Psychological Disorders

Group 3

Post traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD developers after a traumatic event that involved physical harm or the threat of physical harm

Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a common disorder in which a person experiences disabling anxiety after a traumatic event. People who have PTSD can not stop thinking about that event, and in many cases may relive the event repeatedly.

You can also develope PTSD even if the traumatic event happened to someone else, such as a loved one

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  • 4 or more weeks of haunting memories
  • Nightmares
  • Social withdrawal
  • Jumpy anxiety
  • Sleep problems
  • Startle easily
  • Feel emotionally numb
  • Act irritable
  • Lose interest in things
  • Act violent or aggressive
  • Difficulty trusting others

Can lead to...

  • Depression
  • Alcoholism
  • Getting in the way of work, daily activities, and relationships
  • Recovery time is 6 months to life


  • The amygdala (which can regulate fear) seems to work overtime with people who have PTSD
  • People with PTSD seem to have a higher level of hormones that respond to stress.

Flashback- the feeling that you are reliving the trauma over and over again

Survivor Resiliency

When people resist PTSD and can move past a traumatic event that occurred during their life.

Only about 10% of women and 20% of men react to trauma, which means most people have survivor resilency and that experience leads to a period of growth

Development of Anxiety

Learning Perspective

  • Anxiety is linked to classical conditioning
  • Fear Conditioning- anxiety is the classical conditioning of fear
  • Stimulus Generalization
  • Reinforcement
  • Observational Learning- people learn to fear the same thing that other people fear
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Biological Perspective

Natural selection: Humans seem biologically prepared to fear threats faced by our ancestors. Most of our phobias focus on objects but many of our modern fears may also have an evolutionary explanation.

Genes: Pair a traumatic event with a sensitive, high-strung temperament and the result may be a new phobia. Vulnerability to anxiety disorder rises when the afflicted relative is an identical twin.

The brain: Generalized anxiety, panic attacks, and even obsessions and compulsions are biologically measurable as an over arousal of brain areas involved in impulse control and habitual behaviors. Fear-learning experiences can traumatize the brain, by creating fear circuits within the amygdala. Some antidepressant drugs dampen this fear-circuit activity and its associated obsessive-compulsive behavior.

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Dissociative Dissorders


  • Memory loss (amnesia) of certain time periods, events and people
  • Mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts/attempts
  • A sense of being detached from yourself
  • A perception of the people and things around you as distorted and unreal
  • A blurred sense of identity
  • Significant stress or problems in your relationships, work, or other important areas of your life

Critics Say

Some critics are skeptical about dissociative identity disorder because there is no clear consensus regarding its diagnosis or treatment. Some believe that DID is caused balum atticic events that force the mind to split into multiple identities and others believe that the symptoms are caused artificially.

It is also known as Multiple Personality Disorder