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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Risk Factors

The 2008 Chinese Winter storms affected many regions within the Chinese society. The affected areas included regions with heavy snows, ice, and cold temperatures. The disaster affected many travelers, causing approximately 129 deaths. Research shows that 50 to 90 percent of individuals go through some form of psychological trauma due to the occurrence of natural disasters. A large percentage that is, over 67% develop complications resulting from such stress. Others may end up developing complications such as posttraumatic stress disorders, including horror, obsession, nervousness, melancholy, and even drug abuse. Victims of disasters may perhaps develop some symptoms that are associated with PTSD. Such symptoms may include continual, as well as spontaneous traumatic suffering, emotional anesthetizing, lack of involvement in normal activities, and hyper-arousal symptoms such as tetchiness, restlessness, apprehension, and edgy anxiety. In this regard, it is eminent that PTSD is associated with structural neurochemical changes in the central nervous system that may even affect an individual’s natural health (Koopman, Classen, Cardena, & Spiegel, 1995). Another reason why crisis workers need to understand risk factors associated with PTSD is that the disorder may cause serious diseases that are expensive and complex to cure, such as heart diseases. Furthermore, victims experiencing PTSD may end up developing complications such as persistent pain, pain discernment, and pain forbearance, which may put their lives in jeopardy. People suffering from PTSD may develop some weird behaviors such as poor diet, smoking, drinking heavily, conflicts, and violence in interactions and antagonism. Understanding such problems would help the crisis worker to intervene to solve problems before they escalate into something complex. For instance, an individual who might have lost the loved one may embark on serious drinking just after the disaster. This would not help anything but instead, it would only worsen the situation. It is thus not amazing that trauma survivors, particularly those with long-term PTSD signs, regularly report high rates of tribulations, as regards bodily fitness. These tribulations frequently entail an array of bodily structures including the cardiovascular, pulmonary, neurological, and gastrointestinal organs (Kessler, Sonnega, Bromet, Hughes, & Nelson 1995).

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Kessler, R.C., Sonnega, A., Bromet, E.J., Hughes, M., & Nelson, C.B. (1995). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in the National Comorbidity Survey. Archives of General Psychiatry, 52(12), 1048-1060.

Koopman, C., Classen, C.C., Cardena, E., & Spiegel, D. (1995). When disaster strikes, Acute Stress Disorder may follow. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 8(1), 29-46.

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