Saturday, September 16, 2023

Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

International Classification Of Diseases

The psychology of post-traumatic stress disorder – Joelle Rabow Maletis

The International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10 classifies PTSD under “Reaction to severe stress, and adjustment disorders.” The ICD-10 criteria for PTSD include re-experiencing, avoidance, and either increased reactivity or inability to recall certain details related to the event.

The ICD-11 diagnostic description for PTSD contains three components or symptom groups re-experiencing, avoidance, and heightened sense of threat. ICD-11 no longer includes verbal thoughts about the traumatic event as a symptom. There is a predicted lower rate of diagnosed PTSD using ICD-11 compared to ICD10 or DSM-5. ICD-11 also proposes identifying a distinct group with complex post-traumatic stress disorder , who have more often experienced several or sustained traumas and have greater functional impairment than those with PTSD.

Impact Of Ptsd On Relationships And Day

PTSD can affect a persons ability to work, perform day-to-day activities or relate to their family and friends. A person with PTSD can often seem disinterested or distant as they try not to think or feel in order to block out painful memories. They may stop them from participating in family life or ignore offers of help. This can lead to loved ones feeling shut out.

It is important to remember that these behaviours are part of the problem. People with PTSD need the support of family and friends, but may not think that they need help.

It is not unusual for people with PTSD to experience other mental health problems at the same time. In fact, up to 80 per cent of people who have long-standing PTSD develop additional problems – most commonly depression, anxiety, and alcohol or othersubstance misuse. These may have developed directly in response to the traumatic event or have developed sometime after the onset of PTSD.

Negative Changes In Thinking And Mood

  • Feeling negatively about yourself and others
  • Lack of interest in activities you once found enjoyment in
  • Difficulty maintaining relationships with others
  • Memory problems not being able to remember parts of the traumatic event
  • Feelings of hopelessness for the future
  • Emotional numbness feeling detached from others
  • Inability to experience positive emotions

Read Also: How To Relieve Stress Migraines

Emotional And Psychological Trauma

If youve experienced an extremely stressful eventor series of eventsthats left you feeling helpless and emotionally out of control, you may have been traumatized. Psychological trauma often has its roots in childhood, but any event that shatters your sense of safety can leave you feeling traumatized, whether its an accident, injury, the sudden death of a loved one, bullying, domestic abuse, or a deeply humiliating experience. Whether the trauma happened years ago or yesterday, you can get over the pain, feel safe again, and move on with your life.

Are There Different Types Of Ptsd

Stellate Ganglion Block for PTSD.

If you are given a diagnosis of PTSD, you might be told that you have mild, moderate or severe PTSD. This explains what sort of impact your symptoms are having on you currently it’s not a description of how frightening or upsetting your experiences might have been.

PTSD may be described differently in some situations:

  • Delayed-onset PTSD. If your symptoms emerge more than six months after experiencing trauma, this might be described as ‘delayed PTSD’ or ‘delayed-onset PTSD’.
  • Complex PTSD. If you experienced trauma at an early age or it lasted for a long time, you might be given a diagnosis of ‘complex PTSD’. See our page oncomplex PTSD for more information.
  • Birth trauma. PTSD that develops after a traumatic experience of childbirth is also known as ‘birth trauma’. See our page on PTSD and birth trauma for more information.

If you experience some PTSD symptoms while supporting someone close to you who’s experienced trauma, this is sometimes known as secondary trauma.

See our pages on trauma for more information on how traumatic experiences can affect your mental health.

“I couldn’t understand why I felt like my brain wasn’t functioning I couldn’t remember things, I couldn’t process things. It was like my brain had just slowed down and ground to a halt.”

Don’t Miss: How To Avoid Stress During Pregnancy

Symptoms In Children And Teens

Aside from the general symptoms, some of the signs of PTSD in younger children are:

  • difficult behavior
  • avoiding things connected to their trauma
  • re-enacting events related to trauma through play
  • wetting the bed after being potty trained
  • sudden inability to talk
  • unusual clinginess

For older children and teenagers, their symptoms may be similar to adults. They may also develop destructive, disrespectful, or disruptive behaviors. Feeling guilty for not preventing the traumatic event and thinking of revenge are also manifestations of PTSD in teens.

How Does Ptsd Affect Your Life

PTSD can lead to other issues with your health and life, such as:

  • Problems at work and in your personal relationships.

Children with PTSD may:

  • Act out the traumatic event when playing.
  • Cling to a parent or other adult.
  • Forget how to talk, or at least seem to.
  • Wet the bed even if they know how to use the toilet.

Don’t Miss: Do You Get Paid For Stress Leave

What Are The Symptoms Of Post

There are four types of PTSD symptoms, but they may not be the same for everyone. Each person experiences symptoms in their own way. The types are

  • Re-experiencing symptoms, where something reminds you of the trauma and you feel that fear again. Examples include
  • Flashbacks, which cause you to feel like you are going through the event again
  • Nightmares
  • Frightening thoughts
  • Avoidance symptoms, where you try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. This may cause you to
  • Stay away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic experience. For example, if you were in a car accident, you might stop driving.
  • Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event. For example, you might try to stay very busy to try to avoid thinking about what happened.
  • Arousal and reactivity symptoms, which may cause you to be jittery or be on the lookout for danger. They include
  • Being easily startled
  • Cognition and mood symptoms, which are negative changes in beliefs and feelings. They include
  • Trouble remembering important things about the traumatic event
  • Negative thoughts about yourself or the world
  • Feeling blame and guilt
  • No longer being interested in things you enjoyed
  • Trouble concentrating
  • The symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event. But sometimes they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years.

    When Should I Seek Immediate Care

    What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

    If you think about hurting yourself or someone else, tell somebody right away. You can tell a healthcare provider, a friend or a family member.

    You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

    • 800.273.TALK

    Youre not alone. Theres always somebody who wants to help.

    A note from Cleveland Clinic

    PTSD is a mental health issue that lasts long after a traumatic event. It can make you feel negative and anxious. It can also cause you to re-experience the event or avoid certain things. If you have symptoms of PTSD, talk to a healthcare provider. Medication and specific kinds of counseling can help. If you feel like you might hurt yourself or someone else, seek help immediately.

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/20/2021.


    Don’t Miss: What To Do If You Are Really Stressed

    Arguments Against Complex Ptsd Diagnosis

    Though acceptance of the idea of complex PTSD has increased with mental health professionals, the fundamental research required for the proper validation of a new disorder is insufficient as of 2013. The disorder was proposed under the name DES-NOS for inclusion in the DSM-IV but was rejected by members of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders committee of the American Psychiatric Association for lack of sufficient diagnostic validity research. Chief among the stated limitations was a study which showed that 95% of individuals who could be diagnosed with the proposed DES-NOS were also diagnosable with PTSD, raising questions about the added usefulness of an additional disorder.Following the failure of DES-NOS to gain formal recognition in the DSM-IV, the concept was re-packaged for children and adolescents and given a new name, developmental trauma disorder. Supporters of DTD appealed to the developers of the DSM-5 to recognize DTD as a new disorder. Just as the developers of DSM-IV refused to included DES-NOS, the developers of DSM-5 refused to include DTD due to a perceived lack of sufficient research.

    One of the primary arguments for a new disorder has been the claim that individuals who experience complex post traumatic stress symptomatology are often misdiagnosed, and as a consequence may be given inappropriate or inadequate treatment interventions.

    Risk Assessment Of Work

    Interestingly, a relationship was found between lack of medical training on COVID-19 and occurrence of PTSS in fact, increased rates of PTSS were found among untrained HCWs than among trained ones in particular, a multicentric study performed by Chew et al. found that non-medically trained HCWs were at higher risk of adverse psychological outcomes, including PTSS, compared to their medically trained counterparts. This is in agreement with a recent study on HCWs during the start of the pandemic in Singapore , as well as a recent study in China that surprisingly demonstrated that frontline nurses had significantly decreased vicarious traumatization scores in comparison with non-frontline nurses during the COVID-19 pandemic moreover, a relationship was found between the lack of accessibility to first-hand medical information on the pandemic, less formal training and confidence in infectious control measures, and increased occurrence of traumatization in non-frontline and non-trained nurses compared to frontline and trained nurses .

    Don’t Miss: How Do You Treat Stress Incontinence

    Federal Framework On Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

    The Federal Framework on Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Recognition, Collaboration and Support connects and builds on existing federal efforts. It focuses on occupation-related PTSD, but also acknowledges other populations affected by PTSD.

    The Framework was developed to help:

    • improve tracking of PTSD and its economic and social costs
    • promote and share guidelines and best practices for diagnosis, treatment and management of PTSD and,
    • create and distribute educational materials.

    The Framework will be used to:

    • strengthen knowledge creation, knowledge exchange, and collaboration across the federal government, and with partners and stakeholders
    • inform practical, evidence-based public health actions, programs and policies and,
    • reduce stigma and improve recognition of the symptoms and impacts of PTSD.

    A review of the effectiveness of the Framework will be prepared within five years of its publication. The review will include a progress update and highlight new initiatives and their results.

    When To Get Medical Advice

    How To Treat Post

    It’s normal to experience upsetting and confusing thoughts after a traumatic event, but most people improve naturally over a few weeks.

    You should see a GP if you or your child are still having problems about 4 weeks after the traumatic experience, or if the symptoms are particularly troublesome.

    If necessary, your GP can refer you to mental health specialists for further assessment and treatment.

    Recommended Reading: How Does The Body React To Stress

    Risk Management Of Ptss

    A body of evidence has shown that training should also be targeted at improving a supportive work environment. Therefore, according to existing literature, hospital management and supervisors need to anticipate the effects of traumatic exposure by training HCWs in evidence-based anticipatory methods of coping with stressful events, in reducing the development of post-traumatic stress reactions and general distress, and in educating HCWs to support their colleagues after adverse events . A study by Zhang et al. showed that simple standardized questionnaires can be used, which should be supplemented with a brief questionnaire assessing work conditions . A description of a protective program has been published by Cao et al. based upon hands-on recent experience in China. An important part of that program was the repeated use of a short questionnaire supplemented with personal interviews with a representative group of employees.

    Can You Tolerate Trauma Therapy

    Despite the reputation that PE retraumatizes patients, all the trauma therapies are equally tolerated by patients. They have similar dropout ratesabout 18 percent. Skilled therapists thoroughly prepare you and adjust the pace as needed. You start by writing about what happened to you, talking through it, or silently bringing memories into your mind. You also can start with your least distressing memory and slowly work your way up to the more difficult ones. Never start distressing therapy tasks if you feel confused or pressured.

    EMDR is the least directive, emphasizing natural pacing above all else. You flexibly flow through your trauma processing as you attend to your inner experiences and move freely back and forth between various difficult life experiences in the past and present. EMDR also reduces the emotional intensity of every exposure by having you engage in a distracting task, usually alternating eye movements, sounds, or touches, while thinking about your traumatic experiences.

    Whenever you decide to embark on your trauma therapy journey, I applaud your courage.

    You May Like: How To Get Stress Free

    Pts Symptoms And Behaviors

    If youre experiencing post-traumatic stress, your heart may race, hands shake, you may sweat or feel afraid and nervous. After the stressful event, you might avoid or be leery of engaging in that activity again, you may have a bad dream about the event you just experienced, or you may feel nervous in a situation that reminds you of the unpleasant event. Although they can be momentarily intense, symptoms of PTS usually subside a few days after the event and wont cause any prolonged meaningful interference with your life. One positive outcome of experiencing PTS may be that you behave more carefully in a potentially dangerous situation in the future.

    Other Effects Of Ptsd

    Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

    If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, you might also find that you have difficulty with some everyday aspects of your life, such as:

    • looking after yourself
    • remembering things and making decisions
    • your sex drive
    • coping with change
    • simply enjoying your leisure time.

    If you drive you may have to tell the DVLA that you have PTSD. For more information on your right to drive, including when and how to contact the DVLA, see our legal pages on fitness to drive.

    “My behaviour changed and became erratic. I would alternate from wanting to shut myself away and not see or talk to anyone to going out to parties in the middle of the week and staying out late.”

    Read Also: How To Know If You Are Stressed

    Cognition And Mood Symptoms Include:

    • Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
    • Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
    • Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
    • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities

    Cognition and mood symptoms can begin or worsen after the traumatic event, but are not due to injury or substance use. These symptoms can make the person feel alienated or detached from friends or family members.

    It is natural to have some of these symptoms for a few weeks after a dangerous event. When the symptoms last more than a month, seriously affect ones ability to function, and are not due to substance use, medical illness, or anything except the event itself, they might be PTSD. Some people with PTSD dont show any symptoms for weeks or months. PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or one or more of the other anxiety disorders.

    Causes Of Ptsd In Children

    Similar to those of adults, the causes of PTSD in children are related to life-threatening events or experiences where children do not feel safe. Common traumas in children that develop into PTSD are:

    • experiencing physical, sexual, or emotional abuse
    • violence at home
    • witnessing or experiencing violence in the community
    • facing serious illness or death of a close family member or friend
    • sustaining severe injuries
    • surviving a serious accident

    Generally, the common causes of PTSD in both adults and children are triggered by life-threatening experiences. It may also include events that elicit intense horror, fear, and helplessness. However, it is worth remembering that it is not a sign of weakness. Most risk factors are outside the patients control. Removing this stigma will also help you or a loved one seek professional help to start the recovery process.

    Read Also: How To Handle Stress Better

    What Are The Symptoms Of Ptsd

    PTSD symptoms vary from person to person. Still, everyone with PTSD experiences one or more of the following:

    • Avoiding things: You may avoid people or situations that remind you of the event. Examples include friends you met in the military service, the part of town where you experienced the trauma, or crowds in general. Some people with PTSD try to stay so busy that they dont think about the event.
    • Being on edge: The disorder can make it hard for you to relax or enjoy the things you used to. You may feel jittery or anxious. Maybe youre easily startled or always expect something bad to happen. You also may have trouble sleeping or concentrating.
    • Having negative thoughts and feelings: PTSD can make you feel negative, angry, sad, distrustful, guilty, or numb.
    • Reliving or re-experiencing the traumatic event: This can take the form of flashbacks or dreams. Perhaps a noise like a car backfiring or seeing something similar will trigger sudden, unwelcome memories.

    Resources And Assistance With Va Claims


    Veterans have played an outsized role in spreading awareness of PTSD, especially following the recent wars in Afghanistan in Iraq. The disorder is better understood now than it ever has been in the past, and because veterans have a higher likelihood of experiencing traumatic events, we encourage any who experience the diagnostic criteria above to seek professional treatment. VA provides extensive services to help veterans cope with this disorder.

    Should you have any difficult obtaining the level of treatment you need for PTSD, and need our help to increase your disability rating for PTSD, you can reach us at 844-VET-LAWS or fill out our online form.

    Recommended Reading: How To Manage Work Stress And Anxiety

    - Advertisement - spot_img
    Popular Articles
    Related news