There are difficult situations in every person’s life, which then cause suffering and disrupt a calm psychological state. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a type of severe mental condition that occurs after stressful, traumatic situations. For example, after getting into an emergency by car, threatening to kill or causing any other serious harm to health. In addition, sexual violence, wars, natural disasters can lead to mental disorders. This study aims to analyze post-traumatic stress disorder, its diagnoses, causes, and treatment.
Discovery of Post-Traumatic Syndrome
PTSD was discovered not so long ago, compared with many other psychological abnormalities. The American Psychiatric Association (2020) claims that soldiers taking part in the fighting after the First World War experienced severe moral and physical injuries. Later, the Association decided to include the disease in the official list of diagnosed abnormalities. This disease explained many non-standard behaviors of people who were subjected to significant stress. In addition to adults, PTSD is also inherent in children who have experienced disturbing events and therefore experienced the same sensations as adults.
A person can lose the meaning of life, ceases to communicate with loved ones, closes in on himself. Undoubtedly, this disease needs to be treated later, and a person may decide to commit suicide. Symptoms of the post-traumatic syndrome are often similar to depression. Increased fatigue, panic attacks, irritability. In addition, sleep disorders, apathy, and unwillingness to do what we once loved. A person becomes aggressive, and emotions cease to be bright; there is a violation of memory and concentration.
Stages of Post-Traumatic Syndrome
The first days people experience a state of shock, which does not let them understand that everything happens. After the shock, there comes a stage when people begin to get angry at themselves, their loved ones and blame themselves and themselves for what happened. After this stage, the next one comes when people realize what has happened and fall into despair. Each step has its duration, which is individual for each person. Some people can be in a state of shock for years, lose the meaning of life, and life collapses, which can happen due to a lack of proper support.
Children and the elderly are more susceptible to delayed reactions to stress than adults. The more time passes from a stressful moment, the greater the risk that a person will develop the post-traumatic syndrome. Close people need to seek help from specialists to prevent negative consequences. The main benefit of this disease is psychotherapy, and therapy should be carried out by specialists and professional doctors who know precisely every stage of working with such patients. The work is based on psychological treatment without the use of medications.
The Age of Patients
The age of patients varies because there is no specific risk group that is more or less susceptible to post-traumatic syndrome. For example, in the case of a disease in a child, therapy should be built in a slightly different way. In this case, the factor of parental support is essential since there is a danger that the disease can transform into chronic stress. It happens that parents are hard going through the painful psychological state of the child and begin to experience stress, insomnia, anxiety. Some parents may remain stable, but parents often suffer and eventually return to their clinical norm.
It is essential that when treating patients, people surround them, whether they are close people or doctors, so that the victims understand that they are not alone and do not fall into more profound despair. It is necessary to help a person who has lost the meaning of life find it again and give them a chance to live anew and find a new goal. Support and empathy are necessary for recovery, as they will have a beneficial effect. If a person does not receive enough positive emotions, they can go deep into themselves, and it will be much more difficult to save them.
There are many ways to treat the post-traumatic syndrome. First, the doctor himself is directly involved in the treatment and a psychologist. Doctors examine the patient’s areas that they try to avoid, as these situations can provoke memories of what happened. Together with the patient, the negative situation is recreated again in a person’s imagination, making it easier to survive. Psychotherapists also engage in supportive therapy, being benevolent, empathic. They direct a person to search for a new life, free from old traumatic memories. This can be done by offering various activities, distracting from depressing thoughts, and reducing general depression.
The patient is also an essential and integral part of their treatment for PTSD. They should tell doctors the truth and details of what happened, even though sometimes memories can be tricky. This is important because it will enable a professional to see the whole picture and build a different work strategy. In addition, patients should give feedback about how they feel, about the problems and thoughts that visit them, so that the specialist understands what they need to do in the future. Patients should be aware that the earlier treatment begins, the more chances to save their own life and return it to its former state.
Still, sometimes it is challenging to avoid absolutely without medical treatment. For example, some patients begin to experience sleep problems. In this case, doctors prescribe medications to calm them down or for insomnia. Bhandari (2020) states that medications such as Prozac and Zoloft will help to cope with fear and anxiety and will also actively influence the production of serotonin. The most prescribed drugs are antidepressants and antipsychotics, as they have a broad spectrum of action and help to approach the post-traumatic syndrome treatment comprehensively. Undoubtedly, taking medications alone will not allow the patient to get rid of the disease completely, but it will help recover with great success.
PSTD has its complications that arise in the case of incorrect treatment of the disease. For example, a patient may feel a lack of air, which panic attacks may trigger. In addition, anxiety attacks may begin that were not provoked by anything, as well as dizziness. Sleep disorders do not allow the human nervous system to recover completely, which also affects the recovery and well-being of a person. The victim may take actions that may harm them or others. Constant thoughts about what happened and self-accusations exhaust the weakened resources of the psyche and complicate the process of recovery.
Many parents and children in need of psychological help are not diagnosed with symptoms characteristic of this deviation, resulting in which they cannot receive competent help from specialists. It is necessary to take measures that will be aimed at reducing post-traumatic stress. The heads of State must focus on improving efforts to reduce the risk of developing post-traumatic situations. These measures should be actively applied in medical institutions so that people can undergo treatment and examination by qualified doctors and start treatment as early as possible. In the future, this will help avoid many problems related to the health of the entire population.
Employees of medical institutions should monitor children more closely to identify signs of post-traumatic stress. This may require training and retraining of personnel. A mass standardized examination is an ideal option but conducting diagnostics of children at risk may be more economical. In addition, any examination program should be integrated with a clinical structure that provides opportunities to receive appropriate care. Service personnel should pay more attention to the fact that the consequences of trauma can have a more severe impact on the family system as a whole.
In conclusion, a challenging, stressful situation can happen in every person’s life. In the most favorable case, people on their own or with the help of loved one’s struggle with grief, cope, and continue their lives. There are also more negative situations in which people fall into a deep depression, and their psyche is disturbed. They close themselves in and break ties with loved ones, lose the meaning of life. In this case, the help of professionals and the support of close people are needed so that a person can recover faster and easier and live an entire life again. An integrated approach combined with medical treatment will allow them to recover, find a new meaning in life and be happy again as before the incident. If one of the components is missing, a person may become depressed and refuse to live on, which cannot be allowed.
American Psychiatric Association. (2020). What is posttraumatic stress disorder?
Bhandari, S. (2020). What are the treatments for PTSD? WebMD.