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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Essay

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a type of anxiety condition after a person has been exposed to a very frightening event or incident (National Institute of Mental Health, 2008). This event is not necessarily something that happens to the individual person (National Center for PTSD, 2007). This means that the trauma can be experienced by witnessing a terrifying incident (PTSD, 2007). PTSD is characterized by symptoms of profound fear, helplessness, or dread (Dr. Philip Long, 2008). PTSD is not confined to afflicting adults. Even children can be afflicted with this illness (Long, 2008).

This is usually displayed in the random, unorganized or agitation in their behavior (Long, 2008). The disease is contracted, as stated earlier, when an individual experiences or witnesses a traumatic incident (NIMH, 20008). People usually connect the incident as life-endangering, dreadful or extremely dangerous (Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards, 2008). Again, as stated earlier, post traumatic stress disorder is a kind of anxiety disorder (NIMH, 2008). Anxiety disorders affect usually afflict one in about 10 people (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2008).

All people will have to face up to difficult, stressful and trying times in the course of their lifetimes (CMHA, 2008). Normally, people will have a time to grieve and accept the development in their lives, and then go ahead with the conduct of their lives (CMHA, 2008). But it is when an event that seems to be unforeseen or devastating that the thought of the danger still poses a threat to them, even if that condition has long ceased to exist (CMHA, 2008). PTSD is triggered by a psychologically shattering event that includes the threat of possible physical harm or even the possibility of death (CMHA, 2008).

People afflicted with PTSD are prone to experience this traumatic instance in their lives, try to slip away from people, instances or locations that might trigger the recall of the event (Dryden-Edwards, 2008). In a majority of cases, people who have experienced traumatic events do need a certain amount of time to heal and recover from the event (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2007). But in a few instances, the symptoms of PTSD can deteriorate and last from up to a few months to years at a time (Mayo, 2007). Post Stress Traumatic Disorder (PTSD) causes are still being determined by research into the illness (Mayo, 2007).

But what is known is that PTSD can be bought upon by the following factors (PTSD, 2007). Among these events are exposure to war or combat, physical or sexual abuse as a child, acts of terrorism, physical or sexual crimes on the victim or witnessed by the individual or natural calamities (PTSD, 2007). In the military parlance, the term has been labelled by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as combat fatigue or shell shock, while for women who are victims of rape or sexual crimes; it is called rape trauma or battered woman syndrome (Encarta, 2008).

Aside from the usual symptoms, there are also other problems relative to the contraction of PTSD. People who are afflicted with PTSD can experience alcohol or substance abuse problems, beset with shame and despair, violence in relationships that might trigger a divorce, and other physical symptoms (PTSD, 2007). Children, as mentioned earlier, can display the effects of having PTSD (PTSD, 2007). Children with PTSD can become rowdy if they do not sense the presence of their parents nearby, trouble going to sleep or toliet habits (PTSD, 2007).

Treatment of PTSD can be accomplished with a combination of drugs and psychological therapy (Mayo, 2007). Medications such as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications can help in countering the effects of PTSD (Mayo, 2007). Psychological therapy may involve some of the following modes (Mayo Clinic, 2007). These include cognitive therapy, cognitive behavior therapy or exposure therapy (Mayo, 2007). Of the three, researchers and therapists employ the cognitive behavioral therapy and the group therapy, these two showing the most promise in treating PTSD (CMHA, 2008).


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