Identifying PTSD in Clients with Psychotic Disorders
Trauma, a severely distressing or disturbing experience, can lead to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is a type of anxiety disorder that results from experiencing extremely emotional trauma or situation in which the individual felt at risk of injury or death. According to Putts (2014), both trauma and PTSD are going unrecognized in clients experiencing psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorders although a majority of clients diagnosed with psychotic disorders experience symptoms that meet the criteria for PTSD (p. 83). Putts (2014) believes the phenomenon could be a result of the challenge a clients in a psychotic state presents to the clinician, who deals with clients experiencing hallucinations and dilutions as well as disorganized thought and behaviors (p. 83). The counselor may be overwhelmed by the client’s psychotic symptoms and fail to assess the client for history of trauma and or recent traumatic events that could signal the presence of PTSD. As a result clients go undiagnosed and untreated for PTSD.
Linking Traumatic Events and Psychotic Disorders
It is important to analyze the link between trauma and psychotic symptoms to be able to comprehend the lack of identification of PTSD in clients with psychotic disorders. According to Putts (2014), there is an overlap between traumatic event and psychotic disorders (p. 83). In fact, research demonstrate that of those clients diagnosed with episodes of psychosis 29% reported having suffered of sexual assaults, while 45% suffered physical assault by a relative, both type of assault represent a traumatic event that can result in PTSD. Also, of those individuals that participated in the research 21% suffered sexual assault and 26% physical assault from someone non-related to them (Putts, 2014, p.83). In addition, studies show that of clients who suffer psychotic disorders more than half suffered childhood abuse. To be more precise, 53% of clients hospitalized for the first time for psychosis or bipolar disorder suffered sexual and or physical abuse during childhood. This shows the relationship between traumatic events, psychotic disorders, and the existence of PTSD in those clients (Putts, 2014, p.83). The percentage of sexual and or physical abuse among clients with more than 10 hospitalization and 11 psychotic episodes are even greater. According to Putts (2014), 40% of those clients suffered sexual abuse and 60% suffered physical assault by a relative (p.83). Putts expressed his concern with the clinicians’ lack of recognition of the relationship between trauma and psychotic disorders, and how this contributes to the lack of diagnosis of PTSD in this population (Putts, 2014, p.83).
Analyzing Clinicians’ Assessment skills
It is critical that clinicians be able to identify history of trauma in clients with psychotic disorders (Putts, 2014, p.83). Researchers reviewed the clients’...