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  • What
  • Symptoms
  • When to seek help
  • Diagnosed
  • Treated
  • Outlook

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

A devastating anxiety disorder is called post-traumatic stress disorder. The condition occurs due to chemical changes in the brain and has nothing to do with the character flaw or weakness. When a person witness or experience a traumatic event which engages an actual or apparent threat to an injury or death. Traumatic events include a natural disaster, physical or sexual abuse, trauma, assault or combat.

A person who is victim of post-traumatic stress disorder has a heightened sense of danger and awaiting disaster. Victim losses their fight or fight response which leads them to feel more stressful or fearful even during a safe situation.

Long before, the condition was known as “shell shock” or “battle fatigue” as it was seen very common among war veterans. The condition has gathered public attention when a greater number of war veterans suffered from the condition. Post-traumatic stress disorder could occur to anyone at any age. Several men and women are living the condition which more cases diagnosed each year.

What are the Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Symptoms associated with the condition can disrupt the victim’s normal activities and interfere with ability to function. Symptoms can be easily triggered with words, sounds or situations which recall the trauma. It is categorized with three types which are:

Reliving, which includes:

  • Recalling events as if it feels the event is going to take place again and again
  • Disturbing memories of the event
  • Constant nightmares about the event
  • Mental or physical distress upon event reminder

Avoidance, which includes:

  • Emotional apathy
  • Detachment from daily activities
  • Amnesia (memory loss) about the traumatic event
  • Lack of ability to express feelings
  • Avoiding people of situations which recalls the event

Increased arousal, which includes:

  • Lack of concentration
  • Startling easily
  • Overly reacting to a shocking event
  • Hyper vigilance
  • Bad temper
  • Trouble falling or staying asleep

Victims of post-traumatic stress disorder may be overwhelmed with remorse, depression, guilt and worry. Victims are prone to panic attacks which lead to:

  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness (Vertigo)
  • Faintness
  • Headache
  • Rapid heartbeat

When to Seek Help for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

If the victim shows or experiences the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder such as constantly upsetting thoughts, lack of action control, or fear of hurting oneself or others, then the victim should seek professional help immediately

How is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosed?

Till this date, there is no specific test to diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder. It is difficult to diagnose for the condition as the victim are unwilling to recall the rash trauma or discuss about the symptoms. For diagnosing post-traumatic stress disorder, psychiatrist or psychologist is the best qualified person.

For victim to the diagnosed for post-traumatic stress disorder, the victim need to experience all of the following for more than one month:

  • Should show at least 1 reliving symptom
  • Should show at least 2 increased arousal symptoms
  • Should show at least 3 avoidance symptoms

Symptoms which the victim experiences must be really serious and should interfere in their do-to-day activities, then only the victim can be diagnosed for the condition. The activities includes, finding difficult to go to school or work, or to be with friends and family members.

How is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Treated?

If the victim is diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, consultant psychologist will suggest you a combination of therapies, which includes:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy: Victim is encouraged to recall the traumatic event and express their opinion about it. This helps to calm the victim from the trauma and thus lowering the effects of the symptoms.
  • Support Group: Victim is encouraged to discuss their emotions with other victims with same condition. This helps the victim to feel that he/she is not alone and the conditions are not unusual.
  • Medication

What is the Outlook for People with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

Victim with the condition when receives early treatment can help the victim to ease the symptoms and provide the victim with effective strategies to deal with the disturbing thoughts, memories and flashbacks.