Empirical Investigation into how PTSD Problems Manifests
According to Friedman (2000), PTSD is differentiated from other disorders of DSM-IV Axis 1 based on the centrality of the occurring event. Explaining PTSD’s pathophysiology can be theoretically presented as a consequence that results in failure to cope with devastating or shocking stress. The dichotomization between other (normal) stressors and traumatic stressors is based on the hypothesis that even though individuals acquire the ability to withstand and cope with the stress of ordinary nature, in some cases, their adaptive capacity may get overwhelmed owing to the stressor of traumatic nature.
Several studies indicate the numbers of PTSD sufferers, including 1 million in the UK (Kinchin, 2005) and half of America (60.7% males and 51.2% females) (Friedman, 2000), that have gone through symptoms of PTSD.
Evidence collected from different sources on how PTSD is identified in patients showed that the following symptoms were common.
- Problems in sleeping with reported nightmares or waking up early from sleep
- Replays and constant flashbacks of the traumatic event, with the inability to turn the mind off from it
- Forgetfulness, impaired memory, gradual inability to recall events, names, dates, facts, etc, that was previously well known to the sufferer
- Impaired concentration
- Panic Attacks
- Undue fear
- Exaggerated or overstated startle response
- Obsessive-ness to the incident, to the extent of taking over life
- The feeling of anxiety and nervousness
- Emotional numbness, or inability to feel intense emotions such as joy or love
- A feeling of an excessive level of embarrassment or shame
- Avoiding anything that reminds of the incident
- Muscle or joint pain without any apparent reason.
The introduction of DSM-IV has considerably increased the possible events that can aid in diagnosing PTSD in patients, based on which different diagnostic tools can be used (Blake, et.al., 1995).
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Blake, D. D., Weathjers, F. W., Nagy, L. M., Kaloupek, D. G., Gusman, G. D., Carney, D. S., & Keane, T. M. (1995). The development of a Clinician Administered PTSD Scale. Journal of Trauma Stress. 8(1), p. 75-90. doi:10.1002/jts.2490080106
Friedman, M. A. (2000). Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Retrieved from http://www.acnp.org/G4/GN401000111/CH109.html
Kinchin, D. (2005). Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, The Invisible Injury, 2005 edition. Retrieved from http://www.bullyonline.org/successunlimited/books/ptsympt.htm