PTSD

By: Darby McNeal, Kirsti Barton, Dawson Ford

What is PTSD?

Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD, is a condition in which a person who has experienced a traumatic event feels severe and long-lasting aftereffects. This disorder is common among veterans of military combat and survivors of acts of terrorism, natural disasters, catastrophes like plane crashes, and human aggression such as rape and assault. PTSD may begin immediately after the occurrence of the traumatic event or it may develop later.1 kbarton

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Symptoms

One symptom is reliving the event from memories of the traumatic event can come back at anytime you may feel the the same fear and horror you did when the event took place. Some ways this can happen is through nightmares, flashbacks, or you may hear, smell, or see something that can trigger this memory causing you to relive the event.

Another people might be avoiding situations that remind this person of an event. They may avoid big crowds, because they feel dangerous, or avoid driving if they had been in a car crash. Avoiding these can lessen the occurrence of the triggers.

Some people fight have negative changes in beliefs and feelings. This is a way they think about themselves and others changes because of a trauma. This may mean that they may not have positive or loving feelings toward other people, or may forget parts of a traumatic event and not be bale to talk about them.

Another tragic event that can happen is that they feel keyed up in another words hyper-arousal. They may become jittery or always on alert or looking out for danger. For example they may have a hard time sleeping or concentrating due to the event.

How it affects adults, men, women and children.

PTSD can make somebody hard to live with because they are startled easily, have nightmares, and often avoid certain situations. In resent studies it showed that people with PTSD have shown harmful impacts on their families. It has such a negative effect because a lot of the time people with PTSD have a hard time feeling emotions. They feel detached from other and this causes problems in the home with marriage and can lead to a child having behavioral problems. Some common reactions of family members are sympathy, native feelings, avoidance, depression, anger, guilt, and health problems. They may feel sympathy for them but a lot of the time the disabled person may get upset about it. This then causes negative feelings. It can cause the person to seem completely different, and you may believe that they are no longer the person you once loved causing you to then avoid them. Avoidance is because they don't want to see how their loved one will react and because the person with PTSD will avoid many things so it doesn't trigger the past. Depression is also a common feeling because they believe their family member will not return to normal. Then you feel anger and guilt because you can't bring them back to normal and you feel responsible for their happiness. These all effect the home life and cause many issues
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Treatments

Cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT, is one type of counseling patients can receive. CBT appears to be the most effective therapy for PTSD. Another therapy is exposure therapy and the goal with that therapy is to have less fear about memories. By talking about the trauma repeatedly patients can learn to get control of their thoughts and feelings about the event. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing, EMDR, is a third type of treatment therapy for PTSD. It can help you change how you react to memories of the event. In this therapy while you think or talk about the memories patients focus on other stimuli like eye movements, hand taps, and sounds. The therapist may move their hand near the patient’s face and the patient would follow the movement with their eyes. There are other types of therapy out there but these are the major ones.2kbarton

There is a medication called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs, and it is a type of antidepressant. This medication can help patients feel less and worried. SSRIs include medicines like citalopram, (Celexa), fluoxetine, (like Prozac), paroxetine, (Paxil), and sertraline, (Zoloft).2kbarton


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Self Diagnosis

Self diagnosis are not usually done. The diagnosis should come from a mental health professional. If you can you should work with a private mental health professional who has had experience with treating PTSD and understands the requirements for a clear diagnosis. 3kbarton

Where to get help in Springfield, IL

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Sources

1. Glenco McGrawhill Understanding Psychology

2. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website

3. Vietnam Veterans of America website