PostTraumatic Stress Disorder
Inthe recent times, occurrence of many potentially traumatizingactivities has posed a challenge to the psychological well being ofindividuals and societies. For instances, massive terroristactivities, devastating natural disasters like Tsunamis and severeclimate changes among others have resulted to rapid increase of casesof the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) across the world. Thispaper will candidly discuss the three aspects of PTSD, and the meansto cope with the disorder. As indicated by U.S.Department of Health and Human Services,8.2% of persons in the age bracket of 30-34 years, as well as 9.2% ofpersons aged between 45-59 years are having PTSD, thus the need tooffer solutions in order to curb this crisis (1). Some of thesolutions include medication, pre Screening and interpersonalpsychotherapy among others. In conclusion, the role which can beplayed by governments and stakeholders such upgrading the existingmedical and counseling institutions is indicated.
Inthe last several decades, the world has witnessed many potentiallytraumatizing activities that have posed a challenge to thepsychological well being of individuals and societies. Suchhappenings include massive terrorist activities, devastating naturaldisasters like Tsunamis, earthquakes, floods and severe climatechanges. There have also been big political and economic crises,weakening social and family relations among other occurrences. Theseactivities are posing serious challenges to the well being of theindividual members of the society. A particular effect of any or acombination of several of the above occurrences is the rapid increaseof cases of the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (Simpson &Simpson, 10). This has become a challenging occurrence that needsurgent medical and therapeutic attention in order to ensureproductivity of individuals within the society and longevity of lifefor affected persons. I personally think the challenge is reaching acrisis status, and needs to be handled urgently, as the last fewyears have seen a rapid rise in PTSD cases.
PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder of severemagnitude that results from exposure to any event or events that canresult in psychological trauma. Such events may includelife-threatening, frightening or other highly unsafe conditions (U.S.Department of Health and Human Services, 1). Peoplewho suffer from PTSD are usually very sensitive to their environmentand may experience trauma when faced with conditions similar to thosethat caused the disorder. Any trauma, which can be described as alife threatening or highly frightening event that affects anindividual’s emotional well, being, can cause PTSD. Complex PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) occurs after exposure to traumasassociated with long lasting emotional and social problems.
Thesevere nature of these occurrences overwhelms an individual’semotional ability leaving the person vulnerable and unable to cope.Some causes of PTSD are extreme domestic violence, rape, assault,intensive bullying, and exposure to extreme physical pain, torture,kidnapping, and other forms of abuse. A person may sustain emotionaltrauma if they are the victims, or are witnesses of either of theexamples above and especially if the victims are closely related tothe witnesses.
Othernon-personal but equally traumatizing experiences that may result inPost Traumatic Stress Disorder include experiences of unpleasantterrorist activities, genocide or war of extremely horrendous nature,natural disasters like life challenging floods, earthquakes, volcaniceruptions and other similarly disturbing events (U.S.Department of Health and Human Services, 1).Some PTSD causes are in the family life and may include divorce,verbal or physical abuse, extreme poverty, lasting severe medicalconditions on the individual or close relatives among others. Causesof PTSD associated with the social life may include unemployment andinsecurity of threatening magnitudes. There are various aspects ofPTSD and various means of coping with it. There is the socialaspect, biological and the psychological aspects (U.S.Department of Health and Human Services, 1).This paper will discuss the three aspects of PTSD, and the means tocope with the disorder.
PostTraumatic Stress Disorder Statistics
PostTraumatic Stress Disorder cases have recently risen tremendously,especially in the category of war related complications. It is clearthat, PTSD cases have risen by 121% between 1999 and 2006, muchhigher than all disorders. By 2006, a total of 269,331 veterans werealready receiving disability aid in the US alone, not considering themillions who were not on any medication or counseling services (U.S.Department of Health and Human Services, 1).Thefigure below illustrates this fact.
Inaddition the US government official statistics show that roughly 22%of all soldiers going for peacekeeping war torn operations are havingPTSD, and one out of three security officers have sought helpregarding anxiety disorders during their service. Close to onemillion war veterans who served during the Vietnam War have PTSD, asdo more than 300,000 who served in Afghan Iraq operations till year2009, and 56,000 who served in Gulf war (Delahanty)
Apartfrom the war related issues, the general stressors in the society arecausing major psychological health issues in the community. Thequality of life today and demands of the living standards in thesociety are such that many people have coping problems. 8.2% ofpersons in the age bracket of 30-34 years, as well as 9.2% of personsaged between 45-59 years are having PTSD (U.S.Department of Health and Human Services).
(U.S.Department of Health and Human Services)
Thisis therefore a crisis, as the trend shows a rising number of peopleare getting affected and drastic measures need to be taken in orderto manage the crisis.
Suggestionsregarding reducing instances of PTSD and coping with it for Victims
Isuggest various ways to deal with the effects of PTSD some dealingwith individuals already affected and others dealing with thegovernment’s and society’s initiatives to combat the disorder,and for the individuals, the methods of coping maybe therapeutic ormedical. The medical methods are especially effective against thephysical or biological effects such as headaches, sleep disorders andstomachaches. Therapeutic interventions usually target thepsychological and social effects of PTSD. They may also be classifiedaccording to level at which it is done, and can be eitherpre-screening, preventive or for treatment.
Thisconcept has not been fully developed, but the basic method involveschecking the response time and hippocampal volume. It has been foundthat a higher response time and a smaller hippocampal volume has beenidentified as having links to PTSD (Delahnty, 1).
CognitiveBehavior Therapy (CBT)
Thisis a type of therapy that changes a patient’s behavior patternsespecially the patient’s control for thoughts that cause negativeemotions. Individuals are thought to identify thoughts that can leadto depressive moods and how to avoid or handle them. Exposure therapyhelps victims re-visit the traumatic thoughts in a manageable manner(Grohol, 1).
Themain procedure here is to involve the victim in social grouping as away to open up and share different experiences. This may introduceother procedures like exposure therapy. This method works well withpersons in advancing stage of PTSD, and these really need thepresence of others in order to feel secure and be able to view theircircumstances outside the self inflicted cocoon that leads toworsening condition. Being with others helps a victim reduce theamount of time they spend visualizing the very signs or conditionsthat lead them into PTSD (Canadian Mental Health Association,1).
Serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRI) are commonly used to treat obsessive thinking and also remove effects of traumatic memories in persons with PTSD. They also help in handling aggressive impulses, compulsive repeat of trauma triggered behavior patterns and the ability to cope. These include Citalopram, Fluoextine, Sertraline among others.
Alpha-adrenergic antagonists such as Clonidine are effective in relieving nightmares.
Antipsychotics- these reduce effects of mood disorders
Antidepressants help with sleep disturbance symptoms (England, 15).
Theindividual should learn to live within their means, and assume ahealthy and balanced outlook towards life. This may involve managingone’s expectations in order to avoid unnecessary exposure tostrenuous conditions, especially stress related to living style, asthis is a major source of PTSD among the youth. In addition, parentsand guardians need to constantly monitor and guide youth and youngadults with regard to career choices, managing peer pressure, andmaking decisions about their lives. Lack of proper guidance is also amajor contributor of stress among people reaching the threshold ofself reliance (England, 16).
Governmentand Community Administrations
Thegovernment’s role is especially important in helping the victims ofwar, crime and natural catastrophes. This is as witnessed duringHurricane Katrina and Typhoon Haiyan in the US and the Philippines inrespectively. As a result of this, there have been incorporated unitsto manage stress and anxiety within existing medical and counselinginstitutions. However, the government is yet to establish enough,dedicated aid centers for vulnerable groups such as soldiers exitingfor missions at the time when they are likely to meet excessiveviolence, death and desperation, or victims of major events such asmass shootings, robberies with violence, natural disasters such asTsunamis, mudslides or hurricanes among others (Simpson &Simpson, 11). If the government can implement pre-mission counselcenters for soldiers, this could help millions of soldiers alreadyaffected, as well as their dependants and families, cope with thepost –war syndromes that normally gravitate into PTSD (England,16). Such efforts will also have the compound benefit of helpingvictims realize a productive life again, thereby reducing the burdenof care and provision for them and their dependants that usually fallon the government, insurance companies or family relatives. It willalso help the victims realize a healthy and fulfilling quality oflife for themselves and their families.
Communitycounseling centers have traditionally been set up to help victims ofmajor events cope with the aftermath. However, a majority of theseestablishments are owned or initiated by nongovernmentalorganizations and humanitarian aid groups. It would be important,with regard to the increasing number of PTSD cases, that thegovernment, through community policing, show more dedication towardsmanaging PTSD in modern communities through joint ventures betweenthe government and aid workers, government and community volunteersor just plain community campaigns. This will help the collectivemembers of a society manage this menace, and restore psychologicaland mental health of various societies (England, 16).
Fromthe aforementioned, it is clear that, cases of Post Traumatic StressDisorder have become rampant, and they have become a challenge in thesociety. As a result, the challenge of Post Traumatic Stress Disorderneeds urgent medical and therapeutic attention in order to ensureproductivity of individuals within the society and longevity of lifefor affected persons. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is ananxiety disorder of severe magnitude that results from exposure toany event or events that can result in psychological trauma. Suchevents may include life-threatening, frightening or other highlyunsafe conditions. Some causes of PTSD are extreme domestic violence,rape, assault, intensive bullying, and exposure to extreme physicalpain, torture, kidnapping, and other forms of abuse. Causes of PTSDassociated with the social life may include unemployment andinsecurity of threatening magnitudes. There are various aspects ofPTSD and various means of coping with it.
TheDepartment of Veteran Affairs shows that PTSD cases have risen by121% between 1999 and 2006, much higher than all disorders. By 2006,a total of 269,331 veterans were already receiving disability aid inthe US alone, not considering the millions who were not on anymedication or counseling services. There are various ways suggestedto deal with the effects of PTSD some dealing with individualsalready affected and others dealing with the government’s andsociety’s initiatives to combat the disorder. Some of them includepre screening, cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), interpersonalpsychotherapy and medication. For instance, the main procedure ininterpersonal psychotherapy involves the victim in social grouping asa way to open up and share different experiences. There is the needfor parents and guardians need to constantly monitor and guide youthand young adults with regard to career choices, managing peerpressure, and making decisions about their lives. The government andcommunity leaders should also be involved by helping the victims ofwar, crime and natural catastrophes, as witnessed in various parts ofthe world such as during Hurricane Katrina and Typhoon Haiyan in theUS and the Phillipines in 2005 and 2013 respectively. This willreduce the number the number of people suffering from PTSD goingforward.
CanadianMental Health Association.Post-TraumaticStress Disorder (PTSD).2014. Web. Retrievedon April 7, 2014 from
This article is authored by Canadian Mental Health Association in 2014. In this article, PTSD is a mental illness, and it involves exposure to trauma involving death or the threat of death, serious injury, or sexual violence.
The article it aims at educating the public on what PTSD entails as well as ways in which it remains a social challenge in various parts of the world. The article also offers practical remedies to PTSD such as medication, care from the other partner among others.
The article inform on the need to report PTSD earlier enough so that they can be avoided, thus becoming an important part of this study.
DelahantyDouglasL. Towardthe predeployment detection of risk for PTSD. 2011. Web. AmericanPsychiatric Assn. Retrieved on April 7, 2014 fromhttp://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleID=102573
This article Toward the predeployment detection of risk for PTSD is authored by Douglas L. Delahanty, Ph.D. He is involved in Conducting pharmacological and psychological interventions to reduce or prevent the development of PTSD.
The article indicates the ways in which PTSD is a serious health issue which require immediate attention as it has affected above 10 million adults and children from America. For instance, PTSD cases arising from deployment rate to Iraq and Afghanistan is estimated to be between 6 and 13%.
The article also offers important ways in which PTSD can be reduced among these groups, thus important to this study.
England,Diane. ThePost Traumatic Stress Disorder Relationship: How to Support YourPartner and Keep Your Relationship Healthy.Adams Media. 2009. Web. Retrieved on April 7, 2014 from
This book is authored by Diane England who holds a PhD in clinical social work from the University of Texas at Arlington and aims to educate people on causes of PTSD.
The main purpose of this book is to educate people on ways to deal with emotions regarding their partners suffering from PTSD, helping partners cope up with their daily life issues, as well as handle sexual relationship when a partner suffers from PTSD.
This makes this book an important part of the study due to the fact that when someone suffers from PTSD, support from his partner is critical. This helps to strengthen relationship, thus a better society.
Grohol,John.What is Exposure Therapy?. PsychCentral.2009. Web. Retrieved on April 7, 2014, fromhttp://psychcentral.com/lib/what-is-exposure-therapy/0001640
This article is authored by Dr. John Grohol. Grohol. Is an s an expert in online psychology and behavior, author, researcher as well as the Chief executive officer and founder of the leading mental health and psychology network known as Psych Central.com. Therefore his works is crucial in educating people on various ways to cope up with psychology issues such as those arising from trauma.
From his article What is Exposure Therapy?, one can be able to learn on how Exposure therapy which is a specific type of cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy technique that is often used in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as well as phobias.
This makes it an important part of this research as an elaborate way in which exposure theory is used in curbing PTSD is given in detail.
SimpsonCarolyn and Simpson Dwain.Copingwith Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD): Dealing with Tragedy.The Rosen Publishing Group. 2011. Print. Retrieved on April 7, 2014from
This book, titled Coping with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD): Dealing with Tragedy is authored by Carolyn Simpson and Dwain Simpson and aims to educate people on causes and remedies to PTSD.
The book discuss such situations like natural disasters, physical abuse, wars, as well as violence which can cause stressful responses as well as describes methods of dealing with these delayed reactions to trauma,
From this one can be able to understand how PTSD can be handled as well as educate on ways to help others suffering from PTSD.
U.S.Department of Health and Human Services. Whatis post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD?2011. Web. Retrievedon April 7, 2014 fromhttp://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml
This article, authored by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2011 is important to this study due to the fact that it offers the definition to PTSD. According to the article “PTSD is an anxiety disorder that some people get after seeing or living through a dangerous event.”
The article offers the possible symptoms and treatment such as through medication among others. The following subsections are also available, Who gets PTSD?, What are the symptoms of PTSD?, Do children react differently than adults? How is PTSD detected? How is PTSD treated? Treatment after mass trauma among others.
From this one can be able to understand how PTSD can be handled and avoided through medication, psychological support among others among others, thus making it important to this study.