loss of a parent or close family members. Many people associate PTSD with people that only were in the military, however anyone can suffer from PTSD from other sources as well. Post-traumatic stress can affect not only the person who endured the horrific incident, but also the people closest to them that witnessed the incident, the first responders to the accident, or situation, as well as close friends and family to the person directly affected. PTSD was first diagnosed in the late 19th century and early 20th century and was at first diagnosed as something called “shellshock” mainly in men and women in the military. When the disorder was first diagnosed, people did not suffer from flash backs, and visual memories as much as people do now. Doctors blame this on the development of television and movies that recreate war scenes and can jog a person’s memory to remember their traumatic even that took place in their own life. Some people believe that they do suffer from PTSD, however there are life tragedies that happen but are not severe enough to bring on PTSD. Such situations are; divorce, a failing grade on a test or final exam, or the firing from your job or career. The situation has to be very severe and often depression is misinterpreted as PTSD symptoms that a doctor can correct. There are three main categories that are associated with the severity of Post-Traumatic Stress as well as many symptoms that are associated with the disorder. The three categories are classified as 1.) Acute, 2.) Chronic, 3.) Delayed Onset. With each category, the sufferer may experience multiple symptoms that range from reliving the tragedy repeatedly in their head, vivid flashbacks of the incident as if it were happening all over again, thoughts and images of the incident repetitively, nightmares, emotional numbness, repressing memories, cannot express affection toward others, the feeling of not having anything to live for, and feeling detached from the rest of the world. Depending on which category a person is diagnosed with will determine how many and how severe the symptoms are for them, and remember, everyone that experiences PTSD is different. There are multiple tests and screenings that can be done in order to determine if a person does indeed suffer from Post-Traumatic stress. Tests and screenings take only a few minutes to complete, but are very successful in measuring symptoms of the disorder in the patient, depending on the scale of...
References: The American Academy Experts in Traumatic Stress
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