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Post Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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Introduction

PTSD Social/Psychological Explanation A popular anxiety disorder is the Post Traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is where people who encounter a very traumatic experience, does not recover. An example is the 'shell shock' disorder where comrades experienced trauma and shock during the First World War. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV), PTSD is diagnosed if clinical characteristics continue for longer than a month and produce clinical significant distress. Thompson 1997 explains that PTSD is an anxiety disorder occurring in response to an extreme psychological or physical trauma, which is outside the range of 'normal' human experience. Brewer 1998 defines PTSD as a curse for perpetual reminiscence. Sufferers avoid but cannot prevent vivid, emotionally arousing images that intrude in dreams or even in the waking mind. With PTSD, people from any age or sex can be affected by it (Weintraub and Ruskin, 1999). The symptoms of PTSD may be persistent re-experiencing of the event through dreams and flashback episodes that may be triggered by reminders. As this happens, suffers tend to avoid anything or anywhere associated with the trauma. Concentration may be effected by the constant flashbacks and so the sufferer becomes irritable and angrier. ...read more.

Middle

Due to these thoughts, the symptoms of drinking, drug usage and detachment from others may result. However, inadequate coping strategies of alcohol abuse, drugs ect. Could fail to reduce the effect of trauma and increase stress that leads to PTSD instead (Lazarus 1991). The Cognitive also do not agree on the behavioural idea that classical conditioning is the only mechanism responsible for PTSD, as not everyone that experiences traumatic events develops the disorder. Green 1994 supports this and reports that PTSD develops in approximately 25% of those that experience traumatic events. Also the range is quite large at 12% for accidents and 80% for rape. There are also individual differences to the degree of recovery before PTSD is reached as people have various revival rates. The environment can also play a part in recovery due to the accessibility of social support. Hunt 1997 found that support systems helped amongst the Normandy veterans. Comradeship was still important and assisted war traumas. Bender 1995 has also approved social support. Bender suggests that people must process their traumatic experiences instead of objecting them and integrate them into worldviews. By thinking about the traumatic events, it would lead to extinction of the responses associated with it. ...read more.

Conclusion

After Susan saw a counsellor six months later, she revealed for the first time that she had been raped. She felt cheap and filthy and even began to think maybe she had 'asked for it'. Susan managed to continue with her life for over two months but later reported to having nightmares and intrusive images of violence. According to the Cognitive, Susan should have acquired social support instead of keeping her experience a secret. Bender also suggested that people should process their traumatic experience in order to clear the responses associated with it. Her loss of concentration at work could be due to the Classical Conditioning of associating work with rape. There is evidence for the Behavioural suggestion of Classical Conditioning and the Cognitive view to the cause of the onset and maintenance of PTSD. For example, Pavlov's 1927 dog study, and Dunmore's 1999 comparison of PTSD sufferers. Social support has also been proved to be a positive practice by psychologists such as Hunt 1997. However, Puttnam 1996 feels that there are individual differences to recovery rates from traumatic events. The Psychodynamic idea of the past possibly effecting a persons vulnerability to PTSD cannot be proved. Therefore, whether abused children should be stronger or more prone to PTSD is left theoretical. Even interviews with patients will not be reliable for answers. ?? ?? ?? ?? 18/10/01 ...read more.

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