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Post-traumatic stress disorder: Causes, Treatment, Symptoms

Jul 31, 2023

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a mental illness, can develop in response to a traumatic event, sequence of events, or combination of circumstances. It is possible for someone to interpret this as emotionally, physically, or even life-threatening, which could have an effect on their mental, physical, social, and/or spiritual health.

 Examples include rape and sexual assault as well as historical trauma, serious accidents, terrorist attacks, war, and other conflicts.

Read this blog further to get a quick overview of this important topic for psychiatry to ace your NEET PG exam preparation.

Causes of Post-traumatic stress disorder 

You could acquire post-traumatic stress disorder if you experience, witness, or learn about an incident that involves actual or imminent death, serious injury, or sexual assault.

Doctors are unsure of the exact cause of PTSD in some patients. PTSD is likely caused by a combination of the following factors, as is the case with most mental health conditions:

  • Events that are stressful, such as the amount and severity of trauma you have gone through, as well as hereditary mental health issues, such as a family history of depression and anxiety
  • Your temperament refers to the hereditary personality qualities you possess.
  • How your brain regulates the chemicals your body makes in response to stress

Symptoms Of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The signs of PTSD differ from individual to person. However, all PTSD sufferers encounter one or more of the following:

  • Avoiding things: You might steer clear of persons or circumstances that bring up the incident. Examples include acquaintances you made while serving in the military, the neighborhood where the tragedy occurred, or crowds in general. Some PTSD sufferers try to keep themselves occupied in order to avoid thinking about the incident.
  • being tense: You may find it difficult to unwind or enjoy the things you formerly did due to the disease. You can have jitters or worry. You can be quickly shocked or prone to assuming the worst. You can also have a hard time focusing or falling asleep.
  • Positivity: PTSD can make you feel negative, arrogant, angry, depressed, doubtful, guilty, or numb.
  • Flashbacks or nightmares may represent reliving or reliving the unpleasant incident. It's possible that an unpleasant memory will suddenly spring to mind if you hear or see something similar, like a car backfiring or a fire.

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Risk Factors Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTS can affect people of any age. However, the following things could raise your risk of experiencing PTSD following a distressing event:

  • Suffering a serious or prolonged trauma
  • Having experienced additional trauma earlier in life, such as being abused as a child, having a profession that puts you at an increased risk of being exposed to traumatic situations, such as being in the military or a first responder, having additional mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety
  • Having problems with substance misuse or binge drinking, not having a supportive network of family and friends, or having members of one's immediate family who experience anxiety or despair.

Diagnosis Of Post-traumatic stress disorder 

If you have any additional medical conditions that might be causing your anxiety or if you have a physical or mental illness in addition to social anxiety disorder, your doctor will want to know.

Your doctor may determine your condition depending on:

  • Physical examination to ascertain any underlying diseases or drugs that may be contributing to the feelings of anxiety
  • Talk about your symptoms, including how often and when they happen.
  • Examine a list of situations to discover whether any of them make you anxious.
  • Self-assessment tests for social anxiety symptoms.

Criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) of the American Psychiatric Association. The DSM-5 criteria for social anxiety disorder include the following:

  • Avoiding awkward social interactions or dealing with them while experiencing chronic, extreme anxiety or dread that you might be harshly judged, disgraced, or humiliated in a certain social context
  • Extreme anxiety that, given the circumstances, is not warranted
  • Anxiety or worry that interferes with daily existence
  • Any sort of worry or terror that cannot be attributed to a condition, medication, or drug addiction.

Treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

With the help of some medications, your body can produce more of the hormones that regulate stress and emotions. There are two categories:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs.
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors, or SNRIs.

During trauma-focused therapy, the occurrence and its significance are analyzed. There are various ways to do it, including:

  • The goal of cognitive processing therapy is to change negative attitudes and beliefs connected to the traumatic event.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): You focus on certain noises or actions that the therapist has introduced as you reflect on the situation. It attempts to decrease how upsetting the incident was over time.
  • With this method, you are urged to face concepts, feelings, and situations that you have been avoiding. It's possible that you bring up your trauma on a regular basis. You might also make an effort to participate in activities you've been avoiding.

Complications Of Post-traumatic stress disorder 

If you don't get treatment for social anxiety disorder, it could take over your life. One may not be able to enjoy life, relationships, work, or school due to anxiety. This condition could lead to:

  • Low self-confidence
  • Insufficient assertiveness
  • Critical of oneself
  • Excessive sensitivity to criticism
  • A lack of social skills
  • Alone time and awkward social situations
  • Low achievement in school and in employment, substance misuse, including drinking too much alcohol.
  • Suicide or a suicide attempt
  • Major depressive disorder, substance misuse problems, and other particular mental health concerns frequently co-occur with social anxiety disorder.

Prevention Of Post-traumatic stress disorder 

There are things you can do to minimize the severity of symptoms if you feel anxiety, despite the fact that it is hard to predict what will cause someone to develop an anxiety disorder:

  • As soon as you can, get assistance. As with many other mental health conditions, waiting to seek therapy may make it more challenging.
  • Make a journal public. By keeping track of your personal life, you and your mental health professional can figure out what stresses you out and what makes you feel better.
  • Choose your top priority. Make sure to spend time doing things you like.
  • Abstain from consuming alcohol and drugs. Alcohol, other drugs, caffeine, and nicotine use can all cause or exacerbate anxiety. If you are hooked on one of these substances, giving it up can cause anxiety. Speak with your doctor, look for a support group or treatment program, or find one online if you are unable to quit smoking on your own

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