PTSD Symptoms and Treatments: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is one of the deepest injuries thatVietnam War veterans received during their time of battle (Arpey). Unlikemany otherillnesses, PTSD cannot be measured by physical scientific fact (Arpey). -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-Category:sciencePaper Title:PTSD Symptoms and TreatmentsText:PTSD Symptoms and TreatmentsPost Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is one of the deepest injuries thatVietnam War veterans received during their time of battle (Arpey). Unlikemany otherillnesses, PTSD cannot be measured by physical scientific fact (Arpey). It issomethingthat can only be understood by a person who has experienced something astraumatic asthe Vietnam War.
The definition for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder given by the WebstersNewWorld College Dictionary is, a condition characterized by recurring and,often, disablingsymptoms of anxiety, depression, etc., that later affects some persons whohaveexperienced a traumatic event or situation, especially combat.PTSD was first named Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome after the war becausesymptoms did not seem to appear for years, even decades (Arpey).
After thesymptomsactually did start showing up and making an impact on society, the governmentstarted tobe concerned. They started doing extensive research on the syndrome and thenwentfurther to name it a disorder (Arpey).PTSD can occur in anyone– no matter what the age, as long as they have beenthrough a traumatic experience. Many common disasters that bring on PTSD arerapes,floods, abductions, airplane crashes, and hostage situations (Morrison 269).Also,children that have undergone sexual abuse are likely to suffer from it(Morrison 269). Itseems, however, that survivors of combat are the most frequent victims(Morrison 269).It is more likely for a younger adult to acquire PTSD than for someone thatisolder(Morrison 269). This could be why such an apparent outbreak of PTSDoccurredafter the Vietnam War.
After all, the average age of a soldier drafted toVietnam wasnineteen.Some of the symptoms that occur with PTSD are: difficulty falling asleepor staying asleep, irritability or outbursts of anger, difficultyconcentrating, hypervigilance,and exaggerated startle response (Frances 428). The PTSD sufferer often goesthroughre–experiencing of the event or events that have traumatized he or she(Frances 428).
Itcan occur in many different ways, although the person goes through muchavoidance andself– denial of the subject.Many sufferers have extensive personal problems in their lives while dealingwithPTSD. Right after the event, the person often experiences psychic numbing,which is alarge disinterest to the outside world (Frances 425). Much of the time, theperson stopsparticipating in activities that they once enjoyed, and start to feeldetached from peoplethat they once felt strong emotions toward (Frances 425). They seem to have aproblemwith intimacy, affection, and sexuality (Frances 425).
The problem is, likeeverything else,they do not care about it anymore. Often times, the individual can notforesee themselveshaving any kind of a future such as a marriage, children, or a career. Theyeven believethat they will have a shortened life span (Frances 425).Much of PTSD trauma is brought on by guilt. The feeling that, I shouldhavedone something to save them, or It should have been me, not him,occur in thesufferers (Frances 425). It is difficult for these people to deal with thefact that theysurvived and someone that they cared about had to die.
This is one of themain reasonsthat PTSD sufferers have a problem getting too close to anyone while dealingwith all ofthese emotions. They fear that they will be put in a similar situation thatwould resemblewhat happened to them in Vietnam. It is imperative for them to avoid thesesituations andthoughts at all costs.
(Frances 425).PTSD brings a lot of pain and suffering upon Vietnam veterans and theirfamilies,but the good news is that there is help for them. Therapists have studiedmany PTSDpatients and found different helpful approaches to use (Friedman). Some ofthe mostcommon therapeutic treatments are: Psychodynamic therapy,cognitive–behavioraltherapy, pharmacotherapy, group, family, couples, and inpatient treatment,and treatmentfor patients dually diagnosed with PTSD and alcoholism/substance abuse(Friedman).Alcohol and drug abuse is very commonly found in PTSD sufferers because it isthe bestway to take them away from their nightmares for a short amount of time. Oncethe drugwears off, however, they are right back where they started from.Dr.
Matthew J. Friedman states on his website that it is generally agreed bytherapists working with trauma patients, that therapy can be divided intothree phases.The first phase is to establish trust and safety.
By acquiring these twothings, the therapistearns the right to gain access (Friedman). The second phase is trauma–focused therapy.This is exploring the traumatic material in depth and bringing out therecollections thatwere previously avoided or numbed by the patient (Friedman). The third phaseis to helpthe patient disconnect from the traumatic experience and reconnect withfamily, friends,and society (Friedman).
Some cases of PTSD are less complicated than others. In fact, it is actuallycalleduncomplicated PTSD (Friedman). This mild type of PTSD can be treated bygroup,psychodynamic, cognitive–behavioral, pharmacological, or combinationapproaches(Friedman). It is very similar to the treatments of the more severe cases,but the onlydifference is that it takes less time to bring out the insecurities of thesufferer. It seemsthat the group therapy is most helpful in these situations because thepatients feelcomfortable and excited about talking to others that are going through thesame thing thatthey are (Friedman). They are able to share their stories and they do notfeel quite asalone.
Another very helpful type of therapy for PTSD is psychodynamic psychotherapy(Friedman). This focuses on the traumatic event itself. The patient gains agreater senseof strength and defense by retelling his/her story to a compassionate, non-judgmental,calm therapist (Friedman).
The therapist continually helps the patientdiscover situationsof their present life that helps to set off traumatic memories (Friedman).There is only so much that a therapist can do to help out PTSD patients.Usuallywith time and patience, the suffer is able to come around and begin to live anormal life.PTSD weighs very heavily on a persons mind and heart. It takes muchstrength andcourage to overcome such memories and feelings of guilt. With propertreatment andtime, however, the patient is able to decipher between the past, present.They also realizethat it is possible for them to move on with their lives and have a future.-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-