Post- traumatic Stress Disorder

Matt Gauss

What is Post- traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

“PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced (directly or indirectly) or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or other violent personal assault. PTSD is a real illness that causes real suffering” (
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(U.S. Department of Defense, 2014.)

What kind of disorder is PTSD?

PTSD is in the anxiety disorder category. Anxiety disorders are the most common emotional disorders that causes feelings of fear or panic.


Some common characteristics or symptoms of this disorder are dreams, memories, and flashbacks to the traumatic event. Other symptoms are sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and being easily startled. Victims may show signs of depression and aggression. This can causes the people around the victim to distance themselves.


The origin of this disorder is environmental because it is caused by a traumatic event. Some research says that genes can play a role in the development of PTSD. Certain genes that play a role in creating fear memories can cause a person to obtain the disease.


  • The medications used to treat PTSD are anti-depressants. The anti- depressants affect the chemicals in the brain to help the victim feel less sad and worried.
  • Psychotherapy is used to help treat PTSD. The therapy helps the victim accept and understand the traumatic experience in order to restore one's self- esteem. Virtual Reality Exposure therapy is also used. This therapy is when the victim recalls and talks about the traumatic event in hope that he will gain an understanding and confront the memories.

How Common is PTSD?

  • About 7.8% of Americans will experience PTSD at some point in their life.
  • Women (10.4%) are twice as likely as men (5%) to get PTSD in their life. It is found most in people ages 18 to 54.
  • About 5% of children every year are diagnosed with PTSD.
(PTSD, 2013.)

Famous Person with PTSD

Tim O’Brien experiences PTSD in everyday life and he says in an article that he never felt at home after the war and often had thoughts of suicide. He was never the same after he came home and the people around him noticed the change.

Works Consulted

PTSD: National Center for PTSD. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2014, from

PTSD. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2014, from Fact Sheet.pdf

PTSD. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2014, from

World Book Online Reference Center | Online Reference Book| Online Encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2014, from stress disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2014, from

The Vietnam in Me. (n.d.). Retrieved December 9, 2014, from

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). (n.d.). Retrieved December 10, 2014, from

U.S. Department of Defense. (2012) U.S. Army Medic. [Online Image]. Retrieved December 12, 2014, from