PTSD – Not all wounds are visible

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that a person may develop after experiencing or witnessing an extreme, overwhelming traumatic event such as sexual assault, warfare, traffic collisions, or other threats on a person’s life during which they felt intense fear, helplessness, or horror. The clusters of symptoms are trauma, intrusions, emotional numbing, increased hyperarousal and causes functional problems. As PTSD is a anxiety disorders that covers several different forms of abnormal, fears, phobias, pathological anxiety and nervous conditions that may come on suddenly or gradually over a period of several years which may impair or prevent the pursuing of normal daily routines.

downloadTypes of PTSD are
• Acute PTSD – symptoms less than three months
• Chronic PTSD – symptoms more than three months

Generally, symptoms begin within the first 3 months after the trauma, although there may be a delay of months, or even years, before symptoms appear.

There are no laboratory tests to detect post-traumatic stress disorder . It can occur at any age, including childhood and can effect anyone.

The symptoms and the relative predominance of re-experiencing, avoidance, and increased arousal symptoms may vary over the time. Duration of symptoms also varies: Complete recovery occurs within 3 months after the trauma in half of the cases approximately. Others can also have persisting symptoms for longer than 12 months after the trauma. The proximity, severity and duration of an individual’s exposure to a traumatic event are the most important factors affecting the likelihood of developing PTSD. The disorder may be especially severe or long lasting when the stressor is of human design.

Implications  are greater unemployment, relationships, health problems, violence and worse quality of life.
Treatments for PTSD are
• Cognitive Behavioral Treatments most effective psychotherapy treatments
• Medication can be an effective treatment
• Most evidence for antidepressants
• Most evidence for Cognitive Processing Therapy and Prolonged Exposure

PTSD is frequently co-morbid with other psychiatric disorders which include Anxiety disorders, Adjustment disorder, Acute Stress Disorder, Depressive disorders, Obsessive compulsive disorder and Substance Abuse disorders.

Journal of Addiction & Prevention

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