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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and how it affects a military personnel - Essay Example

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PTSD: What is it and How it Affects a Military Personnel Summary Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is an anxiety disorder that is brought on by an extremely stressful event, and is associated with significant cognitive, emotional and social dysfunction that affects multiple aspects of an individual’s life…
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Download file to see previous pages When a person experiences a very stressful event, and he/she also experiences extreme fear and helplessness associated with this event, the individual is at risk for the development of PTSD. PTSD can be diagnosed for someone if he/she experience flashbacks to the traumatic event(s), memory and emotional problems, avoidance of situations and objects that could trigger the memory of the trauma, and other related physiological and psychological symptoms for a minimum of one month. PTSD does not develop overnight, but presents itself through a series of stages. An individual has a traumatic experience(s), and then passes through a number of stages including emotional responses, confusion, reduced memory, distress, inability to cope with various stimuli, helplessness, and others until he/she starts to experience anger and frustration that makes the experience of PTSD visible to others. At this point the individual starts to find it difficult to cope with situations that he/she could cope with before, and this leads to depressive symptoms. Most people who present with symptoms of PTSD experience spontaneous remission, but those who do not require professional help. Chronic PTSD is associated with changes in brain functioning that hinder normal functioning of the memory and emotion pathways. Thus, people with chronic PTSD have difficulty maintaining and forming social and personal relationships. They also pose a risk for violent behaviour in personal relationships as they find it difficult to control all the negative emotions they experience. These individuals also find it difficult to complete thoughts, interact with people, and deal with social situations because they experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. A number of different consequences of PTSD are documented through research. This evidence suggests that it is important to treat the condition as soon as possible. Military personnel are among the most vulnerable with respect to PTSD, with some studies showing that they are 3 – 4 times more likely to experience at least some symptoms and to be diagnosed with PTSD as compared to other groups in the population. The military serves an important function, and thus it is necessary to understand the needs of military personnel and provide solutions to them. The events that occur in active combat can significantly affect an individual, and thus are associated with the development of PTSD. But a soldier is likely to face ridicule if he/she asks for help from mental health professionals. Thus, there is a need to develop awareness and sensitivity about PTSD and its implications for persons in service as well as with respect to the rest of their lives. Treatment of PTSD includes psychotherapy, medication and lifestyle changes. There is a growing field of evidence for the success of various treatment modalities for PTSD, and new research findings are demonstrating the efficacy of techniques that may also be used with active personnel. There are also preventive methods that increase resilience in the soldiers; and these methods can be used to ensure that fewer individuals develop symptoms of PTSD in the course of their service to their nation. Contents Summary 2 Introduction 6 What is PTSD? 7 Definition 7 Prevalence 8 Risk Factors 9 Diagnosis Criteria: DSM – IV – TR 10 Assessment 14 Research on Symptoms and Changes to the DSM Criteria 14 The ICD – 10 Criteria 15 Causes 17 Psychological Trauma 17 Neurological Causes ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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