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An overview of the causes diagnosis and management of traumatic stress disorder


Often, people with PTSD have persistent frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal and feel emotionally numb, especially with people they were once close to. No matter what trauma was experienced or witnessed, people with PTSD usually experience flashbacks — intrusive memories or nightmares of the event.

They may also experience sleep problems, depressionfeeling detached or numb, or being easily startled. A person who has experience posttraumatic stress disorder may lose interest in things they used to enjoy and have trouble feeling affectionate. They may feel irritable, more aggressive than before, or even violent. Seeing things that remind them of the incident may be very distressing, which could lead them to avoid certain places or situations that bring back those memories.

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Anniversaries of the event are often very difficult. Ordinary events can serve as reminders of the trauma and trigger flashbacks or intrusive images.

A flashback may make the person lose touch with reality and reenact the event for a period of seconds or hours or, very rarely, days. A person having a flashback, which can come in the form of images, sounds, smells, or feelings, usually believes that the traumatic event is happening all over again.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder—a Diagnostic and Therapeutic Challenge

PTSD is diagnosed only if the symptoms last more than a month. In those who do have PTSD, symptoms usually begin within 3 months of the trauma, and the course of the illness varies.

  • A person having a flashback, which can come in the form of images, sounds, smells, or feelings, usually believes that the traumatic event is happening all over again;
  • Brief eclectic psychotherapy v.

Some people recover within 6 months, others have symptoms that last much longer. In some cases, the condition may be chronic.

  • Perform a physical exam to check for medical problems that may be causing your symptoms Do a psychological evaluation that includes a discussion of your signs and symptoms and the event or events that led up to them Use the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5 , published by the American Psychiatric Association Diagnosis of PTSD requires exposure to an event that involved the actual or possible threat of death, violence or serious injury;
  • But participants in the recent study differed from others in ways that potentially could impact the results.

Whether the traumatic event is experienced or witnessed, one of the defining characteristics of posttraumatic stress disorder PTSD is that the event involves the actual or perceived threat of serious injury or death to the person or others.

Traumatic events can include, but are not limited to, the following: In such cases, PTSD may be present.

An Overview of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Persons with posttraumatic stress disorder commonly display three types of symptoms: Intrusive re-experiencing symptoms are when a person has memories, flashbacks or nightmares of the event s. Avoidant or numbing symptoms are when a person withdraws from people or activities that are reminders of the traumatic event. Hyperarousal symptoms are when a person is easily startled, irritable, on edge or has trouble falling asleep.

When children have PTSD, symptoms are expressed in different ways.

For example, children may re-experience the traumatic event through repetitive play e. Researchers have suggested that PTSD tends to be more intense and lasts longer when the traumatic event involves human violence. They have also found good evidence that the likelihood of developing PTSD increases with the severity, length and proximity of exposure to the traumatic event.

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