Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosis | Free Essay Example

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosis

Words: 819
Topic: Psychology

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a psychological disorder associated with high anxiety. It is normally caused by terrifying events in life, but it can also emanate from some biological complications. One of the common causes of PTSD is experiencing life threatening events. People who work in risky environments have a high propensity of developing PTSD than their counterparts in safer working environments. For instance, soldiers who have experienced bloody wars are likely to develop PTSD.

Rescue workers have also been established to be at elevated risk levels for the development of PTSD. Accident survivors also record high rates of PTSD. It is also possible for people to develop post-traumatic stress disorder when they are subjected to abuse. Sexual abuse and physical abuse in the family setting may also lead to PTSD in the victims.

Children are particularly at high risks of developing the disorder when they are subjected to sexual or physical violence by their family members. In rare cases, the family members of victims of different accidents may also develop the disorder. PTSD is common among the adults, but it can also affect children depending on the events they experience (Diagnosis Dictionary, 2014).

Clinical manifestations of PTSD

The most common clinical manifestation of PTSD is having recurrent bad dreams about the events that triggered the development of the disorder. Victims always complain about having nightmares about the traumatic events. The victims also portray fears every time they have a flashback of the events. Patients with regular flashbacks of traumatic events may portray behaviors that depict their response to the actual events.

The victims also portray emotional problems when they are reminded of the events. The reminders may emanate from different objects, sounds, and people. For instance, victims of car accidents may experience flashbacks every time they travel in a car or whenever they see a similar accident. Victims also portray enhanced physical sensations when they experience flashbacks of the events. They experience faster heartbeat rate, sweating, and panting.

The victims claim to lose control over their emotions and reactions when they are experiencing flashbacks. Some victims also admit to being afraid to sleep alone while others have sleepless nights because of the recurrent nightmares. The victims also always portray signs of developing personalities characterized with solitude. Avoidance is a universal manifestation of the disorder among victims who get flashbacks because they would rather avoid visiting places that remind them of their ordeals (Disease and Conditions, 2014).

Treatment and therapy

Post-traumatic stress disorder is treated through psychotherapy and medication. The treatments are brought together to enhance the chances of regaining wellness for the victims. The intensity of therapy and medication depends on the nature of the manifestations of the disorder. Children and adults may be taken through diverse forms of therapy to help them overcome the manifestations of PTSD.

Cognitive therapy is carried out to identify the ways of thinking of the victims. Therapists attempt to establish the perceptions of their patients, and they help them to overcome their negative line of thought. Most traumatic events cause inaccuracy in the perception of the victims to normal situations. The victims tend to relate everything to the traumatic event; hence, they are trapped in the memories of their ordeals (Treatment of PTSD, 2014).

Exposure therapy is also used commonly to help the victims overcome their fears. This type of therapy entails the development of virtual reality whereby the victims are taken through experiences similar to their traumatic events. During this process, the aim of the physicians involved is to lure the patients in overcoming the fear of visiting places that remind them of their traumatic experiences. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing is also a modern method of treating victims with PTSD.

It entails the combination of exposure therapy with eye guiding technology to influence specific responses to various stimuli. EMDR is effective in helping the victims of PTSD to react positively to their traumatic flashbacks.

PTSD is associated with symptoms like depression; hence, some victims are given antidepressants. Anti-anxiety medications are also commonly administered to patients alongside therapy. There are also drugs used to suppress bad dreams, and they come in handy for the victims undergoing recurrent nightmares (Treatment of PTSD, 2014).

Professional approaches for nurses

PTSD manifests itself differently in different victims; hence, the guidelines that help the nurses in the development of appropriate intervention programs dictate for an individual-based approach. The nurses must first diagnose the disorder and identify its manifestations prior to the development of an intervention plan.

Nurses should conduct a detailed assessment of the needs of the individuals (Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-Treatment, 2014). The associated nurse must be qualified to handle mental health care issues. The nurses must be actively involved in the administration of medications for the patients to ensure the desired outcomes are attained. They should also develop a therapy plan for the patients with a close focus on the needs of the individual victims.


Diagnosis Dictionary: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. (2014).

Disease and Conditions: Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (2014).

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-Treatment. (2014).

Treatment of PTSD. (2014).