Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD

What is it?

PTSD is a disorder that is triggered by a traumatic event; either witnessing or experiencing one.
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Symptoms

-Flashbacks

-Nightmares

-Anxiety

-Uncontrolled thoughts

Causes

Going through, seeing, or learning about an event involving the threat of death, injury, or sexual violation.

-There is an increased risk if the patient has inherited mental health risks, and it could also depend on personality, life experiences, and brain chemicals.

Diagnosis and Treatment

To be diagnosed, the patient must meet the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria which includes:

-experiencing, witnessing, or reliving trauma

- learning about a close relative/friend experiencing trauma

-dreams/flashbacks


Treatment includes psychotherapy (talk therapy) and possibly medication.

Prevalence and Prognosis

About 7.8% adult Americans suffer from PTSD. 10.8% are women and 5% are men.


PTSD can be treated with psychotherapy but only about 30% have a complete recovery.

Interesting Facts and Ongoing Research

-If left untreated, PTSD will get worse.

-1 in 5 combat veterans are sufferers of PTSD

-It can lead to alcohol and drug abuse


Fluoxetine is believed to reduce the outbursts of combat vets with PTSD. It improves the mod and increases the ability to think rather than act.

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Controversies

PTSD is being diagnosed in patients that have not experienced any trauma. Instead, their "trauma" happened during childhood, such as a parents divorce or neglectful parenting. People who are unable to deal with stress of an ordinary life like the loss of a job or marital problems are being diagnosed by therapists.