Understanding PTSD and ways to cure it.

Today, even after all these years of research, scientists have trouble fully understanding PTSD. What causes PTSD? Often the main reason is the trauma of the past, that is, the inability to forget the extreme event, which goes beyond the ordinary human experience. The trauma of the present may also be the cause of post-traumatic stress. This happens if a man, who is accustomed to some living conditions and has to get into completely different environment. Finally, the source of post-traumatic stress can become the possible future trauma, when a person is afraid of unknown impending future dangers. There are different forms of pathological PTSD development, which are mainly somatization or mental disorders, or dissociation of consciousness and subconsciousness.

In case of any sudden acute stress one cannot predict, whether it will become the cause of PTSD, i.e., will the stress disorder persist if there is no more traumatic stress factors. Thus, PTSD has two significant features, which distinguish it from the usual stress. The first one – is that the psychological, physiological and social-psychological disorders persist after removing the stressor. The second feature – is that PTSD can occur several months or even years after the experienced psychological trauma, i.e., when the stress should have gone a long time ago.

For understanding PTSD, it is important to distinguish different types of PTSD (anxious, asthenic, dysphoric, somatoform). Many researchers and clinicians, having interviewed people with PTSD, suggest that actual diversity of PTSD types is much richer and more complex.

Inability of thousands of veterans, who get used to terrible war conditions, to readapt to a peaceful and comfortable life, drew a special attention to the combat stress and its consequences. There are two types of PTSD causes in veterans: firstly, it’s the psychological trauma, which leads to the considerable stress changes in mental and physical health and behavioral disorders. Another factor of PTSD development lies in the fact that people, who successfully took part in military operations, cannot re-adapt to civilian life.

During wartime the combatants develop constant awareness and readiness to aggressive defeat of the enemy. This reduces the feeling of the human life value and responsibility for the aggressiveness. After exposure to the traumatic stress, combatants actually have to re-establish the structure of their living space in peaceful conditions, including the structure of self-attitude and self-esteem.

After hard times, many people think that they are feeling well and everything will be all right now. But later it turns out that it was the latent period of PTSD development. Soon after, there may be neurotic reactions and pathological changes in the character. This staging of PTSD development can be regarded as the organization of functional systems, which facilitate the person’s adaptation to new life conditions.

So, what causes the development of the disorder after the seemingly forgotten and left in the past events?

The “mystery” of the latent PTSD period highlights the whole obscure picture of this illness. Still, understanding PTSD origins, it can be concluded that PTSD is a complex transformed unsatisfactory wish of revenge (possibly on oneself) for the unsettled psychological trauma. During the latent period the wish of revenge develops unconsciously, and if there is no one to take revenge against, the barrage of vengeance will be directed against someone, who could not take the revenge, that is, on oneself.

Many researchers believe that the cause of PTSD development lies in depletion of repression mechanisms of the psychological trauma. In veterans PTSD may also develop for the unsatisfactory war instinct, or rather because of the longing for victory in life-threatening battles.

Therefore, the use of psychotherapeutic methods of PTSD treatment should be reckoned with originality, stage and clinical type of the disease and include a person-centered therapy with the sufficient duration of rehabilitation period.