Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

By Becca Re

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder caused by a person's exposure to life-threatening or traumatic circumstances.

Vocabulary

Cognitive behavior therapy- a therapeutic practice that helps patients recognize and remedy dysfunctional thought patterns.

Trigger- something that either sets off a disease in people who are genetically predisposed to developing the disease, or that causes a certain symptom to occur in someone who already has the disease.

Anxiety- a feeling of worry, nervousness or uneasy about an event or an uncertain outcome.

Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  • Depression.

  • Nightmares.

  • Anxiety.

  • Sudden displays of anger/aggression.

  • Flashbacks.

  • Avoiding certain situations.

Who Develops Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

People develop PTSD after being exposed to a life threatening event or a traumatizing experience. Men and women in the military can develop PTSD, people who survive a natural disaster, rape victims, or domestic abuse victims.

Demographics

  • 7.7 million American adults suffer from PTSD each year.
  • 1 of 9 women develop PTSD, making women two times more likely than men to develop PTSD.
  • 20% to 25% of people exposed to a traumatic event will develop PTSD.
  • Of the 1.6 million service members deployed to Iraq since 2001, 1 of 6 are at risk of developing PTSD.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder In the Military

Both servicemen and servicewomen can develop PTSD after a traumatic experience. PTSD is especially common among Veterans of Vietnam. However, PTSD has been around since World War One, and even the Civil War. Service members who return home and develop PTSD struggle with the reliving of the experiences they went through.

Veterans

  • 20% of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD.
  • 50% of veterans who suffer from PTSD never receive treatment.
  • Members of the Army are more likely to have PTSD than members of other branches of the military.
  • Veterans with PTSD sometimes abuse alcohol and drugs.
  • Suicide is prevalent among veterans with PTSD.
How Rescue Dogs Are Helping Veterans With PTSD

Treatment Information & Ways to Get Help

If you or someone you know is struggling from PTSD, you can call 911, go to the emergency room, call the suicide prevention hotline or call the veterans crisis line. The VA is also available to help veterans.


Treatments:

  • Medication.
  • Therapy.
  • Therapy dogs.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder cannot be cured. However, the symptoms can be treated.

Work Cited

Institute, I.M. (2014) Massage for PTSD treatment. Available at: http://irenes.edu/blog/ptsdtreatment/ (Accessed: 13 March 2016).

PTSD basics (2016) Available at: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/PTSD/public/PTSD-overview/basics/index.asp (Accessed: 13 March 2016).

Post-traumatic stress disorder (2013) Available at: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml (Accessed: 13 March 2016).

Staff, M.C. (2014) ‘Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) definition’, Mayoclinic, .

Statistics: Depression, TBI and suicide (no date) Available at: http://www.veteransandptsd.com/PTSD-statistics.html (Accessed: 13 March 2016).

Treatment of PTSD (2015) Available at: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/treatment/therapy-med/treatment-ptsd.asp (Accessed: 13 March 2016).

(no date) Available at: http://douglascowan.me/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/ptsd.jpg (Accessed: 13 March 2016).

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(no date) Available at: http://img.medscapestatic.com/pi/features/slideshow-slide/ptsd/fig10.jpg (Accessed: 13 March 2016).

(no date) Available at: http://img.medscapestatic.com/pi/features/slideshow-slide/ptsd/fig10.jpg (Accessed: 13 March 2016).

(no date) Available at: http://www.veteranstoday.com/wp-content/themes/_stylebook/timthumb.php?src=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.veteranstoday.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F06%2Fvets-ptsd.jpg&q=90&w=795&h=470&zc=1 (Accessed: 13 March 2016).