Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Vineel Eanuga

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

It is a set of symptoms that are caused by extreme stress. In danger fear triggers life-saving reactions. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is where those reactions don´t stop after safety is reached and people still feel stressed and frightened. it can result from a variety of traumatic incidents, such as mugging, rape, torture, being kidnapped held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.
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Common signs and symptoms

Some common symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are:

  • being jittery
  • anxious
  • sleep problems
  • trouble concentrating
  • reliving traumatic events
  • Feeling emotional numb
  • bad dreams
  • feeling strong guilt, depression, or worry

How it affects people

Often people with PTSD can´t concentrate in school or at work and they actively try to avoid things that can remind them of the traumatic event which they often have flashbacks of.

Other names

Often called PTSD or shell shock with soldiers

How is it diagnosed?

Symptoms usually begin within 3 months of the incident but occasionally emerge years afterward. They must last more than a month to be considered PTSD. A doctor who has experience helping people with mental illnesses, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, can diagnose PTSD. The diagnosis is made after the doctor talks with the person who has symptoms of PTSD.

How is it treated?

Therapy, medications, or both are common treatments for PTSD. An experienced person should be treating the patient because of the types of treatments vary per person. A common therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). It has the 3 following parts:

  • Exposure therapy: This therapy helps people face and control their fear. It exposes them to the trauma they experienced in a safe way. The therapist uses these tools to help people with PTSD cope with their feelings.
  • Cognitive restructuring: This therapy helps people make sense of the bad memories. Sometimes people remember the event differently than how it happened. The therapist helps people with PTSD look at what happened in a realistic way.
  • Stress inoculation training. This therapy tries to reduce PTSD symptoms by teaching a person how to reduce anxiety. Like cognitive restructuring, this treatment helps people look at their memories in a healthy way.
2 medications are used for PTSD:

  • sertraline
  • paroxetine
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Paroxetine Structure

Interesting notes

  • PTSD in some cases can be caused by stress from things like the web and TV from traumatic events to people who experienced it, like a person watching a terror attack on TV getting PTSD while a firefighter who was actually there do his job gets PTSD. Also symptoms usually begin within 3 months of the incident but can emerge years afterward. And PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or one or more of the other anxiety disorders.