PTSD syndrome is not forever!

PTSD syndrome, or Post-traumatic stress syndrome, is a mental disorder, caused by the severe trauma, which destroys natural biological and psychological defense mechanisms of human body and psyche. Such stress may develop in ex-servicemen and members of other professions of high risk group, victims of the earthquake, flood, fire or accident, victims of violence or thieves, who have undergone physical and mental torture, as well as the prisoners.

PTSD syndrome is characterized by very intense feelings of vulnerability and helplessness, interspersed with bouts of anger. Typical causes of PTSD syndrome in women may include rape, incest and physical abuse at home. All these injuries victimize these people, causing feelings of helplessness, confusion, loss of self-control and even fear of death.

Psychiatrists and psychologists have been studying the PTSD syndrome for decades now, and their research interests depend on the current political situation. In the last 20 years of the XIX century, Sigmund Freud, Pierre Janet and Joseph Breuer associated the symptoms of hysteria with the psychological trauma. According to Freud’s point of view, being controversial to some experts, the trigger of the disease is always a major trauma – a sexual abuse or incest in the early childhood, although, the other psychiatrists and psychoanalysts do not share this opinion. By the way, in the end, Freud himself accepted this uncertainty, as the frequency of psychological disorders in postpartum period and the incidence of similar violence against women clearly disagreed.

The interest of medical community in PTSD syndrome resumed after World War I, when many veterans, who have come back from the front, had similar symptoms to hysteria – the inability to speak calmly, vision and sensory disorders, motor disfunction, which were not caused by the physical trauma. Up to the World War II, psychiatrists have developed some techniques to reduce such impact on the effective forces to a minimum. However, the broad-scale researches on this topic in the United States began only after returning of veterans of the Vietnam War. In result, the American Psychiatric Association has regarded the PTSD syndrome as independent mental disorder, that is, a separate entity.

Thanks to the activity and insistence of members of the women’s movement, who the entire decade have been gathered information about what they called the “PTSD syndrome” as the result of rape and battering in the late XX century, researchers began to seriously study this category of psychological response to the traumatic impact and the use of violence against this social group.

Regardless of the type of traumatic factor, victims (or, as they are called, “survivors”), suffering from PTSD syndrome are highly vulnerable to developing of severe mental disorders, such as depression, phobias, chronic pain syndrome, cognitive impairment, consciousness alternations, memory impairment , loss of ability to concentrate, sleep disorders and drug abuse. In addition, the immunological breakdown develops which reduces the lifespan and increases the risk of suicide, criminal behavior, child abuse and incest.

Psychological symptoms of PTSD syndrome, as well as many other mental illnesses, definitely, have physiological roots (which, in turn, are caused by the adverse effects of environmental and social stress). At present time, the symptoms of PTSD syndrome are considered to be associated with the excessive activity of certain neurotransmitters – the substances, which serve for the communication between different nerve cells.