Hi Lovely, here is the post, I have to finish up the cites and references...
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Definition of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is described as a mental illness that comes from experiencing a major traumatic event in life that renders the victim with an inability to cope leaving them at the mercy of their worst fears. Oftentimes those experiencing PTSD are people that have served in the military in particularly horrendous war and combat situations. However, there are several life experiences that are equally to blame for the onset of PTSD. When these traumas are unexpected and cannot be controlled, they are a candidate for PTSD. The illness not only impacts the person experiencing the symptoms, but also the people that work or live with them. This includes medical personnel giving care to the patient, family members, or even co-workers. Some of the triggers of PTSD could be violent assault, a major accident such as a car crash, sexual abuse, rape, even natural disasters (APA, 1980).
Past History of the Illness
Post traumatic stress disorder is considered a legitimate and functional diagnosis but is not the only answer to trauma. Frequency in the ordinary population is anticipated between 1-8%. The disorder is linked with excessive rates of psychiatric harm in social and job-related operation. Post traumatic stress disorder can be distinguished from further psychiatric conditions such as chemical substances in living organisms, the nervous system, and the study of consciousness. Apprehension of the diagnosis in sufferers of recurring and continuing trauma could be determined by more fine-tuning of the diagnostic state. Post-traumatic stress disorder has brought disagreement and uncertainty from the time when it became listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) (APA, 1980). Though the criteria is studied and revised over the years since 1980, the underlying relationship hasn't changed much. Post-traumatic stress disorder is connected with severe anguish that goes beyond normal unhappiness and depression. To the point that interferes with every day living. Some contend that the diagnosis is correct and essential to patients suffering from the symptoms as well as the doctors in treating the condition.
Signs and Symptoms
After going through a severe distressing event, nearly all of us may have symptoms of PTSD. Some of the symptoms include nightmares, shock, or numbness or inability to have normal feelings. Recurring daydreams of what transpired by rehearsing the episode over and over again is also a common symptom. However with most people, these symptoms eventually subside once normalcy returns. For those experiencing PTSD symptoms do not subside but either are amplified or continue for months beyond what is considered normal. The onset of these symptoms could occur gradually or all of a sudden. Those that experience PTSD can find themselves reliving the traumatic event as a result of a trigger to their memory. It could be something experienced by one of the senses such as a picture, a smell or even sound. This trigger causes the memory of the trauma to return as if it has just happened. There appears to be three categories of symptoms. The first is reliving the trauma. Symptoms that are a result of this are ongoing memories of what happened. Such as flashbacks that take a person through the entire episode. Having night sweats and nightmares over what happened. Experiencing tremendous anxiety due to remembering the trauma. Physical symptoms of distress such as rapid heartbeat or breathing, tension in the muscles, and even feelings of nausea (. Another category is a desire to feel nothing by shutting down emotions. This person will refrain from doing anything that may remind them of the trauma. They will refuse to get in a relationship, go to a certain location, or perform an activity such as riding in a plane, that may remind them of the trauma. Avoiding areas that might spark interest or lead them to encounter their past. Separation from relationships or dealing with people because of fear of loss. This includes refusal to get involved in a career or long term relationship (. The last area of PTSD symptoms is the most severe. It results in a high incidence of recurring symptoms that have compounded to the degree that it affects living a normal life. These symptoms include insomnia, irritability and problems controlling anger, inability to concentrate and being on edge (.
Treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) relieves symptoms by helping you deal with the trauma you've experienced. Rather than avoiding the trauma and any reminder of it, you'll be encouraged in treatment to recall and process the emotions and sensations you felt during the original event. In addition to offering an outlet for emotions you've been bottling up, treatment for PTSD will also help restore your sense of control and reduce the powerful hold the memory of the trauma has on your life.
Treatment for PTSD
A doctor can refer a person experiencing PTSD to a psychiatrist, Trauma therapist, professional counselor or other professional with a background in treating the illness.
Treatment for the illness includes cognitive behavior therapy or controlled exposure to the triggers that lead to the condition. With the guidance of a therapist, identifying and talking through the situations that cause the symptoms to come up, helps to explain the irrationality of the fears. The idea being to recognize the fears and attach a normal perspective or reaction (. Relationship or family therapy, allows those close to the patient to walk through the memory of the event. They can then be more empathetic and helpful in understanding what the patient is going through. This repairs communication and opens up opportunities for healing for all involved. Eye Movement Desensitizing and Reprocess Therapy allows rhythmic stimulation to intercede once triggers occur. When experiencing PTSD the victim or patient can train themselves to interrupt the memory by tapping or playing a certain sound to reprogram their thoughts. The idea is to break up the memory into smaller fragments that can be unfreezed or broken down into thoughts that can be desensitized to the point of less stress.
There are also medicines that can help to manage PTSD however, these do not remove the symptoms. Instead they control the patient's mental and physical reactions by providing relaxing or interceptive brain stimulants to deflect the symptoms.
Social or psychiatric diagnosis?
One of the key problems of the investigation of post-traumatic stress disorder is from the basis of society and politics versus psychiatry (2. Yet the psychiatric changes reflect prevailing human thought over time(3. For example the changes in political correctness and social trends led to the revision of categorizing homosexuality as a medical condition or a disease. Societal environments are considered contributors to mental problems. Living in an environment such extreme poverty, traumatic conditions leading to high stress, suicidal tendencies, lack of familial relationships, and drug abuse (4. It is understood that societal living conditions are important in either adding more stressors or reducing the affects of the trauma experienced that could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (5.
What does diagnosis achieve?
The identification of PTSD came from the attempt to answer various psychological, mental and behavior related indicators that were prevalent in people experiencing severe trauma. This identification was designed to describe these symptoms as natural byproduct as a result of experiencing an unnatural or abnormal traumatic event. PTSD was not so much a disorder or pathological condition as a response to a severely disturbing incident. Being diagnosed with PTSD was intended to remove the reproach for the victim by deflecting the symptoms as the result of a highly abnormal episode. Being diagnosed with PTSD is often viewed by victims as a weakness and doctors often fail to refer sufferers for treatment. Those that are referred often fail to complete the treatment offered in the attempt to remove themselves from the negative allegations associated with the illness (6. The treatment for PTSD is still fairly inconclusive though it is categorized in the DSM and often those diagnosed feel a stigma is attached to their mental state.
The main reason to give a diagnostic categorization for an illness is to allow uniform standards of establishing communications among the various doctors and researchers dealing with the same illness. It allows continuity of treatment plans and consistency in research findings and case study. Therefore diagnosing PTSD allows the attending doctor or psychiatrist to correctly identify symptoms based on these requirements.
Causes and effects of post-traumatic stress disorder
It has been well documented that the onset of PTSD is caused by an external trauma incident, the fact is there are some preexisting areas in the victim's life that make them more susceptible (12. It is said that various psychiatric disorders including depression can result from patients that are predisposed to have such a reaction to trauma.
It is clear that those suffering from PTSD are prone to developing other more serious disorders according to (14. In addition the disease may lead to suicidal tendencies. Other areas in a patients life that are affected is familial responsibilities such as employment, being a parent or regular attendance in school. It is estimated that wage loss due to PTSD in the United States is as high as three billion dollars in loss productivity (. Other effects include dropping out of school, failed marriages, and teenage promiscuity (. From this it is clear to see that PTSD can lead to a very unproductive lifestyle resulting in serious loss for all involved.