The purpose of this research is to investigate the symptoms and provide appropriate treatment for post-traumatic stress disorders. The study covers the definition, the statistics of its appearance frequency, diagnostic criteria, patterns, and all methods of treatment of PTSD. The conclusions were made that the symptoms of PTSD should not be neglected as their consequences are destructive; the major part of the community suffers from the forms of PTSD; the non-pharmacological therapy and social support play an essential role in the PTSD treatment. Although PTSD can severely damage the emotional and physical well-being of patients, and it is not entirely accepted, the continuing studies of this issue can improve the individual approach to this disease and its medication.
Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) are permanently considered to be the detail-oriented phenomenon in health care as its symptoms exert a substantial influence on the patient’s condition. The trauma exposure is regarded as “the precipitating event for PTSD to develop;” still, social, psychological, and biological factors may have an influence on the symptoms’ onset, intensity, and endurance (Yehuda, Hoge, Mcfarlane, & Vermetten, 2015). Although pharmacological therapy forms the basis of PTSD, its combination with psychotherapy achieves the best practical outcome. The purpose of this paper is to define post-traumatic stress disorder and review its diagnostic criteria, psychological symptoms, and treatment methods.
What Is PTSD?
According to Yehuda et al., post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that can develop negative symptoms as a response to extremely traumatic events including sexual assault, “interpersonal violence, combat, life-threatening accidents or natural disasters” (Yehuda et al., 2015, p. 1). The emerging and severity of PTSD depend on the individual characteristics of the patient, his genetic factors, social conditions, the biological and psychological impact of childhood, neurodevelopment processes, and other stressful incidents in the course of a lifetime. The onset of the symptoms usually can be observed after 1-3 months after the trauma exposure.
PTSD performs such symptoms as stress-related anxiety, emotional alienation, intrusive distressing memories, paranoid delusions, nightmares and sleep disorder, emotional withdrawal, irritability, and poor concentration. The continuance of the symptoms may result in depressions, substance abuse, losing interest in all sorts of activities, suicidal attempts, and aggressive behavior. The psychological disorders are frequently combined with physical distortions as the musculoskeletal heart rhythm, gastrointestinal, and metabolic disorders, inflammations, chronic pains, and the increasing risk of dementia (Bisson, Cosgrove, Lewis, & Roberts, 2015). PTSD is widely accepted as a severe malformation, which can lead to catastrophic consequences without an adequate and urgent medical response.
Statistics of PTSD Among the Community
A substantial part of contemporary American society suffers from PTSD; it is twice as common for women rather than for men due to the growing number of family-abuse cases. Also, individual mental disorders, genetic factors, and living conditions increase the risks of PTSD development. According to the statistics for recent years, more than 5 million adults in the USA have some form of PTSD, 60.7% of men and 51.2% of women experienced at least one traumatic event during their lifetime (Glover, 2014). Only 50% of this amount resorted to medical help and 21% of citizens received the appropriate, effective treatment. The surveys among the war veterans demonstrate more tragic results – more than 85% of Vietnam War veterans and around 70% of Afghanistan and Iraq veterans have moderate consequences of PTSD. Also, 39% of Afghanistan veterans have issues with alcohol and substance addiction.
Post-traumatic stress disorders can be considered as the psychological and physical response of the organism to life-threatening and distressing accidents, and it performs the advanced level of anxiety, emotional destruction, and medical comorbidities. The major part of the community experienced at least one of the traumatic events, possibly responsible for the PTSD; however, the appropriate treatment is not performed in the full range. Despite the productivity of the medical treatment by the antidepressants and mood stabilizers, the combination of it with non-pharmacological therapy and family support perform the most efficient results.
- Bisson, J. I., Cosgrove, S., Lewis, C., & Roberts, N. P. (2015). Post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Glover, L. (2014). Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) statistics for veterans. Web.
- Yehuda, R., Hoge, C. W., Mcfarlane, A., & Vermetten, E. (2015). Post-traumatic stress disorder.