The prevalence of PTSD is not only amongst war veterans, but it can also occur in all persons, nationalities, ethnicity, culture, and age groups.
An estimated one in 11 persons will be diagnosed to suffer from PTSD, and according to reports, women are more likely to suffer from PTSD than men because, in most cases, they are at the receiving end of sexual assaults, physical assaults, verbal abuse.
In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association included Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the DSM-III, i.e, the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders nosology scheme 2.
Controversies were surrounding the inclusion of PTSD in the DSM-III when it was first introduced. Still, the diagnosis of PTSD has played an important role in the theory and practice of psychiatry.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder became the “game-changer” in the theory and practice of psychiatry with the agreement that its cause was not within the body or due to the natural weakness of the body, but the cause is outside of the body which usually is a traumatic event.
PTSD is a unique type of mental health disorder, and it owes it to its etiological agent, which is traumatic stress.
Many patients with PTSD experience grief reactions or behavioral issues that might result in having suicidal ideas.
It is commonly said that PTSD affects direct victims of the traumatic event, but it also affects indirect victims such as family members, observers.
PTSD is complex, and it requires implanting functional, cognitive, and pharmacological components.
PTSD is a severe anxiety disorder resulting from the exposure of an individual to certain life events that can lead to psychological issues and, ultimately, psychological trauma.
The idea behind post-traumatic stress disorder is that bad, horrible experiences can become unforgettable memories that affect an individual’s consciousness after the event has occurred.
Individuals that have PTSD usually have intense and disturbing feelings related to the event that has happened before, and they can be direct victims or indirect victims. They feel sadness, anger, and find reasons to detach themselves from people.
Persons who have PTSD often make sure they avoid similar events to the traumatic events, and their reactions to triggers like loud noise or accidental touch are usually strongly negative.
The diagnosis of PTSD is generally to expose the person to similar traumatic events and see their reactions.
As stated earlier, this person does not have to be a direct victim; someone that has been exposed to details of bad and horrible events or someone that has lost a close relative can also have PTSD.
An individual with PTSD becomes paranoid, starts having issues with interpersonal relationships, and they experience flashbacks of the events that occurred that led to this disorder.
PTSD is a trauma and stressor-related disease, and according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5), the symptom must have lasted more than a month and have adverse effects on important areas of human behavior.
The criteria for diagnosing PTSD include flashbacks of the events that led to the disorder, avoidance of certain situations, and increased disturbances in behavior.
PTSD has two subtypes,
1. The Dissociative subtype which includes individuals with full criteria for diagnosing PTSD.
These individuals show signs of depersonalization, which can involve altering their personal experience.
2. The Preschool subtype; this occurs in children of 6 years and below. It has fewer symptoms because it is hard for children of that age to express their feelings and mind properly.
RISKS AND CAUSES OF PTSD
It is important to note that the cause of PTSD is different from the reasons. Most patients explain their PTSD as reasons, but psychiatric clinicians use the mixture of both the causes and reasons.
PTSD is a neurohormonal change that is caused by traumatic experiences. The reasons usually explained by patients are the consequences of the traumatic experiences expressed through hormones, emotions, and desire.
PTSD is usually caused by an external agent called “traumatic events,” a traumatic event can be; witnessing or experiencing severe abuse events, which could be emotional abuse, physical abuse, or sexual abuse.
It could be physical assaults, sexual assaults. In some individuals, the traumatic event could be witnessing or experiencing fatal accidents, illnesses, or could be war situations, human-made disasters or natural disasters, drug addiction.
In children and adults, PTSD can be as a result of witnessing or experiencing bullying from peers, being robbed, and mugging incidents. In some children, they can develop delayed-onset PTSD or acute PTSD. At a young age, exposure to traumatic events like war situations, criminal activities, rapes, robberies, violence could hinder post-war recoveries.
Also, stressful life events, lack of a functional family, community, or social support may trigger PTSD in some individuals.
For some individuals, flashbacks and nightmares are significant contributors to the psychological and biological aspects of PTSD than the traumatic events itself.
For more susceptible individuals, exposure to major traumatic events and memories from these events become eminent in these individuals, and flashbacks tend to occur frequently. War situations that include combat exposure, and also the inability to share with anyone or disclose the events some individuals have experienced, is a
- significant risk factor of developing PTSD.
- Symptoms of other related
- mental disorders can often be
misjudged to be PTSD. It is essential to note that these symptoms listed above must have occurred for more than a month in an individual before they can be managed as someone who has PTSD.
PTSD is often associated with other mental health issues like depression, general anxiety disorders, substance abuse. It can be related to physical issues like cuts resulting from self-harm, injuries from reactions to anger, etc.