Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Essay

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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be a very serious and debilitating condition that occurs after a person has been exposed to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical danger happened or was threatened. The kinds of traumatic events triggering PTSD in people include violent personal assaults (rape, mugging), natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes), man-made disasters (bombings), accidents or military combat. People who suffer from PTSD often relive the experience through nightmares and flashbacks, have difficulty sleeping, and feel detached or estranged, and these symptoms can be severe enough and last long enough to significantly impair a person’s daily life. PTSD is a complicated
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Rates of PTSD are much higher in post-conflict settings such as Algeria (37%), Cambodia (28%), Ethiopia (16%), and Gaza (18%)(de Jong et al., 2001).
The first stressor criterion specifies that a person has been exposed to a catastrophic event involving actual or threatened death or injury. The second criterion, or intrusive recollection, includes symptoms that are distinctive and easily identified of PTSD. These emotions manifest in daytime fantasies, traumatic nightmares, and psychotic reenactments know as flashbacks. The third criteria, avoidant/numbing, consists of symptoms that reflect behavioral, cognitive, or emotional strategies the PTSD patients use in an attempt to reduce the likelihood that they will expose themselves to trauma-related stimuli. The fourth criteria, hyper-arousal, most closely resembles those seen in panic and generalized anxiety disorders. While symptoms such as insomnia and irritability are generic anxiety symptoms, hyper-vigilance and startle are more characteristic of PTSD. The fifth criteria, duration, specifies how long symptoms must persist in order to qualify for a PTSD diagnosis. The last criteria, functional significance, specify that the survivor must experience significant social, occupational, or other distress as a result of these symptoms. Since 1980, there has been a great deal of attention devoted
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