Post-traumatic stress disorder

7 July 2016

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a psychological reaction to experiencing or witnessing a significantly stressful, traumatic, or shocking event. Did you know that one in three returning troops are being diagnosed with Post-traumatic stress disorder and less than 40% will seek help (PTSD Foundation of America). When people think of PTSD they automatically assume it just has to do with war veterans. But what people don’t know is that children and teens all over the United States are diagnosed with PTSD every day.

Of all the children and teens who have gone through or witnessed a traumatic event, 3-15% of girls and 1-6% of boys will develop PTSD (U. S. Department of Veteran Affairs). Adults that aren’t veterans of a foreign war can also develop PTSD after witnessing a traumatic event or natural disaster. An estimated 1 out of 10 women develop PTSD and women are about twice as likely to develop it than men (PTSD Statistics). I believe that people usually relate Post-traumatic stress disorder to just veterans of war but anyone can be affected by it at any age and their symptoms can vary depending on how severe the event is.

Post-traumatic stress disorder Essay Example

Veterans of foreign wars are not the only people affected by PTSD. Anyone who has witnessed a traumatic event or natural disaster can develop it. For example, people who were involved in 9/11, who saw the disaster, and who lost relatives or friends could have been diagnosed with PTSD (Board, A. D. A. M. Editorial). People who have had a history trauma have an increased risk of getting PTSD after a recent traumatic event. Post-traumatic stress disorder can affect people of any age, gender or culture.

Children may be more vulnerable to PTSD than adults who have experienced the same stress or trauma (Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand). Veterans aren’t the only people who can get PTSD from what they do on the job. Police officers, Medics, Firefighters, Doctors and Nurses can also develop it from what they deal with on the job. As you can see anyone at any age is at risk for developing PTSD and they don’t have to witness a war type situation to get it. There are many different things and/or events that can cause Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

You can develop PTSD when you go through, see, or learn about an event that causes intense fear, helplessness, or horror (Staff, Mayo Clinic). Psychological, genetic, physical, and social factors are involved in the causes of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. It is caused by a complex of inherited mental health risks, life experiences, and the inherited aspects of your personality – often called your temperament (Staff, Mayo Clinic). The way your brain regulates the chemicals and hormones your body releases in response to stress can also be a factor involved in the causes of PTSD.

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder can occur from natural disasters, like a flood or fire, or traumatic events, like domestic abuse or rape. Intentional human causes are the most difficult to recover from, followed by unintentional human causes. Acts of nature are the least complex and typically resolve more quickly than the other types of causes (Schiraldi, Glenn R. ). Intentional human causes can be anything from sexual, physical, and emotional abuse to witnessing a homicide.

Unintentional human causes can be anything from wrecks and crashes to surgical damage to body or loss of body part. Acts of Nature can be anything from a hurricane to the sudden loss of a family member or friend. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder often develops in the wake of exposure to a multitude of stressful events (Allen, Jon G. ). The greater the stress, the higher the likelihood of developing PTSD. People who are under a lot of stress constantly can develop PTSD because it messes with your emotional and physical stability.

When people witness any of these events that can cause Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, they should talk to someone right away to lower their chances of developing PTSD. Symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder can occur within three months of a traumatic event but in a small number of cases, they may not appear until years after the event. Intrusive memory symptoms are flashbacks and upsetting dreams about the traumatic event or natural disaster. (Staff, Mayo Clinic). People can relive the traumatic event for minutes or even days at a time.

According to The PTSD Sourcebook, physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual fatigue can be symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder. Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the event, avoiding activities they once enjoyed, hopelessness about the future, memory problems, trouble concentrating, and difficulty maintaining close relationships are all avoidance and emotional numbing symptoms (Staff, Mayo Clinic). Post-traumatic Stress Disorder symptoms can come and go, they aren’t an everyday thing.

Some examples of anxiety and increased emotional arousal symptoms are irritability, overwhelming guilt, self-destructive behavior, being easily startled, and hearing or seeing things that aren’t there (Staff, Mayo Clinic). It is normal for victims to have a tough time identifying their feelings. You have to face the symptoms to be able to get better. Some symptoms of PTSD in war veterans can include becoming emotionally upset after a trigger that brings back memories of gunfire and war and becoming physically aroused after seeing or hearing a news report (Slone, Laurie B.).

Those suffering from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder may operate on high alert at all times and often have very short fuses. Many of the PTSD symptoms are common reactions that occur following experience in a war zone. The difference is that in PTSD, they’re much more intense, much more disruptive, and they don’t go away (Slone, Laurie B. ). Getting treatment as soon as possible can help PTSD symptoms from getting worse. If they don’t decrease over a few months, or if they cause significant problems you should seek treatment from a professional.

A good social and family support system can help protect against Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. The rewind technique allows people to get rid of unwanted memories of the event, such as the nightmares, the flashbacks and the dreams. This technique has been reported to be very effective for specific traumas of finite duration in adults, usually within three to four treatment sessions (Schiraldi, Glenn R. ). It is good for people with PTSD to confront rather than avoid traumatic memories, so they realize that the memories are no longer frightening.

When children face distressing setbacks, they bounce back when embraced with love, faith, hope, and a sense of purpose. A treatment called desensitization helps reduce symptoms by encouraging the person to remember the traumatic event and express their feelings about it. Over time, memories of the event should become less frightening (Board, A. D. A. M. Editorial). Medicines that act on the nervous system can help reduce anxiety and other symptoms of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.

Antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) can be effective in treating Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (Board, A. D. A. M. Editorial). Just talking about what happened for as little as five minutes a day or twice a week can help that person overcome their fear or the event which can result in getting rid of PTSD. A way counselors or psychiatrists get their patients with PTSD to understand feelings is to make a daily thought record. This can take about fifteen minutes a day or it can be done an hour or two before that person goes to bed.

What the person writes down in the daily thought record is the event, impact of the event, intensity of event, their responses and thoughts of the event. Then they rate the responses from 1 to 10 and the intensity of the event from 1 to 10. (Board, A. D. A. M. Editorial). Declaring safety to the person is the first priority in treatment and no other therapeutic work can be done without it. Many techniques have been developed to help patients cope with frightening experiences and situations, and all these techniques require exposure to the feared stimulus.

They must become desensitized to whatever frightens them (Allen, Jon G. ). The longer someone goes without getting treatment for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, the worse their symptoms get. In conclusion, anyone at any age can be diagnosed with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder if they go through a traumatic event or witness a natural disaster. When people notice any of the symptoms in themselves or in a loved one or friend they should get help immediately or talk to that person about what they might be going through.

1,100 soldiers have taken their own lives since 2006 due to having Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. In 2008 suicide deaths began to surpass combat fatalities (PTSD Statistics). Letting people know more about PTSD and who is affected by it, what causes it, what are the symptoms and what are the treatments can help reduce suicide deaths in people with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. I believe if people know that PTSD is not only involved with war veterans then children, teens and adults will people to get help easier and faster.

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