Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Free Essay Samples & Outline
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The correlation between anger and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress is a mental disorder that faces an individual living under a depression condition after experiencing and living with a dangerous condition in their lives. Dangerous events linked with this disorder include those events threatening security of an individual and as well those leading the victim to feelings of helplessness. This condition has a high link with military soldiers. Similarly, individuals facing unpredictable and uncontrollable events are also prone to the condition.
In addition to individuals facing these conditions directly, witnesses to these traumatic events also experience the condition. This is inclusive of health officers, friends and as well relatives to the victim (Schiraldi, 2009). The disorder has a link with fear and anger. As a result, an individual experiencing this condition is prone to anger. Consequently, anger remains as the immediate symptom of an individual under this condition. As with any other health condition, development of this disorder differs from one individual to another. Consequently, development of symptoms depends on the victim’s ability to cope with traumatic events. This is a research paper on the interrelation between anger and post trauma disorder (Grisso, 2004).
2.Theoretical explanation of the condition
As with any other health condition, post trauma stress disorder has its biological explanation. The condition results from an over-reactive response of adrenaline when an individual experiences a traumatic event in life. The over-reactive response from adrenaline creates a response pattern on the brain that makes an individual a victim to the disorder. These patterns recorded in the brain may persist in an individual making him over-reactive when faced by a fearful event in life (Grisso, 2004).
Response patterns recorded in the brain leads to biochemical changes in the victim’s brain. This makes a victim of post-trauma stress disorder different from a patient suffering from another mental disorder. Apparently, due to these changes in biochemical responses of the victims, they become more prone to strong anger responses while faced by a fearing event in their lives (Letschert, 2010).
Apparently, as the condition has a strong link with the brain, victims demonstrate some abnormalities in their hypothalamus (part of the brain responsible for response and control of secretion of different hormones in the body). A hormone imbalance is a theoretical explanation of this disorder in victims. Due to alteration of brain patterns in the victims, there is an interruption of their brain hormone levels. Catecholamine and cortisol releasing factors are in high levels in the brain. Hormones regulated by these factors are responsible for response. Therefore, due to their high levels in the body, individuals appear over-reactive while faced by stressing events in life (Taylor, 2004).
On the other hand, post-trauma victims have low levels of serotonin hormone. Similarly, as with the other highlighted factors, this hormone results due to response patterns in the brain after traumatic events. This hormone makes these individuals appear aggressive, anxious and as well abnormal behaviors. Over response, characters demonstrated by these victims’ increases as they face stressful events. Nor epinephrine system has receptors responsible for stress response. Subjection of these receptor cells in the brain leads to hyperactive response behavior in individuals.
Apparently, these receptor cells are responsible for maintaining memories on experiences of an individual (Phillips, 2008). Consequently, victims of the disorder appear prone to nightmares and flashbacks of the trauma events experiences. More so, low levels of these receptor cell responses have a great influence on victim’s memory capacity. Often, victims experience low levels of awareness of their current environments. As a result, these victims have a difficulty while processing an experience and relating the experience with their current environment. Flashbacks experienced by these individuals’ results from their inability of perceiving their current environment and over relying on an experience of their life (Grisso, 2004).
As highlighted earlier, the condition arises due to brain damage. According to RC PSYCH, some of the most affected parts of the brain include cortex, hippocampus and as well amygdale (Rosen, 2004). Damage of the later has a great impact in human behavior as it directly influences formation of emotions in individuals. On the other hand, according to brain study reported by National Institute of Mental Health, abnormal behaviors in these patients originate from failure of coordination of their brains.
In PTSD victims, hippocampus, responsible for relating memories to their experiences, makes the individuals experience periods of flashbacks when faced by stressing situations. Due to suppression of this part of the brain, when a victim experiences a situation similar to the traumatic event, their brains develop a perception that their traumatic event is reoccurring. Therefore, these individuals experience periods of anger due to their memories (Letschert, 2010).
Cortex damage of the brain affects the coordination of hormone response to stress (Schiraldi, 2009). This results to maintenance of fear among these individuals and as well their wrong perception while dealing with stress stimuli in their lives. In addition, it influences these individuals consolidation after their traumatic event. Failure of consolidation of these memories leads to an individual developing the health disorder. Lastly, fearful response of a posttraumatic disorder has an attribute to damage of amygdale that is responsible for fear control.
3.Symptoms of PTSD
PTSD victims experience different levels of symptoms. These symptoms appear in different categories based on their demonstration in the victim. While understanding different classes of symptoms related with the disorder, it is important highlighting that children and teens have a difference while responding to the disorder. Among young children, they demonstrate these symptoms through bedwetting, having a clingy relationship with a parent and an adult relative, and in severe cases, they forget easily and have a difficulty while talking. The disorder’s symptoms include;
3.1. Reoccurrence symptoms; these are symptoms experienced by victims in their daily routines. They influence the victim’s ability to cope with other individuals in the society. They mostly start in the victim’s thoughts and feelings where they express them through words. Some of the common reoccurrence symptoms of the condition include; nightmares, some fearful and frightening thoughts and flashbacks of trauma event demonstrated through a raised heartbeat and ion some cases screams and profuse sweating (Grisso, 2004).
3.2. Avoidance symptoms: these are symptoms experienced by victims when relating to others in the society. Unlike reoccurrence symptoms, avoidance symptoms lead the victims to changing their normal schedule due to traumatic event they experienced. Some of the common avoidance symptoms experienced by victims include feelings of strong guilt and emotional numbness while carrying out their activities, loss of interests in activities involving other people, experiencing trouble while reflecting on the trauma event and lastly secluding themselves from places and objects related to their trauma event (Letschert, 2010).
3.3. Hyperactive response symptoms: these are symptoms having a relation to individual response to daily activities taking place in their current environments. It has a relation to events similar to victim’s trauma events and as well some stressing events in life. Normally, these responses are constant among people unless triggered by an external memory of a trauma event. Post trauma disorder victims often demonstrate overactive feelings of anger and fear when faced by stressing situations. More so, insomnia is another response experienced by these individuals. These symptoms pose challenges to victims while performing their daily routines such as sleeping and eating (Taylor, 2004).
4. Causes and risk factors accelerating the prevalence of PTSD
As highlighted earlier, the condition mostly results from traumatic experiences of individuals. Apparently, risk factors resulting from the condition facing these patients have a reliance on the nature of the traumatic event faced. In addition, the impact of the traumatic event depends on its nature and source. Example, a human-developed traumatic event such as theft, rape and torture, have a greater negative influence on victims while compared to the other natural life events such as accidents and natural calamities. On the other hand, as highlighted earlier, the extent at which the calamity affects the victim depends on its nature (ability to control the event and as well escape it).
Other than the highlighted prevalent cause of posttraumatic stress disorder, as well other significant factors contribute to occurrence of this condition among different victims. They include; drug and substance abuse among individuals that cause depression and hallucination in the victim and external factors in an individual’s environment that contribute to stress in their daily routines. Lastly, individuals who lack support while coping with trauma often experience high levels of PTSD.
Other than, the highlighted causes and risk factors linked with the disorder, there are as well other resilience factors that play significant roles in suppressing the impact of the disorder in the victims. Some of the resilience factors linked with the disorder include support services and rendered by friends, relatives, and as well coping ability of the individual. According to research done on significance role played by resilience factors in suppressing the disorder, researchers reported that these factors give doctors an ability of preventing and diagnosing the disorder during its early stages (Schiraldi, 2009).
5. Diagnosis of PTSD
According to reports made by National Institute of Mental Health, post trauma stress disorder affects individuals at different ages. Diagnosis of this disorder begins when a doctor talks with a patients with symptoms of PTSD. For a patient having symptoms similar with those of PSTD, he must have the following symptoms for a period of one month:
1.Having at least a single re-experiencing symptom
2.The patient should be experiencing at least three avoidance symptoms during this period
3.The patient should be experiencing a couple of symptoms that appear challenging to their daily routine and limits their participation in social activities while in work and as well while in school
4.Lastly, for a patient to undergo diagnosis with the disorder, the patient should have at least two hyperactive symptoms such as experiences of anger and irritability while relating with others in the society (Schiraldi, 2009).
6.Treatment of the disorder
The common methods of dealing with the condition include medication and psychotherapy (counseling talks with a therapist). Method applied on an individual depends on the victim’s coping ability. Treatment of PTSD aims at relieving the symptoms faced by victims and helping them cope with the trauma events in their lives. Trauma encourages victims to recall their past emotions and reactions after their first encounter with the traumatic event. In addition, treatment grants these victims a sense of control over their emotions such as anger and irritability resulting from PSTD (Grisso, 2004).
During the treatment process of this disorder, there are expectations on victims to explore their emotional feelings towards the traumatic event, addressing the problems resulting from the disorder and lastly developing measures of coping and working through feelings of fear and guilt from the traumatic condition. These expectation measures aim at giving victims control and confidence of dealing with the condition (Taylor, 2004). The most common therapies granted to patients include (Rosen, 2004):
in this therapy, the patient gets comfort and support from relatives. Consequently, relatives get a better opportunity of understanding the emotions and experiences of the patient. Often, there is an assumption that through this therapy platform, the patient is able to work on relationship issues brought about by avoidance symptoms of the disorder (Letschert, 2010).
this is another ‘talk’ treatment method applied on patients suffering from the condition. Through this therapy strategy, victims have the ability of dealing and controlling their fear emotions while exposed to trauma events in life. This strategy uses mental imagery and as well drawings aiming at bringing the patient to a situation similar to the traumatic event that led to the disorder.
Cognitive restructuring therapy: in this therapy strategy, therapists aim at helping patients in coping with feelings of guilt and as well irritability when they face bad memories of their traumatic event in life. During the therapy process, therapists help victims focus on their trauma event in a realistic manner other than with bad memories based on their experiences.
Lastly, during therapy treatment of the disorder, therapists use stress management training in helping their patients cope with anxiety and depressing situations in their lives. Similarly, as with cognitive therapy, stress management aids victims view their experiences in a positive perspective (Schiraldi, 2009).
Lastly, while treating this disorder, some medications can play a role in suppressing PTSD symptoms in a patient. Antidepressant tablets mainly play the role of reducing unpleasant symptoms present in victims. More so, anti moods tablets help individuals suffering from the condition as they reduce overactive responses and arousal symptoms that lead to insomnia. Finally, when helping a patient recover from the condition, topiramate tablets help in dealing with nightmares and as well aggressive behaviors of the victims (Phillips, 2008).
7.Culture and PTSD
Individuals faced by the disorder often experience challenges while coping with the symptoms. As a result, they need support from other society members. In many cultures, they offer supportive services to patients suffering from the disorder they grant the victims opportunities of healing from the disorder. Most societies develop rehabilitation centers where therapists attend to the patients until they take control of their emotions (Taylor, 2004). During this period, patients get the opportunity of reuniting with their relatives and as well adapting to their normal routines.
Culture offers full acceptance to patients suffering from the condition by granting them emotional support and as well physical support while carrying out their normal activities. However, some cultures view PTSD as an abnormal disorder resulting from evil spirits. Some cultures highly condemn symptoms such as nightmares and consider them strongly as outcasts to the society. Culture determines the extent of emotional support granted to PTSD patients (Letschert, 2010).
8.Relationship between anger and PTSD
Anger is a common feeling among PTSD patients. Anger results from unpleasant emotions experienced by PTSD victims. Overactive responses by these patients’ results from abnormal patterns recorded in their brains where they perceive emotions and memories with exaggerated feelings of anger. In PTSD patients, their high levels of anger result from feelings that they are not under control of their experiences and as well feelings that that they are facing some violations (Schiraldi, 2009).
There are two different classes of anger experienced by PTSD patient’s namely constructive anger and destructive anger. The former type of anger is less prevalent and is weaker in comparison with the later. Therapists use this form of anger while aiding their patients to understand their situations. This anger is controllable and harmless in nature. On the other hand, destructive anger in PTSD is harmful in nature and is often frequent in these patients. This form of anger relates with the hormonal imbalance and damage of brain cells of these patients. Therefore, overactive anger response in PTSD patients results from abnormal patterns in their brains and as well damage of their brain parts.
In conclusion, PTSD is a mental condition similar with depression. PTSD affects an individual’s ability to perceive a current situation. Patients suffering from the condition have a high linkage with brain damage brought about by physical injuries and emotional imbalances in the brain resulting from a traumatic experience. PTSD affects an individual’s ability to cope with others in the society making them seclude themselves from others and thus living an avoidance life. Treatment of this disorder is crucial during the early stages of the disorder in order to avoid its limiting effects on an individual’s routine. During the treatment process of the disorder, therapy is the common strategy used by doctors since it equips patients with different skills of being realistic and as well coping with different scopes of stress (Rosen, 2004).
Schiraldi, G. R. (2009). The post-traumatic stress disorder sourcebook: A guide to healing, recovery, and growth. New York [N.Y.: McGraw-Hill.
Taylor, S. (2004). Advances in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: Cognitive-behavioral perspectives. New York: Springer Pub. Co.
NATO Advanced Workshop on Wounds of War, Coping with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Returning Troops, Wiederhold, B. K., NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme., & North Atlantic Treaty Organization. (2010). Coping with posttraumatic stress disorder in returning troops: Wounds of war II. Amsterdam: IOS Press.
Colloquium on Stress Hormones and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Basic Studies and Clinical Perspectives, In Kloet, E. R., In Oitzl, M. S., In Vermetten, E., & Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen,. (2008). Stress hormones and post traumatic stress disorder: Basic studies and clinical perspectives.
Grisso, T. (2004). Double jeopardy: Adolescent offenders with mental disorders. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Letschert, R. M., Pemberton, A., & Staiger, I. (2010). Assisting victims of terrorism: Towards a European standard of justice. Dordrecht: Springer.
Phillips, S. B., & Kane, D. (2008). Healing together: A couple's guide to coping with trauma & post-traumatic stress. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.
Rosen, G. (2004). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Issues and Controversies. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
Essay on Post traumatic stress disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the mental health illnesses. For one to have the disorder, they must have gone through the traumatic event which are usually painful. The advantage of post traumatic disorder is that its caused is known as compared to other mental illnesses. This way a therapist knows what they are dealing with when attending to their patients.
Most of the people affected by post-traumatic stress disorder are war veterans. This is because during the war they come across traumatizing experiences which are hard to erase. Most of the victims end up taking excess alcohol, or get depressed (Thio, 12). Some of the victims end up isolating from the rest and avoid situations that will lead to them remembering what happened during the war.
The government has set up centers where the victims can seek help in case they feel they have symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder. There are veterans who seek help while there are those who decline to have the help.
Casualties of post-traumatic stress disorder find it hard to find the best solution for their condition. The problem that they face is because the condition is entirely mental. By being mental, it affects most aspects of the victim including the physical part. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a condition that causes the victim to experience hyper arousal, avoidance and emotional numbing, Corrales (24). These characteristics result from traumatic events that victims go through in a part of their lives. The study of PTSD involves observation of symptoms.
This leads to many psychologists to believe that the condition arises as a result of the body reacting to normal stress. They believe that this is the normal way of the body of reacting to stressful conditions.
There are several theories that suggest that symptoms of PTSD vary from one victim to another. This variation depends on the ability of the body to withstand and cope with a certain traumatic event. Some victims are able to recover from the condition after a very short time. Others seem to maintain the condition for a long time with some cases lasting for the rest of the victim’s life. This condition occurs as a result of breaking the basic assumption of an individual about his invulnerability and the overall safety in the environment surrounding him. Exposure to these conditions causes the brain to break down and become weak.
The brain of a person in normal circumstances can integrate the trauma in his memory. However, PTSD causes the individual’s brain to form faulty beliefs about why some situations took place. The individual’s brain interprets the activities with guilt and self-blame. This causes the individual to get problems in trusting himself. Loss of self-esteem, control and intimacy causes the person to have problems integrating trauma in his memory.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is the only disorder which is caused by anxiety and has its cause known. This uniqueness helps in its treatment since the therapist and counselors tackle the issue directly. In post-traumatic stress disorder, anything that makes one feel like it’s a traumatic experience may result to the disorder. Some of the events that are likely to cause the disorder include violent acts, life-threatening disease, surviving car crash, natural catastrophe, war, and sexual assault.
PTSD often occurs to war Veterans, for example, after the end of the Vietnam War, most of the American troops returned home. However, most of the veterans were faced with a number of psychological and social challenges. Following the Great War, most of the Vietnam veterans were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. On the other hand, those who were not diagnosed with the disorder, battled with the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (Cordesman, 27).
According to the research that was done, the veterans who experienced combat had higher chances of exhibiting post-traumatic stress disorder as compared to the ones who did not encounter the combat experiences. Moreover, among the veterans who had experienced the combat were divided into two groups depending on their roles. The two roles were the initiative and reactive roles. An example of reactive role was the foot soldier that was on the ground during the war. On the other hand, an example of initiative role was a helicopter pilot whose duty was to initiate and control the combat. However, the two roles involved the veterans risking death and serious injuries.
The foot soldier was to take care of the enemy in an environment that was full of surprise ambush attacks coming from the enemy. In this case, the confrontations from both sides were measured in feet. For the helicopter pilot, they fired at the enemy using machine guns and rockets from above and the confrontations were measured in hundreds of feet. The two groups faced different intense of the stress because there was difference when it came to viewing the after math of the battle and the distance (Cordesman, 20). Those on ground looked at the dismembered bodies, smelled and tasted death. Those who survived had to touch corpses as part of their routine.
In reality, no one wants to go through post-traumatic stress disorder. This is because for one to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, they have to go through the traumatic experience, and most of the traumatic experiences are usually painful. Moreover, the experiences end up creating lasting problems and at the same time end up controlling ones stress and anxiety levels.
The ministry of defense is reported to have said that about 11,000 serving members who went to the war have been diagnosed with various mental conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. The charity groups that helped the armed forces personnel adjust to normal life cautioned the government that the large scale redundancies meant that the victims who needed treatment would leave the group in case they lost their jobs.
Notably, the disorder can be re-experienced due to intrusive and recurrent distressing recollections of the event such as thoughts, perceptions, and images. Recurring dreams of the event, feeling and acting as if the event if recurring, exposure or reaction to cues symbolizing or resembling aspects relate to the event, physiological reactions due to exposure to cues resembling an aspect of the traumatic event, persistently avoiding stimuli linked with trauma and also numbness in general responsiveness. These include avoidance of feelings, thoughts or talks linked to the trauma, avoidance of places, people or activities arousing the trauma recollections, inability to remember significant aspects of the trauma, diminished participation or interest in important activities, feeling estranged or detached from other people, difficulty loving other people, losing hope and having a foreshortened future (England 80).
In addition, research indicates that the possible symptoms of this disorder are anger outburst or irritability, difficulty staying asleep or falling asleep, hypervigilance, difficulty in concentrating and having an exaggerated startle response. Research also indicates that this disorder causes impairment in occupational, social and other significant areas of functioning.
Research also shows that not all trauma victims develop PTSD. There is no systematic difference between victims of crime developing PTSD and those who don’t in reference to their demographic qualities such as employment, race, income, and education. Their personality or adjustment pattern may have led to the development of PTSD (Goulston, 28).
Research also shows that there is a relationship between the stress levels associated with crime and the depression before crime and the probability of developing PTSD.
This shows that victims assaulted in a severe manner have higher probability of suffering from PTSD compared to victims of lower stress crimes. Additionally, level of social support limits or prevents the development of PTSD and other psychological consequences of rape. However, victims can withdraw and avoid social support available to them. People may be more supportive in after getting full details of an assault while in some circumstances they nay not offer social support to victims. This is because they believe that the patients deserved it.
Research indicates that the most effective forms of PTSD treatment involve antidepressant medication or cognitive-behavior therapy. They can be used in combination or alone. Prolonged exposure is the psychological intervention that has been applied and tested in an extensive way. The procedure begins with information gathering in the initial sessions. Several sessions follow aimed at relieving the scene of rape from the imagination of the victim. The victims are encouraged to imagine and describe the assault to the therapist as many times as possible. The sessions are usually recorded for victims to listen to them at some time. In addition, patients are encouraged to participate outside the sessions of therapy which are safe and also eliciting fear or avoidance responses (Paulsen 98).
Cognitive therapy defines another psychological approach which can be used in combination with prolonged exposure or used alone. This form of therapy is effective in addressing maladaptive ways of perceiving events in the environment of a person. This can also be used to change unrealistic beliefs and assumptions causing negative emotions such as guilt.
Research also shows that there are numerous types of antidepressants medication which are effective in the treatment of PTSD. These include selective serotonin and inhibitors such as paroxetine and sertraline which reduce PTSD symptoms in many patients within a period of six weeks. Therefore, cognitive behavior is usually combined with medication (Kolk, 66).
Kolk, Bessel A., Alexander C. McFarlane, and Lars Weisæth. Traumatic stress: the effects of overwhelming experience on mind, body, and society. New York: Guilford Press. 1996. Print.
Paulsen, Gary. Soldier's heart: a novel of the Civil War. New York: Delacorte Press. 1996. Print.
Goulston, M., Post traumatic stress disorder for dummies. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. 2008. Print.
Cordesman, A. H., Frederiksen, P. S., Sullivan, W. D., & Center for strategic and international studies (Washington, D.C.). Salvaging American defense. Washington, D.C: CSIS Press. 2007. Print
Corales, Timothy., Focus on posttraumatic stress disorder research. New York: Nova Science Publishers. 2005. Print.