Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1693 Words
Date:  2021-04-22

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an intricate condition classified by the professional diagnostic manual (DSM) as an anxiety disorder (Vanderkolk, 2002). The traumatic experience substantially affects and disrupts a person nervous system, emotional response, mental process. It is sometimes referred to as a typical reaction to more or less bizarre events (Vanderkolk, 2002). PTSD almost always occur in teenagers and adults. It can be caused by a variety of negative experiences both natural and human inflicted. Most causes of PTSD in adults are as a results in a negative impact of childhood abuse (Reed, 2012). Other causes may be natural disasters like victims of floods, Tsunamis, or earthquakes and man-inflicted misfortunes like wars, for example, soldiers who have witnessed gross atrocities a likely to suffer from PTSD (Reed, 2012). This paper evaluates the treatment options available for adults suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder inflicted during their childhood.

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The negative impacts of child abuse on the mental conditions of adults have been evaluated for over the past century. Over the last three decades, numerous research has been documented that links child abuse to mental disability to the future life of the victims (Greenberg, 2015). When adults with PTSD seek experts attention, they find themselves diagnosed with numerous psychological disorders most of which overlap having no clear distinction (Greenberg, 2015). Child abuse is ever on the increase each day of our lives. This is true from the annual surveys that are conducted. The connection between PTSD and child abuse is related, and that is why there are many cases of individuals that suffer from the disorder.

The psychological impact of childhood abuse on the child depends on a number of factors which include the nature of abuse, the brutality of the abuse, the connection the abuser has to the child and the family set up and environment surround the child and the relationship the child has with their parent or whoever is proving care. Other factors include the previous history of the child as far as abuse is concerned and their experience with love, care, and support (Briere, 2014). These factors go a long way in the determination of the impact the abuse will have on the childs psychology and the likelihood that the experiences will hurt their mental development as they grow up (Kar, 2011). Post-Traumatic disorder develops when the victim has been exposed to danger or harmed in some way, and when during these dangerous situations the person was unable to protect themselves or get help (Javidi, 2011). The disorder develops particularly when this person experiences powerlessness, fear, and helplessness. All this are a common feature of any child abuse case.

The symptoms and diagnostic of PTSD differ from one victim to the other. However, DSM has specified about six diagnostic criteria to determine whether a person is suffering from this condition (Javidi, 2011). Diagnostics are;

Traumatic stressor. This diagnostic approach entails that a victim must have been exposed to an experience that involved actual or threatened to injure, cause them death or a physical harm to themselves or others around them (Greenberg, 2015). The person must indicate that during this traumatic experience their emotional response was marked by an intense feeling of helplessness, feeling of horror and fear (Pine, 2002). Stressor inflicted intentionally by fellow men, like rape, torture, genocides, hurt more than those caused by an act of God or natural disaster.

Intrusive symptoms. Here the patient experiences traumatic flashbacks, daydreams, and nightmares (Forneris, 2013). During these experiences, they relive the trauma just as they experienced it before. This is usually caused by an abnormal memory formation that causes them to see the past vividly in dreams (Pine, 2002). The memories can be caused by stimuli that remind the victim of the traumatizing experience or may occur in a series of images and sensations of a frozen nature that displays the traumatic events.

Avoidance symptoms; here the victims are seen to avoid anything that might remind them of the traumatic event or anything that might trigger the memories of the trauma (Greenberg, 2015). These are revealed when victims disconnect themselves from people, places or things that they associate with the trauma either directly or indirectly (Javidi, 2011). Other forms of avoidance include psychic numbing where the patients end up taking substances like a drug as a form of medication to numb the pain in the memories.

Hyper arousal: this is a condition where the victim remains in a state of red alert, in anticipation or a relapse of the danger and the trauma (Pine, 2002). These symptoms include difficulty in concentration, hyper vigilance, general irritability, intense startle response (Pine, 2002). This symptom is regarded as the most extensive diagnostic of PTSD

Duration of symptoms. The victims must have experience the above symptoms persistently for not less than a month to be considered a patient (Greenberg, 2015).

Social withdrawal. Finally, victims of PTSD exhibit substantial antisocial characteristics. Which range from inability to blend in both at work and home (Ehring, 2014). They are generally disconnected from people, including loved ones, and the larger society.

Once a person has been diagnosed with PTSD, there are a variety of treatment options available to treat the disorder. Whether it is a group or an individual (Javidi, 2011). The treatment options are a combination of steps that sometimes overlap. These options have been deemed very efficient in relieving PTSD and help the victim regain normal and healthy functioning (Cohen, 2012). The most common treatment option is the use of psycho- social intervention and the use of medication in extreme cases. These treatments offer the patient with options to recuperate. It is not fully documented on whether all these treatments work, but most of them are effective. They lower the amount of stress that an individual is going through in life. Participation in activities such as regular exercising and eating proper diet reduces the risk of emphasizing that a person is suffering from. In many cases, it is known that stress can be reduced by engaging in co-curricular activities to stop boredom. Thus, relaxation of muscles and stretching helps one stay calm for long.

Psychological and Social Interventions

This treatment option is mostly employed to a patient who reports chilling effects within a short period after they take place (Forneris, 2013). Most of these could be soldiers from combat or victims of mass killings or genocides. Nonetheless, it is also used as a treatment for adults suffering from child abuse traumas (Briere, 2014). It involves a retelling of the traumatic events, and the symptoms the victims experiences related to the development of the injury. Which is then followed by reassurance from the therapist and a strategy to cope with the symptoms. Soldiers who have come from combat are mainly administered with this treatment to assist them to recuperate.

The psychosocial intervention includes cognitive behavioral therapy. Here the patients are desensitized to the reminders or the trauma (Foa, 2002). Here the patient is trained to manage anxiety that help them to reduce anxiety altogether. The training may involve activities like mental relaxation, biofeedback, distraction techniques, social skills, and cognitive restructuring. All these aid in the treatment of the victims and this treatment has proven to be successful over the years.

The psychosocial intervention may also include psychodynamic psychotherapy (Cohen, 2012). Here the patients are helped to regain self-worth and value and learn new coping mechanisms to deal with the emotions and memories related to the trauma (Cohen, 2012). The patient gets to establish a sense of safety, they get to explore the trauma in details and helps them reconnect with their loved ones, and the wider society.

Psychosocial intervention may also involve peer counseling and group discussions (Foa, 2002). These groups are created for victims of combat but also very helpful for adults who suffered child abuse like rape and incest. Here the patients relate to each other stories and experiences and find comfort in numbers (Cohen, 2012). They help relieve guilt, especially where one may be feeling that they should have avoided such trauma, for example, victims of rape carry the guilt that they may have avoided the situations that may have led to the incident. Hearing others experiences assures them that their cases were not unique and that they are not to blame for what happened to them


Medication is critical for victims of PTSD especially those with full-blown disorders (Forneris, 2013). Medications treat both the intrusive disorders as well such feelings as depression and anxiety. His drugs are administered as a follow-up of psychosocial intervention strategy (Ehring, 2014). In spite of the fact the as of 2002, there has not been any drug that has served as a magic remedy relieving the disorder immediately, the intake of medicine has helped relieve the core symptoms while taken continuously for one to two months. Some of the commonly used medication include; Xanax or Ativan, which serve as anti-anxiety medication reducing irritability and hyperarousal. Antidepressants like Prozac and Zoloft, which reduce depression and selfish attitudes (Briere, 2014). Others are adrenergic drugs like Propranolol and Clonidine that reduces hyperarousal and impulses. Using of medicines also depends entirely on the advice that is given by the doctor. The main reason as to why individuals should only take prescribed medicine or that recommended by the doctor is because some medicines bring an allergy to an individual.

Alternative Therapies for PTSD Include.

Spiritual and religious counseling. This is because some traumatic events cause the victims to question their religious view and beliefs (Ehring, 2014). Undergoing counseling with trusted spiritual advisors may play a part as a treatment option.

Another alternative could be meditations and yoga and other forms of bodywork that help to release physical tension caused by anxiety and mental stress (Forneris, 2013). Martial art is also useful in restoring personal confidence thus relieving the victim the fear that they would experience the trauma again (Foa, 2002). On this note, other could add, art therapy like dancing, creative writing, and painting as a safe outlet for intense emotions of the traumatic experiences.

Over time, there have been controversial treatments adopted for the treatment of PTSD that have been considered controversial since they cannot be generalized to the treatment of all PTSD patients across the globe or they are subject to change depending on the surrounding, or the fact that they do not have scientific backing

Cite this page

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. (2021, Apr 22). Retrieved from

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