Abnormal Psych and Disorders

1460 Words Jun 21st, 2018 6 Pages
It is hard to say if the human mind is a fragile or resilient thing. On the one hand, humans are able to grow and adapt and take on struggles, while on the other, their minds can crumble beneath pressure from the stressors of life on earth, resulting in a variety of psychological disorders. One such disorder is post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the Encyclopedia of Psychology, post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, occurs after an individual experiences a particularly traumatic event, usually one where there is physical harm or an extreme threat of physical harm (Kazdin, 2000). The disorder was formally recognized for the first time in 1980 when the American Psychology Association added it to its new edition of the Diagnostic …show more content…
It was found during experimentation that mice that did not produce stathmin were less likely than other mice to freeze up when confronted with a frightening event, as were mice that produced more GRP (NIMH, n.d.). Scientists have also noted that different parts of the brain are involved in the formation and extinction fear memories and that size and structure influence how well these parts of the brain do their jobs. Since all of the above are dictated by a person’s genes, scientists theorize that there exist genetic quirks that make a person more or less susceptible to PTSD (NIMH, n.d.). Though there are external factors that could be at play as well — head trauma, a good childhood versus a troubled one, the presence of a support system or the lack thereof, etc. — there is evidence supporting a genetic proclivity toward PTSD in the fact that identical twins are more likely to both suffer from PTSD than fraternal twins (Oltmanns & Emery, 2012). This means there is a hope that examination of genetic and other factors may one day lead to the ability to predict who will suffer from PTSD and who will not.
One group of researchers has already noted a correlation between lower IQ, depressive tendencies, and reactivity and a higher tendency to exhibit post-traumatic stress symptoms (Orr, Lasko, Macklin, Pineles, Chang, & Pitman, 2012). Though the study was rather
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