Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Subject: Mental Health
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Word count: 1173
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PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) is a mental problem that develops as a consequence of a life-threatening event or experience. The common events where patients have developed PTSD include natural tragedies, war or even assault including sexual assault. The topic presents a research element that can be of importance in helping people to understand the specifics about the condition and related symptoms. This is critical in detecting the illness in the early stages and implementing a proper treatment and care plans. The objective of selecting the topic was to learn more about it, its, and the possible medical plans that can be effective in addressing it. This paper presents research on PTSD and outlines the related symptoms of the illness and possible healthcare approaches that can be considered when addressing it among patients.

Diagnostic Criteria as per DSM-V

The PTSD National Center for PTSD (1) and DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) categorized PTSD under the trauma and stressor-related disorders. Eight criteria distinguish PTSD from other illnesses given its symptoms and specific characteristics. The PTSD National Center for PTSD (5) states that the symptoms of PTSD as per the categorization of the DSM-V are considered conclusive if the individual characteristics related to the disease are exhibited in an adult for more than a month.

Patients diagnosed with PTSD have flashbacks of the event that caused them a form of trauma. In other patients, the common form of manifestations come regarding dreams where they relieve the situation for the second or third time making it hard for them to sleep or feel safe. Other patients have frightening thoughts. These are recurring symptoms that do not end for a long duration.

On the other hand, some of the patients would avoid places, events, or even people that would easily remind them of the event that cause them trauma. This is common among war veterans who find it quite hard to work in heavy construction companies and industries where there is heavy machinery being operated and producing sounds that remind them of war times. These symptoms are common with increased paranoia and fear. The patient would be easily startled even in a situation where others are not. Owing to these fears, insomnia becomes a common issue to the patient, which also leads to fatigue.

Tsai, Harpaz-Rotem, and Armour (546) point out that other patients with PTSD have difficulties remembering things and would, in many cases, consider an outsider. The patients easily seclude themselves from the community since they easily distrust people and face difficulties blending with family members of even friends from the past. There is a heightened mood symptom among the PTSD patients that affect their ability to eat well and they easily become estranged in their own homes.

Alisic, Zalta and Van Wesel assert that among children, some of the common symptoms to look out for include wetting the bed even for those that have learned how to use the toilet. This is a form of fear and feeling helpless for the child making it hard for them to go to the toilet at night (338). Other children stop talking to people and would only talk to specific persons that they consider close or trustworthy. It is also common for children with PTSD to act out during playtime since they feel uneasy and unprotected at other times. Lastly, other children would become clingy to their parents or siblings and would only feel safe around these specific people.

Causes

Houston, Spialek, and Perreault (242) mention that PTSD cannot be attributed to a specific causative factor. However, patients with PTSD have varied experiences that lead to trauma that, in turn, leads to PTSD. Therefore, PTSD can be considered as caused by stressful experiences that lead to a severe condition of trauma. In other cases, PTSD results from inherited diseases or factors such as anxiety or depression.

Treatment Strategies/ Medication

Treatment of PTSD is either through psychotherapy, medication, and in other cases a combination of the two approaches. The treatment approach considered for a patient is specific to the symptoms that a patient exhibits during treatment or after the diagnosis has been made. Psychotherapy includes CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy), which focuses on the trauma of the patient. The patterns that the patient exhibits during the time they are diagnosed with PTSD are critical to the completion and success of psychotherapy. The treatment approach seeks to find particular patterns of the patient that are consistent with the disease and finding a way to either change their occurrence of finding an alternative.

Medication includes the use of SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors). The SSRIs are considered as a feasible approach for the treatment of PTSD patients since it helps in reducing the rate of depression. The SSRIs work in the body to increase the rate of serotonin in the brain. This is critical in reducing tension and possible impact of the recurring events and symptoms of depressed patients.

Conclusion

PTSD is among the many traumatic illnesses and complications that continue to be prevalent across communities although some people such as war veterans are more susceptible to it. Knowledge about the disease, symptoms, and treatment options has to be considered to increase awareness. The causes are not defined, which raises the need for determining the best treatment and therapeutic approaches that would offer remedy and recovery for the patients. The variation of causes of PTSD increases the treatment options that are considered for patients based on the risk factors that triggered the development of the disease. The research was an approach to learning more about PTSD and understanding the various options patients and relatives of the patients have for addressing these concerns. At a personal level, the information helps build on the understanding and knowledge related to PTSD. At the same time, it helps to determine the measures available for consideration regarding treatment or prevention and development of the disease. The research process was critical in developing personal skills in learning and researching about the current concerns in the medical field and ways to address concerns that continue to increase poor health among patients. The topic is a suitable choice for research as it helps to identify with some of the concerns in the society concerning healthcare and personal well-being. For example, discovering that patients develop PTSD owing to past or childhood abuses increases the knowledge to pass to others for the benefit of having a stable environment for children.

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  1. Alisic, E., et al. “Rates of post-traumatic stress disorder in trauma-exposed children and adolescents: a meta-analysis.” The British Journal of Psychiatry (2014): 335.
  2. Houston, J. B., M. L. Spialek and M. F. Perreault. “Coverage of posttraumatic stress disorder in the New York Times, 1950–2012.” Journal of Health Communication (2016): 240-248.
  3. National Center for PTSD. “PTSD and DSM-5.” 2017. US Department of Veteran Affairs. 17 November 2017.
  4. Tsai, J., et al. “Dimensional structure of DSM-5 posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms: results from the National Health and Resilience in Veterans Study.” Journal of Clinical Psychiatry (2015): 546-553.
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