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Diagnosis And Treatment Of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

1364 words - 6 pages

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, also known as PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after a traumatic event (Riley). A more in depth definition of the disorder is given by Doctor’s Nancy Piotrowski and Lillian Range, “A maladaptive condition resulting from exposure to events beyond the realm of normal human experience and characterized by persistent difficulties involving emotional numbing, intense fear, helplessness, horror, re-experiencing of trauma, avoidance, and arousal.” People who suffer from this disease have been a part of or seen an upsetting event that haunts them after the event, and sometimes the rest of their lives. There are nicknames for this disorder such as “shell shock”, “combat neurosis”, and “battle fatigue” (Piotrowski and Range). “Battle fatigue” and “combat neurosis” refer to soldiers who have been overseas and seen disturbing scenes that cause them anxiety they will continue to have when they remember their time spent in war. It is common for a lot of soldiers to be diagnosed with PTSD when returning from battle. Throughout the history of wars American soldiers have been involved in, each war had a different nickname for what is now PTSD (Pitman et al. 769). At first, PTSD was recognized and diagnosed as a personality disorder until after the Vietnam Veterans brought more attention to the disorder, and in 1980 it became a recognized anxiety disorder (Piotrowski and Range). There is not one lone cause of PTSD, and symptoms can vary from hallucinations to detachment of friends and family, making a diagnosis more difficult than normal. To treat and in hopes to prevent those who have this disorder, the doctor may suggest different types of therapy and also prescribe medication to help subside the symptoms.
The cause of PTSD can be vast. Any type of event that someone may feel intense fear, helplessness, or horror can result in them being diagnosed with this disorder (Riley). People who have been involved with war, rape, domestic abuse, natural disasters, death, and many other emotionally exhausting events are subject to develop PTSD (Piotrowski and Range). The disorder is usually more common in people who have, “previous traumatic experience, a history of physical abuse, poor coping skills, lack of social support, existing ongoing stress, a social environment that produces shame, guilt, stigmatization, or self-hatred, alcohol abuse, and family history of mental health problems” (Riley). Conversely, not everyone who experiences a traumatic or tragic event may develop PTSD. Research has shown that, “Approximately 50%–70% of the U.S. population is exposed to a traumatic event sometime during their lifetime. However, only 5%–12% develop PTSD” (Ursano et al. 2). Risk factors may play a role in why some people develop PTSD after a traumatic event, but it can also depend on the severity of the trauma.
Just as causes varied, so do the symptoms. The most common symptoms are those that bring back the feeling the event did,...

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