This isn’t the kind of thing I usually post, however a lot of people have been writing stories and fanfiction with characters who suffer with PTSD which is great! and with voltron and red vs blue and marvel and a bunch of other shows representing characters with the illness a lot more people are writing characters PTSD. So here’s some facts about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder so everyone is better informed.
The Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, or after traumatic event has happened to a loved one. DSM V defines a traumatic event as exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is identified as the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure to a traumatic event. PTSD develops differently with every individual and there are many different symptoms that present themselves, however there are three main symptoms that are present in most cases of posttraumatic stress disorder.
1. Re-experiencing the traumatic event. This can present in nightmares, upsetting memories, and flashbacks to the traumatic event.
2. Increased anxiety. This can lead to trouble sleeping, outbursts of anger, hypervigilance, difficulty concentrating and constantly feeling on edge.
3. Avoiding reminders of the trauma. This can be avoiding activities or places that remind sufferer of the trauma, or it could present as the sufferer being unable to remember aspects of the traumatic event.
PTSD is associated with suicidal ideation and suicide attempts, though exact statistics are impossible to prove, it is believed that PTSD sufferers have a higher risk of suicidal ideation.
The biopsychosocial model or BPS is a way of describing how biological, psychological and social factors combine and interact to influence a person’s mental health. Biological factors involve physiologically based influences, such as our genetic structure, Psychological factors involve the processes involved in our mental processing such as our beliefs, emotions and ways of thinking. Social factors are the environmental effects surrounding the individual including our skills at interacting with others, the quality of our interpersonal relationships, and the type of support available from others when needed.
The biological factors in sufferers of posttraumatic stress disorder are few, however there is a higher chance of experiencing the disorder when family members have suffered from it, indication that there could be a genetic factor involved in the contracting of posttraumatic stress disorder.
The psychological factors such as a person’s ability to cope with stress have an influence on PTSD is greatly affected when someone is suffering from the disorder. If a person with low self-esteem is involved in a traumatic event where they are treated as worthless, they are more likely to suffer from posttraumatic stress disorder because of that event.
Social factors surrounding PTSD are the main cause of the disorder. A traumatic event is more likely to cause posttraumatic stress disorder if an individual in in an environment where they feel unsafe (e.g. war zone) The symptoms of PTSD are more likely to affect an individual when they are in an environment where there is a high exposure to stressors or risks of violence.
PTSD is caused by a traumatic event being experienced or witnessed, but many environmental factors perpetuate that fear that caused the first symptoms. One of the most common symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder is the removal of oneself from situations that remind them of the event or memories of the event.
There are any treatment options available for those suffering from PTSD, the most effective being talking therapy and animal assisted therapy
Abstract from an article posted on the 21st May 2016 summarises that animal assisted therapy has had significant results in PTSD sufferers. In one study of the effect of dogs with patients, psychologists noted an 82% reduction in symptoms.
Psychological treatment (talking therapy) is what people usually think of when people say therapy, it involves working through memories of the trauma, modifying unhelpful beliefs and thoughts, and gradual exposure to triggers which are being avoided. This has been found to be the most effective treatment for people suffering from PTSD
Antidepressant medication can also be effective for posttraumatic stress disorder and may be recommended if symptoms are not resolved using psychological treatment. they can reduce anxiety, fear, depression and anger and if there are no other options are useful to aiding those suffering from PTSD
There are many individual support networks for PTSD sufferers and their families; online chat rooms and groups who meet weekly or monthly are available all over the world to those who seek them out.
“The sensation inside me grows warmer and spreads out from my chest, down through my body, out along my arms and legs, to the tips of my being. Instead of satisfying me, the kisses have the opposite effect, of making my need greater. I thought I was something of an expert on hunger, but this is an entirely new kind.”