Research Paper on Psychological Understanding of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  956 Words
Date:  2022-07-25


Psychology is a broad field with a large number of theories and methods allowing room for investigations of anything related to the mind. Mental disorders have not been left out in the topics of study in psychology with associated literature aiding in the acquisition of the knowledge on the subject. Psychological research allows for more comprehensive evaluation of mental disorders by the inclusion of biological and social perspectives. Below are examples of what are often gained from understanding psychology in attempts to discuss the idea of a particular disorder.

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Post-traumatic stress disorder whose resembling symptoms were identified in ancient Greece as a result of the battle is one of the earliest recorded psychological disorders in history. The symptoms resulted from the war, and they can be pinpointed in conflict-related situations. The designation and treatment of post-traumatic disorder did however not start until the 1970's. The most coincidental thing is that the interest to venture into knowledge expansion on the disorder identification occurred during the much-maligned Vietnam War. The post-traumatic disorder is strongly associated with involvement in wars although war is not the only type of traumatic experience linked with the disorder (MacGregor et al., 2009).


The post-traumatic disorder is an anxiety disorder involving reflection of physical or psychological witnessing, involvement in or experiencing a traumatic event. For a traumatic event to cause a post-traumatic disorder, it has to be of significant threat to the observer's well-being and can be experienced at any age. Examples of traumatic events which can lead to the disorder include; being assaulted, taking part in conflicts and wars, facing natural disaster menaces like earthquake or flood, and witnessing or taking part in murder (NCBI, 2011). The inception and duration of post-traumatic disorder vary thus being categorized into several types, which include; delayed onset which is a post-traumatic disorder which manifests long after the traumatic experience, short-term or acute post-traumatic disorder which goes on for a small period of time and lastly long-term or chronic post-traumatic disorder which affects the victim for a long duration of time.


Post-traumatic disorder lacks connection to biology which has resulted in it being diagnosed regarding the traumatic experience underwent and possible behavioral changes that may follow the event. The DSM-IV-TR diagnostic manual gives a hint that the diagnosis of the post-traumatic disorder is made based on several criteria. The diagnosable characteristics include; the exposure to trauma, the flashback of the traumatic experience, keeping away from any activity or thing related to the traumatic experience, being silent and an increase in arousal. A symptom presence for not less than a month and contributing to the poor functioning of an individual satisfies one from being diagnosed with the post-traumatic disorder. Other symptoms like an increase in heartbeat, frequent agitation, headaches, and feeling dizzy or fainting are also associated with the post-traumatic disorder.


Early identification of the disorder is arguably the first step in curing it since upon identification desensitization procedures are employed. The desensitization process allows the victim reduces the pain accompanying an event by expression of their feelings concerning the event early thus minimizing the likelihood of post-traumatic disorder behaviors occurring. Some researchers, however, suggest prevention of a person from getting the disorder following a traumatic event is the best cure, but others have argued against the same saying that psychological debriefing carried out after identification leads to the formation of the disorder. Many fields of psychology like psychotherapeutic, pharmaceutical and cognitive-behavioral have been used to lay the basis for interventions of post-traumatic disorder though no drug has been discovered for use in treatments of the disorder medicine are used to reduce the symptoms. Other strategies employed in treating post-traumatic disorder include; educating the trauma survivors the risks associated with post-traumatic disorders, allowing the survivor to re-experience, helping the survivor overcome strong feelings like shame and lastly teaching the survivor on how tactics to cope with post-traumatic reminders and memories.

Sociocultural Considerations

The socio-cultural set up of an individual dramatically contributes to the possibility of development of the post-traumatic disorder upon a traumatic experience. A weakened communication may lead to breakage of social relationships among the people due to the effects of post-traumatic disorder at the sociocultural level (Laffanye et al., 2008). Many non-governmental organizations and well-wishers have come up to help the people living with the post-traumatic disorder, but the family members of such people should be at the forefront to provide support. People who mainly suffer from the post-traumatic disorder are the military troops serving in wars and the media personnel who cover incidents that are traumatizing hence emphasizing the point that socio-cultural set up contributes to the occurrence of the disorder.


Psychology as a discipline has many fields which intermarry with other topics hence being used to give views on them. The psychologists have tried to come up with causes, effects, and solutions to mental disorders an action which has contributed significantly to the control of the disorders. It is through psychology that post-traumatic disorder has ceased to be a problem due to the exceptional research into it hence solving the puzzle. Psychology and human health cannot easily be separated therefore the world should appreciate the role of psychology in providing insights on matters of health.


Laffaye, C., Cavella, S., Drescher, K., & Rosen, C. (2008). Relationships among PTSD Symptoms, Social Support, and Support Source in Veterans With Chronic PTSD. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 21(4), 394-401.

MacGregor, A. J., Shaffer, R. A., Dougherty, A. L., Galarneau, M. R., Raman, R., Baker, D. G., Corson, K. S. (2009). Psychological Correlates of Battle and Non-battle Injury Among Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans. Military Medicine, 174(3), 224-231.

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). (2011). Post-traumatic stress disorder. In PubMed Health. Retrieved from

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Research Paper on Psychological Understanding of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). (2022, Jul 25). Retrieved from

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