Identifying Trauma and PTSD in Clients with Psychiatric Disorders

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Identifying PTSD in Clients with Psychotic Disorders
Trauma, a severely distressing or disturbing experience, can lead to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), which is a type of anxiety disorder that results from experiencing extremely emotional trauma or situation in which the individual felt at risk of injury or death. According to Putts (2014), both trauma and PTSD are going unrecognized in clients experiencing psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depressive disorders although a majority of clients diagnosed with psychotic disorders experience symptoms that meet the criteria for PTSD (p. 83). Putts (2014) believes the phenomenon could be a result of the challenge a clients in a psychotic state presents to the clinician, who deals with clients experiencing hallucinations and dilutions as well as disorganized thought and behaviors (p. 83). The counselor may be overwhelmed by the client’s psychotic symptoms and fail to assess the client for history of trauma and or recent traumatic events that could signal the presence of PTSD. As a result clients go undiagnosed and untreated for PTSD.
Linking Traumatic Events and Psychotic Disorders
It is important to analyze the link between trauma and psychotic symptoms to be able to comprehend the lack of identification of PTSD in clients with psychotic disorders. According to Putts (2014), there is an overlap between traumatic event and psychotic disorders (p. 83). In fact, research demonstrate that…