P.T.S.D

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

What is P.T.S.D

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder commonly referred to as P.T.S.D is a psychiatric disorder than an individual develops after he or she experiences a traumatic event.
  • This is where Post Traumatic Stress Disorder truly grows into something very dangerous. Although a majority of people go through trauma at one point in their lives, people suffering from P.T.S.D can never get past it.(cmha.bc,2013)
  • The emotional strain stays with the individual forever unless treated and they are constantly disturbed by the visuals they saw or experiences they felt.
  • The disturbance becomes pain and then translates into lifelong misery for the individual with the disorder taking over the way they live their life.(ptsd.va,2015)
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Who does the disorder impact?

  • The disorder, although susceptible to anyone, is most commonly developed in people with jobs that involve the safety and security of others.
  • These occupations include the military, firefighters, paramedics, the police force etc.(helpguide,2015)
  • Psychologists infer this may be because of the responsibility of the world around them at stake with each mistake proving costly.
  • 8% of all Americans are affected by the disorder at some point of their lives.(ncbi.nlm.nih, 2015)
  • The disorder is twice as more common in women than men with with an astounding 10.4% of American women more likely to develop P.T.S.D as apposed to the 5% of American men.
  • Men are more likely to develop the disorder through accidents, physical assault, combat or disaster while women are more likely to experience sexual assault or child sexual abuse.(Ptsd.va,2015)
  • There are many ways one could get affected by the disorder and it is not necessary for a person to them self be hurt. Witnessing an event such as the planes crashing into the towers in 9/11 or watching a violence can also trigger P.T.S.D.
  • The disorder is more likely to develop within people who have directly seen the event rather than on media. If a family member or a loved one of an individual was involved, P.T.S.D gets triggered much quicker.
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Causes

External Struggles

  • War
  • Natural disasters
  • Attacks involving terrorism
  • Vehicular accidents such as plane crashes, car crashes etc.
  • These incidents involve other people rather than only the individual. In these cases the person usually witnesses the traumatic experience transpire around them or are involved directly in it.

Internal struggles

  • Childhood neglect
  • Abuse(physical, sexual)
  • Kidnapping
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Copious levels of stress, depression and anxiety that helps further establish P.T.S.D
  • These incidents primarily involve the individual themselves, with them being at the focal point of the trauma.(apa.org)

Symptoms

Re-experiencing the traumatic event

  • Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event(helpguide,2015)
  • Constant flashbacks
  • Reoccurring nightmares
  • Intense Physical reactions

Avoidance and Numbing

  • Avoiding activities, events, places etc. that reminds a person of the trauma. For ex. an individual whose been in a severe car crash would likely be frightened by the sight of driving a car.(ptsdassociation,2015)
  • Begins to go through life in a constant mood of melancholy.
  • A frequent feeling of laziness.
  • A sense of a limited future for oneself.

Emotional Arousal

  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying awake(Healthguide,2015)
  • Irritablity or outbursts of anger
  • In constant red alert or fear.
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Effects(The Paris Incident)

The effects of the disorder are colossal on both a person's social life, interaction and behavior. A constant of sense of fear exists within a person with safety becoming non existent. Their world becomes delusional and a peaceful society a distant illusion.


PTSD also helps further develop other disorders such as depression, anxiety and various eating disorders. This may be because of the slump a patient of the disorder slips themselves into with a wish to only be left alone. A positive attitude gets erased completely thus affecting the work environment, social interaction and making laziness take over a conscious mind.(ptsdassociation,2013)


Lets take the recent Paris attacks as an example. Lets put a man named Jack inside the Bataclan hall, an individual that experiences the massacre first hand but manages to escape. Jack had gone to see a concert with his friends and intended to spend the night celebrating his birthday. Although he is not physically hurt, he has seen people murdered mercilessly in front of his very eyes, he has seen the faces of the people responsible and had heard the gunshots fired past his ears.


A month has passed and Jack has gone back to work but nothing has been the same. He has developed a phobia for any recreational halls as he gets memories of that night. Every time he enters a social event, he remembers the faces of those lying dead in front of him. He remembers the defenseless bodies of whom he could not save and gets addicted to alcohol to help him escape the nightmares. He's given up on life and has thrown away all hope with his closest friends having been taken away from him forever.


Jack cannot focus in school with all his attention diverted towards that night. Any noise even vaguely sounding like the gunshots of that evening distract him and overtime instills fear inside him. His lack of focus begins to negatively impact his academics, and in turn abandons him in pool of isolation. The downfall of his academic performance results in a loss of motivation and he begins to foment procrastination. No matter how he hard he tries to forget the horrific recollections, he can never get the demons out of his mind.


The sounds of dismay haunt him every night, giving him shakes at dawn and sorrows at dusk. Jack has developed P.T.S.D and needs treatment to not only rehabilitate himself but also kick start his life back to normal.(helpguide, 2015)

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Treatment

Proffesional Help

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy(Ptsd.va.gov)
  • Family Therapy
  • Psycho dynamic Therapy
  • Medication
Criticisms
  1. Professional help however could prove costly with appointments, several tests and examinations required.
  2. Medication, although may help to suppress to the disorder, holds a high chance of issuing detrimental side effects.

Personal Help

  • Exercising
  • Social interaction with others
  • Helping others and achieving a sense of happiness within oneself
  • Taking good care of hygiene and physical well being.
  • Relaxation, sobriety and maintaining physical peak is vital for personal treatment.
Criticisms
  1. There is no scientific evidence proving that personal help can highhandedly cure P.T.S.D however there have been cases in the past where the disorder got cured spontaneously. These cases however are rare and few.(nimh.nih.gov, 2015)
  2. Its better to be "safe than sorry", to simply go to a trained professional who knows the solution rather than to experiment on your own.
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How to get this help?

  • Get informed about the disorder; its signs, symptoms, causes, effects, etc.

  • If you have any doubt that you may have P.T.S.D, see a health care professional.

  • Get an appointment with a practicing therapist or psychologist that specializes in the disorder and start the program required to integrate yourself back to normal.(veterans.gc.ca)

  • Do not be afraid to get help. The faster you get help, the better it will be for you.

Trusted health care professionals

Dr Martin Neal Resnick

  • More than 30 years experience of clinical practice with credits such as the director of the Canadian Psychology Association.
  • PHD in psychology, certified registered psychologist
  • Email him with the link in the description, book an appointment and get a session.
  • Dr. Resnick focuses on issues such as depression, anxiety, relationship problems, guilt etc.
  • Treats variety of problems including P.T.S.D, depression, anxiety, anger management etc.
  • Variety of treatments such as cognitive-behavioral, behavioral, psycho dynamic and supportive therapy.(therapists.psychologytoday,2015)
  • With an office on credit valley road, he is easily accessible to patients wanting help and his previous work speaks for its self.
Criticisms


  • Dr Resnick's fees vary between $190 and $230 per session thus it is very expensive.
  • Does not accept credit card payment payment, only cash and check.
  • Sessions offered only in English.

The science behind P.T.S.D

There are 3 major parts of the brain the disorder effects: the Amygdala, Hippocampus, and Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex. The Amygdala is the hive of motivation, emotional behavior and emotions. People affected by P.T.S.D show an increase in Amygdala function in their brain. The Hippocampus is in charge of the formation of long term memories and what emotions individuals associate with those memories. The Ventromedial Prefrontal cortex is in charge of regulating behavior, governing social control and deciding actions.


  • P.T.S.D increases activity in the Amygdala with hyperactive stress responses and panic.
  • P.T.S.D reduces the volume of Hippocampus in the brain with patients losing the ability to develop new memory and forget the past ones.
  • P.T.S.D patients have a reduced Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex and exhibit extreme stress responses.
Bremner, J. "Traumatic Stress: Effects on the Brain." Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. Les Laboratoires Servier, 8 Dec. 2006. Web. 14 Dec. 2015.
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Works Cited

Samriddha Chaudhury

Smith, M., Robinson, L., & Segal, J. (2015, August 1). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/ptsd-trauma/post-traumatic-stress-disorder.htm


PTSD: National Center for PTSD. (2015, August 13). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from http://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/basics/how-common-is-ptsd.asp



The Effects of Trauma Do Not Have to Last a Lifetime. (2004, January 16). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from http://www.apa.org/research/action/ptsd.aspx



Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Canadian Mental Health Association. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from https://www.cmha.ca/mental_health/post-traumatic-stress-disorder/



PTSD Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from http://www.ptsdunited.org/ptsd-statistics-2/


Bremner, J. (2006, December 8). Traumatic stress: Effects on the brain. Retrieved December 14, 2015, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181836/


Site-wide navigation. (n.d.). Retrieved December 14, 2015, from http://www.rand.org/news/press/2008/04/17.html