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Posttraumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) “Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened”(National institute of mental health, 2011). It is an anxiety related psychological disease which may occur after a person faces certain physical or psychological trauma. The psychological trauma could be with respect to the threat of death or threat to physical or psychological integrity. It is not necessary that these threats are against the person alone. the threats against the beloved ones can also cause PTSD. Threats of natural disasters like flood, storm, earthquake, fire etc and manmade disasters like terrorism, prison stay etc can cause PTSD. For example, after the 9/11 World Trade center attack, many of the Americans experienced PTSD because of the threats from Al-Qaida. This paper analyses the cause, symptoms and treatment options of PTSD. “PTSD starts at different times for different people. Signs of PTSD may start soon after a frightening event and then continue. Other people develop new or more severe signs months or even years later. PTSD can happen to anyone”(Medline Plus, 2011). The real cause of PTSD is still unknown to medical science. However, it is believed that various genetic, environmental and social factors are contributing to PTSD. The entire stress management mechanisms of the body are changed as a result of PTSD. “It affects the stress hormones and chemicals that carry information between the nerves (neurotransmitters). Having been exposed to trauma in the past may increase the risk of PTSD”(Post-traumatic stress disorder, 2011).Normal people and people with PTSD respond to abnormal behaviors differently. Normal people gradually forget about the abnormal event whereas for the PTSD patients, the memories of the trauma keep on agitate them in their future life. Such people may not feel better unlike normal people. their conditions may become gradually worse. Frightening dreams, avoidance, arousal etc are some of the symptoms of PTSD. Patients with PTSD may not show many interests in normal activities and the memories of the threatening event happened in the past or going to happen may destroy their normal life. Fever, headache, fainting etc are some other symptoms which co-occur with other major symptoms. “Chronic physical signs of hyperarousal, including sleep problems, trouble concentrating, irritability, anger, poor concentration, blackouts or difficulty remembering things, increased tendency and reaction to being startled, and hypervigilance to threat” (Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), 2011) etc can also appear symptoms of PTSD. Since PTSD has many symptoms, it is difficult to treat it with a single medicine. In order to reduce different types of symptoms, different types of medicines are required to treat PTSD. PTSD patients may show signs of depression, anxiety, mood changes, delusions etc. “Medicines that act on the nervous system can help reduce anxiety and other symptoms of PTSD. Antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as fluoxetine (Prozac) can be effective in treating PTSD”(Post-traumatic stress disorder, 2011). Behavioral therapy is another treatment option for PTSD. References 1. Medline Plus, (2011). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Retrieved from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/posttraumaticstressdisorder.html 2. National institute of mental health, (2011). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Retrieved from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml 3. Post-traumatic stress disorder, (2011). Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001923/ 4. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), (2011). Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/posttraumatic_stress_disorder/article.htm