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Post traumatic stress disorder

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Life after Trauma

Abstract
Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that some people develop after going through a stressful and dangerous event. This widespread disorder can affect individuals psychologically, emotionally and behaviorally following the experience of a traumatic event. Not all individuals who are exposed to a traumatic event develop PTSD; researches hypothesized that biological and environmental factors contribute simultaneously to the development of PTSD. In order to better understand the disorder, this paper focuses on the possible risk and resilience factors of PTSD, its symptoms, its biological environmental contribution and types of treatment. In conclusion, the paper advocates the interrelated nature of the disorder and suggests the next steps needed in research to better prevent and overcome the disorder. Life after Trauma

Living with post-traumatic stress disorder is a continuous challenge to all of its victims. The most common types of event leading to the development of PTSD are war combat, rape, torture, childhood neglect and physical abuse, physical attack, natural disasters and other disasters such as plane crashes. Anyone can get PTSD at any age but a mix of risk factors make it more likely, namely: the mental risks a person may inherit such as an increased risk in anxiety and depression and the aspects of his/her personality; the early life experiences and severity of trauma a person may be exposed to; the structure of the brain and the genetic makeup a person holds and finally the social support a person receives after the event. The symptoms this disorder can be categorized into three groups: re-experiencing symptoms, avoidance symptoms, and hyper arousal symptoms. Psychotherapy, medication or both can treat PTSD. The next step for PTSD research is to discover new medications to target underlying causes of the disorder in order to prevent it. As well as work on the personality of individuals and the social protective factors that help reduce the trauma after an event. Who gets PTSD?

Anyone can get PTSD and at any age, but the median age has been found at 23 years (Kessler, Berglund, Demier, Jin & Walter, 2005). Around 7.7 million Americans aged 18 and older have been diagnosed with it so far. (Kessler, Chiu, Demier & Walters, 2005). Any person exposed to a traumatic event such as war veterans, survivors of rape, car accidents, and sexual and physical attacks can develop PTS. The individual however does not always have to personally experience the traumatic event, however a person close to him or a relative that was harmed or injured. In some cases, the death of a very close person or relative can induce PTSD in individuals (National Institute of Human Health). A number of researches have been conducted to draw the rates of PTSD in women and men, and it has been found that women are twice more likely to develop PTSD than men due to the fact that the women interviewed had experienced traumatic events that made it more likely for the development of PTSD However as women grow older, the rate of PTSD tends to drop. With respect to marital status, it has also been found that men and women who were previously married (divorced, separated or widowed) are more prone to develop PTSD than currently married individuals (Tull, 2008). What are the risk factors of PTSD?

Environmental factors influence some individuals who have a history of an emotional disorder such as depression or anxiety before any traumatic event might occur. This pre-existing emotional disorder places them at a higher risk of developing PTSD. Children with shy personalities, or personalities likely to be targets of bullying have a higher chance to become anxious later in life and thus develop PTSD right after a stressful event. People who are optimistic or who have a tendency to view things in a positive rather than negative away are better at coping with stressful events.

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