What is post-traumatic stress disorder?

What is post-traumatic stress disorder? Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is not just an illness. It’s a serious mental disability, caused by severe stress. The human psyche can handle a lot of stress, this is its inherent feature. A person can adjust and adapt to different life and environmental situations, but sudden changes, injuries or heavy emotions can lead to sustained stress, which eventually develops into the syndrome.

Traumatic situations that may lead to development of the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are:

• personal trauma, caused by death of a loved one;
• domestic violence against a child or a woman;
• sexual abuse;
• military participation, involving life-threatening events and terrorism;
• catastrophic situations and accidents, which could lead to the fatal outcome;
• serious bodily injury.

Diagnosis and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder

Typically, the post-traumatic stress disorder is characterized by three groups of symptoms:

• constantly recurring experience of the stressful event (uncontrollable memories, nightmares, hallucinations);
• rejection of reality (indifference, emotional numbness, social alienation);
• a state of excitement, awareness and aggression.

The above symptoms are presented in a quite detailed list, but it should be taken into account that a person with post-traumatic stress disorder may not experience all of these symptoms.

Post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from military operations

Post-traumatic stress disorder, resulting from military operations is a frequent occurrence. Often these people are not only the former participants in military operations, but also the victims of war. In this way the terms “Vietnam syndrome” and “Afghan syndrome” have appeared.

Post-traumatic stress disorder in children

Post-traumatic stress disorder in children can occur for a number of reasons: after the separation from their parents or their death; events, related to the infliction of injury (e.g. bone fracture), chronic  family stress, related to the lack of understanding between parents and even the domestic violence. The reasons of post-traumatic stress development can lie in a school life between the classmates and teachers. PTSD in children is expressed in the following way:

  • Constant returns to traumatic events (for example, children, suffering from PTSD may constantly come back to this topic in conversation and even during a game).
  • Just like adults, children suffer sleep disorders, – they are unable or afraid to sleep, or experience a traumatic event in nightmares.
  • Another common symptom is apathy towards everything that is happening around. This points to the fact that the child is detached from the outside world.
  • The opposite condition is aggression, anger and Children can strongly react to the common requests and act inappropriately in common situations.

Many researchers note that one cannot get rid of the post-traumatic stress disorder once and for all, it’s almost impossible. A case in point can be the Afghan syndrome that may persist or worsen through the life. However, the treatment of this disorder is necessary to normalize the person’s life and ability to enjoy it.