Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder

(PTSD)

By: Taylor Scutti

What is PTSD?

A disorder caused by experiencing some type of powerful traumatic event. The individual's normal "fight- or- flight" response has been damaged.

Prevalance?

PTSD can affect many different people, ranging from survivors of rape to survivors of natural disasters to military service men and women.


About 10% of women and 5% of men are diagnosed with PTSD in their lifetime.

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The chance of developing PTSD is much higher in veterans of war. But anyone at any age can develop it.

Causes of PTSD

#1 cause= War


> Rape

> Assault

> Mugging

> Torture

> Kidnapped/ held captive

> Child Abuse

> Accidents (car, train, plane)

> Natural Disasters (floods, earthquakes)


Plus much more....

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The Symptoms

1st Category: "Re- experiencing"

> Flashbacks

> Bad Dreams

> Frightening thoughts


2nd Category: "Avoidance"

> Staying away from places, events or objects that are reminders of the trauma

> Feeling emotionally numb

> Strong guilt

> Depression

> Worry

> Loss of interest in activities that used to be enjoyable


3rd Category: "Hyper - Arousal"

> Easily startled

> Feeling tense or on edge

> Difficulty sleeping

> Angry outbursts

Children with PTSD

Symptoms:

> Bedwetting

> Forgetting how to talk or being unable to

> Acting out the scary event during playtime

>Clinging onto a parent or other adult they feel safe with

Treatment

2 Main Treatments

> Psychotherapy

> Medication

......or both

Psychotherapy for people with PTSD usually lasts 6 to 12 weeks, but may take longer.


Another type of therapy is cognitive behavioral therapy.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

There are several parts of CBT

1. Exposure therapy

2. Cognitive restructuring

3. Stress inoculation training

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The United States Food and Drug Administration has approved two medications for treating adults with PTSD. There medications include:

> Zoloft

> Paxil


(Both of them are antidepressants)

Famous People with PTSD

New Findings

Insights have been gained about brain activity involved when fear memories control behavior. Scientists tried to determine the exact neurons in the central amygdala that control fear memory.
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