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POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

As per DSM V criteria, PTSD is the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure to one or more traumatic events.

Examples of traumatic events: Exposure to actual or threatened death, war, serious injury, or sexual violence.

  • Directly experiencing the traumatic events
  • Witnessing, in person, the event(s) occurred to others
  • Learning that the traumatic event occurred to a close family member or close friend. The event must have been violent or accidental
  • Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event
Symptoms:
  • Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s).
  • Repeated distressing dreams related to the traumatic event.
  • Dissociative reactions (flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic events were recurring.
  • Intense and prolonged psychological distress at exposure to cues that symbolize an aspect of the traumatic event.
  • Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with traumatic event (People, places, activities,objects).
  • Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event- Dissociative amnesia.
  • Exaggerated negative beliefs.
  • Irritable behavior, angry outburst, poor concentration, sleep disturbance.
Pathophysiology:

PTSD brings changes in amygdala, the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in the brain imaging studies. Over activity in amygdala, less activity in ventromedial prefrontal cortex for the people who has stress and anxiety. PTSD causes significant reduction of the volume in hippocampus.

Changes occur in neurotransmitter secretion.

Diagnosis:

Symptoms must last for more than a month after 3months of a traumatic event to be considered as PTSD. It can present along with anxiety, depression, phobia and other mental health conditions. Psychiatrist will give the diagnosis after it satisfies all the requirements.

Management:

Symptoms must last for more than a month after 3months of a traumatic event to be considered as PTSD. It can present along with anxiety, depression, phobia and other mental health conditions. Psychiatrist will give the diagnosis after it satisfies all the requirements.

  • Psychotherapy: Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Medications: SSRIs, antipsychotics, mood stabilizers
  • Alternate therapy: Meditation, Yoga, Reiki, Hypnotherapy