PTSD: how it affects and how it can be treated

Essay by kmatthews2381College, Undergraduate November 2014

download word file, 6 pages 0.0

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder(PTSD) is commonly known to affect military personnel but anyone is able to get it. PTSD can be diagnosed because of an experience of a death or serious illness of a loved one, War or combat, Car accidents and plane crashes, Hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires, or Violent crimes, like a robbery or shooting. While all these reasons can cause PTSD, these reasons do not mean that all people who experience these will actually be diagnosed with PTSD. Your genes, emotions, and family setting may all play roles. Past emotional trauma may increase your risk of PTSD after a recent traumatic event. With PTSD, the body's response to a stressful event is changed. Normally, after the event, the body recovers. The stress hormones and chemicals the body releases due to the stress go back to normal levels. For some reason in a person with PTSD, the body keeps releasing the stress hormones and chemicals.

PTSD starts at different times for different people. Signs of PTSD may start soon after a frightening event and then continue. Other people develop new or more severe signs months or even years later.

The DSM-IV-TR criteria for PTSD is that a person has to be exposed to a traumatic event by (1) experiencing, witnessing, or being confronted with an event(s) that involved either actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others. (2) the personal response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror. If it was a child- six years or younger (PTSD for preschool children)- the response might be expressed by disorganized or agitated behavior.

The traumatic event is constantly being re-experienced in (1) recurringly remembering the event, like images, thoughts, perceptions. In children it would be repetitive play in which themes or aspects of...