The mental health of the person is one of the fundamental factors of people’s well-being as it guarantees their ability to socialize, communicate with other people, and remain involved in the processes critical for their existence. For this reason, the monitoring of its status is one of the fundamental tasks of specialists working in the healthcare sector. Unfortunately, the tendency towards the increase in the level of stress and pressure an individual experiences every day creates conditions beneficial for the appearance of multiple disorders or problems. The improved understanding of the nature of these very issues becomes a key to the positive results and improvement of the health of the nation. For this reason, the presented paper revolves around post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), its primary symptoms, consequences, and approaches to treatment aimed at the improvement of patients’ lives.
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Today, PTSD remains a common undesired state that is diagnosed in broad populations. Statistics state that about 7-8 out of every 100 individuals have experienced this disorder at some point in their lives (Neupane, Bramness, & Lien, 2017). Every year, about 8 million adults address psychologists because of the illness (Neupane et al., 2017). For this reason, the scope of the problem remains significant, and there is a negative tendency towards the increase in the number of affected people. That is why there is a need for effective interventions that will be able to help patients to recover and avoid negative feelings or deterioration of the quality of their lives. The complexity of the selected issue is also evidenced by the fact that there are various approaches to the treatment of PTSD and clients’ rehabilitation.
Because of the complexity of the question and the scope of the problem, there are multiple definitions of the term. One of the generalized states that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an undesired and dangerous mental health state that is caused by a stressing, terrifying, or sad event, or its experience (“Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD),” n.d.). In such a way, a person with a negative past or stressing background faces the high risk of PTSD’s acquisition and its further development. There are multiple symptoms that are associated with this disease and affect people who have it. They are grouped into four types, which are intrusive memories, changes in physical reactions, alterations in emotional states, avoidance, and negative changes in mood or thinking (“PTSD” n.d.). The in-time intervention is critical to improve the state of a person as there might be more shifts in his/her personality and appearance of new complications.
Symptoms and Changes in People’s Mentalities
For the first group of symptoms, intrusive memories can be different and have multiple effects on people. Clients might suffer from recurrent, unwanted, and extremely stressing memories of the event that caused the development of the syndrome. A significant number of individuals with PTSD also experience flashbacks or feelings of the traumatic situation as if it happens again (“PTSD,” n.d.). There can also be nightmares depriving persons of a healthy dream and worsening their states. Finally, there are specific triggers that might remind about the event and result in the development of severe distress. The combination of these symptoms has an extremely potent effect on a person and precondition the worsening of his/her states. It means that there is a need for their discussion with a specialist and their elimination.
As for the avoidance, this broad term includes a set of other symptoms peculiar to the given disease. First, and the most common feature of people with PTSD is the attempt to avoid thinking or speaking about the traumatic event as it causes pain to them or results in the appearance of negative feelings or emotions (“PTSD,” n.d.). The given symptom can be especially dangerous as trying to hide their real states, patients do not address specialists or speak with their close people. It results in the progression of the disease, and its becoming more complex. Additionally, clients’ attempts to avoid places or people who can be associated with the event that caused physiological distress or the development of undesired symptoms are the sign of PTSD (“PTSD,” n.d.). A set of these factors should be considered by psychologists when they diagnose individuals.
As for the two remaining groups, they include a variety of symptoms that precondition the appearance of negative changes in both the mental and psychical activity of a person. First of all, the majority of people with the experience of PTSD report that they had multiple negative ideas about themselves, people who surrounded them, and society in general (Neupane et al., 2017). Additionally, they had no hope for the better or their positive future (“PTSD,” n.d.). There are also issues in the private life as the inability to express emotions, share them, and communicate with others undermined relations and preconditioned the feeling of detachment from others (“PTSD,” n.d.). There might also be memory problems because of the stressful situation a person had to experience. A combination of all these aspects has an extremely negative impact on a patient and result in his/her isolation and problematic socialization. From the perspective, PTSD becomes a serious problem as it deprives patients of the chance for successful interaction with individuals who belong to the same communities in which he/she exists.
Finally, there are also some changes in the way a person responds to threats and his/her behavior. First, the client might demonstrate constant fear and the desire to hide (Mathew, Cook, Japuntich, & Leventhal, 2015). There are multiple problems with the concentration and distribution of attention (Mathew et al., 2015). Individuals with PTSD might have bursts of anger or other negative feelings, which make them dangerous for themselves and people who surround them (“PTSD,” n.d.). Moreover, they face a high risk of drug use as they help to reduce stress and avoid negative memories (Neupane et al., 2017). It preconditions the gradual destruction of their personality and the emergence of new, more complex issues. PTSD is also characterized by the alterations in patients’ mentalities as the given set of factors has an extremely negative influence on well-being, quality of life, and preconditions the gradual sophistication of all existing mental problems.
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Resting on the given list of symptoms, PTSD can be taken as a severe health problem that should be addressed immediately. Social and mental effects of this disease are also extremely dangerous as they might precondition a person’s isolation and his/her inability to enjoy life and communicate with close people. Specialists also admit the fact that the development of depression and suicidal inclinations are also common for people who have PTSD as symptoms make them unhappy and promote the appearance of the desire to end suffering (Mathew et al., 2015). For this reason, it is fundamental to consult with a specialist at the first stage of illness, or soon after the traumatic event, when the early symptoms appear.
Another problem associated with PTSD is the intensity of the symptoms a person has at the moment. There are periods of remission and attacks of the disease, which may confuse a patient and prevent him/her from visiting a doctor (Sin, Spain, Furuta, Murrels, & Norman, 2017). The given situation is dangerous as during the complex periods, clients might have suicidal thoughts and can cause damage to their bodies or health. It is recommended to devote attention to these factors and ask for care or assistance in short terms.
Regarding the complexity of the given mental state and multiple negative effects it has on people, there are several approaches to its treatment and improvement of clients’ states. At the moment, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and group models are considered the most popular and effective approaches to helping people with PTSD. Trauma-focused CDT works with the alteration of patients’ thinking and their vision of the event that caused serious damage to their health (Bhandari, 2017). A therapist asks every detail to ensure that a patient becomes able to manage the distress that is associated with it and realizes the absence of the threat at the moment (Sin et al., 2017). Additionally, this approach preconditions positive shifts in patients’ mentalities by discussing the most problematic memories and eliminating the basis for fear (Sin et al., 2017). The effectiveness of the approach is proven by the positive statistics as the majority of people with PTSD managed to recover and return to their usual activities (Sin et al., 2017). That is why it is one of the first options therapists recommend to clients.
As for group therapy, it rests on the idea that sharing their experiences with other people who had traumatic events in their past, individuals fell relief and acquire an improved understanding of their condition. Additionally, because there are some common symptoms of PTSD, patients might benefit from their discussion in the group and learning how to cope with them to recover and remain the part of society to which they belong (Mathew et al., 2015). Participation in group therapy is useful for all clients with this mental problem as it has a positive on all members of the collective.
In some complex cases, the methods mentioned above can be supported by pharmaceutical treatment. First, if a person rejects having trauma-focused psychological treatment, medication remains the only option for him/her as it will help to manage symptoms and stressful moods. Additionally, if the psychological assistance fails to improve the situation of the patient, and there is a need for special pills to deal with fear, a specialist might consider using antidepressants to help a patient. These might include paroxetine, sertraline, or amitriptyline as the most commonly used medications to treat PTSD (Bhandari, 2017). In complex cases, both these methods are used to help clients.
Altogether, PTSD remains a mental problem that might deteriorate the quality of people’s lives and precondition their inability to cooperate with other members of communities, socialize, and have positive emotions. It appears because of the traumatic event a person experiences and is followed by severe symptoms that trigger alteration of mentality and physical behavior of people. For this reason, there is a critical need for the intervention to assist such people in their recovery. It might presuppose CBT, group therapy, and pharmaceutical treatment to help a client to avoid negative feelings and teach him/her how to cope with stress and mitigate the negative effects of PTSD.
Bhandari, S. (2017). What Are the Treatments for PTSD? Web.
Neupane, S., Bramness, J., & Lien, L. (2017). Comorbid post-traumatic stress disorder in alcohol use disorder: relationships to demography, drinking and neuroimmune profile. BMC Psychiatry, 17, 312. Web.
Mathew, A., Cook, J., Japuntich, S., & Leventhal, A. (2015). Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, underlying affective vulnerabilities, and smoking for affect regulation. The American Journal of Addictions, 24(1), 39-46. Web.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (n.d.). Web.
Sin, J., Spain, D., Furuta, M., Murrels, T., & Norman, I. (2017). Psychological interventions for post‐traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in people with severe mental illness. Cochrane Database Systemic Review, 2017(1). Web.