This disorder occurs due to a very strong trauma suffered by the person. In post-traumatic stress disorder you have an extreme response to a stress or factor strongly, that response includes a substantial increase in the level of anxiety, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and a weakening of emotional re activity Although previously there was a sense that the traumatic events experienced by soldiers in combat could produce negative effects very powerful, were the consequences of the Vietnam War to urge the recognition of this new disorder, which is not only from the experiences of war, but also, for example, from physical and sexual violence, as well as particularly dramatic experiences caused by natural disasters (eg earthquake).
The disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder from the English), is defined by a constellation of symptoms, but unlike what happens with other psychological disorders, the definition of this condition is also included part concerning the origin of the same, or a traumatic event that the person has experienced directly, or he has witnessed, and which involved death, threat of death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others. The event must have created an intense fear, horror, and a sense of helplessness.
The disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder differs from acute stress disorder, treated on the next page, depending on the duration of symptoms. While acute stress disorder typically resolves within one month after its launch, the post traumatic continues. Almost all people who live a traumatic experience undergo a stress (see stress), but it is said that this causes the appearance of a real disorder. There is talk of disorder when the person, because of the symptoms caused by trauma, sees its social or occupational functioning compromised significantly. The inclusion of this disorder among those proposed by the DSM represents a formal recognition of the fact that, regardless of their medical history, many people suffer considerable negative effects due to extreme traumatic factors, and that this reaction must be distinguished from other forms of psychopathology; In other words, the primary cause of the disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder resides in an external event, not in person. The main symptoms are three:
1. Sufferers of the disorder persistently relives the traumatic event through nightmares. Stimuli that symbolically represent the event (eg. Thunder, a veteran who reminds the roar of the battlefield) or the anniversaries of a given experience cause intense psychological distress. The fact of reliving the traumatic experience is an aspect whose importance can not be underestimated, since it is the likely source of the other categories of symptoms. According to some theories, the reliving of the traumatic event would be the central feature of the disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (Foa, Zinbarg and Rothbaum, 1992; Horowitz, 1986), in that the person would not be able to integrate the traumatic event to ‘inside of his experience of life and its pre-existing beliefs.
2. Another crucial part of the behavior disorder is made by the avoidance of stimuli associated with the event and numbing of general responsiveness. The person tries to avoid thinking about the trauma or exposed to stimuli that they can bring it back to mind, and at times may be unable to remember important aspects of the traumatic event. The lowering of general responsiveness manifested in decreased interest in others, a sense of detachment and estrangement, and an inability to experience positive emotions. These symptoms seem to be contradictory with those shown just above, but in fact the disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder is characterized by fluctuations, or by passage through alternating phases in which the person forget the traumatic experience and others where it raffiora violently.
3. Finally there are symptoms of increased physiological arousal. These symptoms include difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, difficulty concentrating, hypervigilance (see glossary), and exaggerated startle response. Laboratory studies have confirmed these clinical symptoms documenting the increase in physiological reactivity in patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, increased aims at combating the images produced from their minds and the high intensity of their startle response (Orr et al. , 1995).
Other problems that are often associated with this disorder are anxiety, depression, anger, guilt, substance abuse, marital problems and in the workplace. Municipalities are also the thoughts and plans of suicide, and so explosive episodes of violence and psycho-physiological nature of problems associated with stress, such as back pain, headache, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Many people find themselves living traumatic experiences, but not all develop the disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder. A recent study, for example, found that only 25% of people go through a traumatic event resulting in bodily injury as a result had developed the disorder (Shalev et al., 1996). One can therefore conclude that the event itself can not be the sole cause of the disorder. Currently research in this field are trying to identify what factors distinguish individuals as a result of severe trauma develop post-traumatic stress disorder from those who do not develop it.