Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Application: Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a biopsychological condition associated with very stressful or life-threatening events such as abuse, rape, violence, military combat, severe accidents, and natural disasters. Symptoms include having intrusive thoughts about or reliving the event(s), withdrawing from others, and experiencing anxiety or hyperarousal for weeks or months following the event(s). People with Post-traumatic stress disorder may turn to drugs or alcohol to help them cope, they may exhibit signs of depression, their relationships may deteriorate, and they may manifest physical symptoms.

Post-traumatic stress disorder has been studied intensively among veterans and active military personnel since at least World War II. In recent times, media coverage of Post-traumatic stress disorder is extensive, in part because of the incidence among military personnel who served in Iraq (according to the video “The Soldier’s Heart,” the rate is 1 in 6). With such a large segment of the population experiencing or at risk for Post-traumatic stress disorder, it is important to raise awareness about the symptoms, consequences, and treatment.

To prepare for this assignment:

� Review emotions, stress, and health in the textbook, paying special attention to the brain areas involved in negative emotions (e.g., anger, sadness, and fear) and how the brain changes in response to extreme stressors.

� Review the following Web site to learn more about PTSD: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/index.shtml

The assignment:

� What is the biological basis of PTSD? What occurs in the brain and nervous system that apparently gives rise to PTSD symptoms?

� How did the soldiers depicted in the video exhibit PTSD? What were their symptoms? How long did they last?

� What can be done to help people cope with PTSD? Consider both biologically and psychologically based forms of treatment or intervention.

What, according to the video, does the military seem to be doing about treating PTSD among its personnel? Do you think this approach is going to be effective? Why or why not?

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