Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the experience of great emotional stress lasting more than a month, resulting from a traumatic experience for almost everyone.

Traffic and plane crashes, natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes, experience of fighting, assault, rape, exposure to torture, fire, being held hostage by terrorists, being in a trench or being bombarded for a long time in war can be counted as examples of traumatic events. I and II. After the World Wars and the Vietnam War, the number of people affected by this disorder has been quite high.

Clinical Symptoms

Illness can occur a few hours, a few days, a few weeks, or a few months after the traumatic event.

Its main clinical features are painful re-experiencing of the traumatic event, a pattern of avoidance and emotional numbness, and a fairly constant over-enactment. The repetitive occurrence of the event happens in dreams, and in dreams he often sees the event in the same way and wakes up with fear.

For memories of the traumatic event, memory may be greatly enhanced and attention to other events may be reduced.

They often carry feelings of guilt, shame, and rejection.

It is extremely sensitive to stimuli that would not normally react and reacts to the smallest stimuli in the form of startle.

Due to sensitivity, the patient may want to avoid stimulating situations.

Anxiety, restlessness, trembling in the hands, haste, anxiety can be seen.

Sometimes illusions and hallucinations may occur.

Aggression, violence, poor impulse control, depression, and substance-related disorders may occur.

Since the traumatic event is frequently repeated in dreams, sleep is disturbed and the patient consciously loses sleep in order not to see these dreams again.

What are the Causes of Occurrence?

Not all people who experience severe trauma experience post-traumatic stress disorder. The important thing is that the event has a subjective meaning for that person rather than the severity of the trauma.


Presence of a childhood trauma

Having paranoid, dependent or antisocial personality disorder

genetic predisposition to a psychiatric illness

Inadequacy of immune systems,

Recent stressful life events

Recent excessive alcohol intake

If such conditions exist, the risk of developing post-traumatic stress disorder will be high.

Psychoanalytically; trauma is assumed to rekindle pre-existing, as yet unresolved, psychological conflict. (Awakening of childhood trauma)

Prevalence and in whom is it more common?

Its lifetime prevalence is estimated at 1-3% of the population.

30% of Vietnamese soldiers have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder.

Although it is most common in young adults, it can also occur in children.

Fighting is the most common cause of trauma in men, and assault or rape in women.

It tends to be more common in those who are single, divorced, widowed, economically challenged, or more socially withdrawn.

Departure and Departure

The onset of the disease may occur a week before the trauma, or it may be as long as 30 years.

Sudden onset of symptoms, short duration (less than 6 months), absence of personality disorder, presence of a good social support network, absence of another psychiatric disorder or substance-related disorder are factors that positively affect the outcome.


In the treatment, pharmacotherapy (drug) and psychotherapy are applied together.

Psychotherapeutic approaches are behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy and hypnosis. There may also be group and family therapy.

DSM-IV Criteria for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

The person has experienced the traumatic event, having both of the following:

The individual has experienced, witnessed, or is faced with an event that involves actual death or threat of death, serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others.

The person’s reactions include extreme fear, helplessness, or horror.

Trauma is constantly relived through one (or more) of the following.

Repetitive distressing reminiscences through dreams, thoughts, or perceptions without addressing the event

Dreaming of the event in an often distressing way

Acting or feeling as if the traumatic event is happening again

Intense psychological distress upon comparison with internal or external events that evoke or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event

Physiological response upon comparison with internal or external events that evoke or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event

Persistent avoidance of stimuli accompanying the trauma and decreased general responsiveness (not pre-traumatic) as indicated by three (or more) of the following:

Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations accompanying the trauma

Efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse memories of the trauma

Remembering an important aspect of the trauma

Significantly decreased interest in or participation in important activities

Feelings of alienation or alienation from people

Limited affectivity (for example, inability to experience the feeling of love)

Feeling that there is no future left

Persistent (not prior to trauma) syndromes of increased arousal as indicated by two (or more) of the following:

Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

Restlessness or outbursts of anger

Difficulty concentrating thoughts on a particular topic


Excessive startle response

This disorder (symptoms from criteria B, C, and D) lasts longer than 1 month.

The disorder causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other areas where functioning is important.

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