AMental Health Disorder: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
AMental Health Disorder: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental condition that affectspeople who have experienced dangerous, scary, and shocking events.Although it is natural for people to feel afraid of traumatic events,some people are unable to manage stress that results from fatalincidents (Greenberg, Dunn & Brooks, 2015). Excess stress resultsin a serious mental condition known as PTSD. PTSD was selected in thepresent study because it is currently one of the leading mentalconditions in the world (Greenberg, Dunn & Brooks, 2015). Inaddition, the continued engagement of the U.S. in wars taking placein foreign countries implies that more military officers and veteransare at a high risk of suffering from PTSD. This makes PTSD a mentaldisorder worthwhile studying.
Generalsymptoms associated with PTSD
PTSDmanifests in different ways in different persons. In most cases, thegeneral systems develop in days or hours, but they may take months orweeks from the time of exposure to a traumatic event (Greenberg, Dunn& Brooks, 2015). The general symptoms of PTSD can be put intothree categories. First, patients re-experience traumatic event,which is confirmed by a series of symptoms, such as flashbacks,upsetting memories, nightmares, and a feeling of distress. Thesepatients experience nausea, sweat, and pounding heart, especiallywhen they are reminded of the traumatic event that resulted in theirpresent condition. Secondly, PTSD patients avoid reminders oftraumatic events. This is confirmed by emotional numbness, lack ofinterest in life, and a feeling of detachment from other people.Third, emotional arousal and anxiety are common among PTSD patientscompared to the general population. Common symptoms among patientswho experience emotional arousal include irritability, troublesleeping, feeling jumpy, hyper-vigilance, difficult concentration,and outbursts (Greenberg, Dunn & Brooks, 2015).
PTSDas an inorganic-based mental condition
PTSDis classified as an inorganic-based or a non-organic mental conditionbecause it manifests in distressing experiences and undesirablebehaviors. Anxiety and pain are some of the key distressingexperiences in which PTSD manifests (Margolis & Nuschke, 2015).In addition, PTSD is differentiated from organic mental conditions inthat the conditions that lead to its manifestation are inseparablefrom emotion, normal sensation, actions, and intentions. Organicmental conditions, on the other hand, are characterized bybiochemical and physical signs.
PTSDdoes not have a constant prevalence rate, since the risk of sufferingfrom the condition is determined by the occurrence of events, such aswar. Regions affected by armed conflicts report an exponentialincrease in the prevalence of PTSD. For example, the prevalence rateof this mental condition increased from 17.1 % to 25 % immediatelyafter the Kosovo war (Yasan, Saka, Ertem, Ozkan & Ataman, 2012).The U.S., South Africa, Japan, and the Netherlands have the highestlifetime prevalence rates as follows, 70 %, 73.8 %, 60 %, 60.6 %,respectively (Atwoli, Stein, McLaughlin, & Koenen, 2015). Studiesshow that about 3.6 % (5.2 million people) of the U.S. citizens aresuffering from PTSD, while about 7-8 % are at the risk of contractingthe mental condition at some point in their life (Atwoli etal.,2015). The mental condition affects women disproportionately. Thedata show that about 10 % of the American women suffer from PTSD eachyear compared to 4 % of the total population of the American men(Atwoli etal.,2015). Gender differences in the prevalence rate are attributed tothe limited ability of women to manage post-traumatic stress comparedto their male counterparts. In addition, the high prevalence of thiscondition in the U.S. is associated with the country’s engagementin war in different countries, such as Iraq and Iran. This impliesthat the majority of those who are affected are veterans who oncetook part in different wars.
Angerand aggression are among the key personality factors that affect themajority of PTSD patients. The level of aggression varies frompatient to another, depending on the degree of arousal. Anger helpsnormal persons to cope with troubles, but it affects PTSD patientsnegatively (Mwania, 2013). This is because patients suffering fromthe disorder experience anger more frequently and it last for alonger duration. Consequently, the affected patients developaggressive behavior that becomes one of the key characteristics oftheir personality. Patients who have developed an aggressivebehavior demonstrate hyperarousal symptoms, including high tension,irritability, and being startled.
SomePTSD patients suffer from withdrawal and isolation. People who tendto isolate themselves feel uncomfortable in the social settings, suchas parties and meetings. In addition, some people with PTSD considerstaying alone to be an effective strategy for coping with stress(Mwania, 2013). However, the risk of withdrawal and isolation isassociated with the response that friends and relatives give to theaffected people. For example, PTSD patients who are surrounded byfriends and relatives who are not concerned with their mentalconditions are at higher risk of withdrawing and isolatingthemselves.
Inaddition, the negative effect that PTSD has on patient’s emotionsresults in low mood and sadness. Although changes in mood and the waythe patients express their emotions last for a few days, there arecases where these alterations become part of the patient’s life(Mwania, 2013). The affected patients lead a sad and moody life,which alters their personality in the long-run.
Appropriateand acceptable treatment
PTSDis treated using a combination of therapeutic procedures. The firsttype of therapy is medication, which involves the administration ofpharmaceutical products to address different symptoms of thedisorder. Drugs are prescribed when the health care professionalsidentify that the client does not have adequate chemicals (such asselective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, SSRI) to deal with stress(U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 2016). The drugs are used toincrease the production of inadequate hormones, thus restoring thecapacity of the patient to cope with stress. For example, theadministration of SSRI helps the clients feel less worried and sad.Examples of SSRI include sertraline, fluoxetine, and paroxetine. Some drugs (such as benzoadiazepine) are effective in the treatmentof anxiety, but they are rarely used since they are addictive.
Therapistscan also use a wide range of talk therapy procedures to address thesymptoms of PTSD. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the mostcommon types of talk therapy used to help patients with PTSD changethe way they think. The objective of CBT is to help patients resolvesymptoms that are associated with distorted thinking patterns (DVA,2016). Therapists who use cognitive behavioral therapy intends tohelp their clients comprehend how negative thoughts related to theirtrauma lead to stress and worsen their symptoms. At the end oftherapy sessions, clients are equipped with the skills that they needin order to cope with negative feelings, such as fear, guilt, andanger.
Inexposure therapy, the therapist talks about the trauma and otherrelated events repeatedly with the client. The objective of talktherapy is to enhance the ability of the clients to control theirfeelings and thought about the traumatic events that subjected themto the risk of suffering from their present disorder (DVA, 2016).Exposure therapy is founded on the assumption that human beings havethe capacity to learn how to think, feel, and deal with differentsituations that remind them about the previous traumatic events.
Psychodynamictherapy is recommended when the therapists intends to help theclients comprehend how their past affect their present. A successfulcompletion of psychodynamic therapy sessions enable patients toidentify the specific triggers of their stressful memories, developstrategies for dealing with intense feelings, increase awarenessabout their feelings as well as thoughts, and raise their self-esteem(DVA, 2016). Other methods of treatment (including family and grouptherapy) are less common, but they are also effective.
PTSDis among the most common type of mental conditions that affect peoplewho have experienced traumatizing events. Some of the generalsymptoms of this mental condition include flashbacks, upsettingmemories, nightmares, a feeling of distress, emotional reaction,avoidance, negative change in mood, and thinking. PTSD is aninorganic type of disorder because the key conditions that facilitateits manifestation cannot be separated from normal sensation, emotion,intentions, and actions. The medical condition is more prevalent inareas that are characterized by armed conflicts and countries thatengage in warfare more frequently. Some of the personality factorsthat are affected by PTSD include aggression, withdrawal, isolation,and emotional disturbance. Therapists combine medication and talktherapy to treat PTSD.
Atwoli,L., Stein, J., McLaughlin, A., Koenen, C. (2015). Epidemiology ofposttraumatic stress disorder: Prevalence, correlates andconsequences. CurrentOpinion in Psychiatry,28 (4), 307-311.
Greenberg,N., Dunn, R. & Brooks, S. (2015). Latest developments inpost-traumatic stress disorder: Diagnosis and treatment. BritishMedieval Bulletin,1, 1-9.
Margolis,B. & Nuschke, J. (2015). Mentalnervous disorders: Organic or non-organic?San Antonio, TX: ILTCI.
Mwania,J. (2013). Relationship between post election violence traumaticevents and the level of posttraumatic stress disorder among primaryschool pupils in Kibera and Kayole settlements, Kenya. InternationalJournal of Education and Research,1 (10), 1-16.
U.S.Department of Veterans Affairs (2016). PTSD: National Center forPTSD. U.S. Departmentof Veterans Affairs.Retrieved July 24, 2016, fromhttp://www.ptsd.va.gov/public/treatment/therapy-med/treatment-ptsd.asp
Yasan,A., Saka, G., Ertem, M., Ozkan, M. & Ataman, M. (2012).Prevalence of PTSD and related factors in communities living inconflictual area: Diyarbakir case. Torture,18 (1), 29-39.