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Psychological Therapy of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a distressing condition that leads to brain disturbance due to exposure to dreadful situations. This condition also affects normal individuals who are exposed to stressful circumstances. Remarkable biological and psychological manifestations reveal the presence of PTSD in an individual. This essay explores the situational events that trigger Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, clinical manifestations, and the various treatments and therapies that health professionals use to manage the condition.

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Situational Events that may trigger PTSD

Numerous situational occurrences such as exposure to a deadly event, death reports, constant contact with dreadful information, and knowledge of a person who has experienced danger can trigger PTSD.

Life threatening events range from fatal occurrences such as military encounters, industry accidents, and attacks by terrorists to violent personal attacks and assaults such as rape, which affect a mass group of people. Exposure to the above traumatic events results in mental distress. Traumatic events initiate bodily reactions that make an individual to either fight or flee. This response is termed as a healthy reaction. However, PTSD occurs when the reaction is so extreme that it leads to mental disturbances.

According to Putts (2014), PSTD not only affects people who experience the real traumatic events but also affects those who develop fear after witnessing traumatized individuals. The occurrence of the traumatic event near the victims causes them to experience mental distortion. Similarly, PSTD can affect a normal person upon learning the death of a family close member or a friend.

Clinical Manifestations of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Individuals suffering from this condition exhibit diverse symptoms. Three classes of clinical manifestations reveal PTSD. These clinical manifestations include re-experiencing indications, avoidance indications, and hyperactive arousal systems. The re-experiencing symptoms occur in a number of ways such as frequent flashbacks of the traumatic event. Sareen (2014) reveals that re-experiencing symptoms also have accompanying physical symptoms such as sweating, breathing problems, and heart racing.

A victim of PTSD can also experience shocking nightmares. The avoidance symptoms comprise of mechanisms of avoiding thoughts, feelings, or anything that brings about remembrance of the traumatic event. This situation involves a feeling of unhappiness, disinterestedness, and development of a withdrawal attitude. Communication also becomes a challenge and the affected individual evades any situations that bring about remembrance dreadful event.

Survivors also seem to avoid some of their enjoyable activities and worry much about their future. The hyperactive arousal symptoms are associated with anxiety and anger by the survivors. The individuals are likely to be agitated by the memories of the distressing occurrences. This situation leads to a feeling of resentment. Other arousal problems include lack of concentration and lack of sleep (Motraghi, Seim, Meyer, & Morissette, 2014).

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Treatment and Therapies involved

Motraghi et al. (2014) reveal that PTSD treatment can be done in three ways namely psychotherapy, medication, or application of both. It involves face-to-face communication between a professional mental personnel and the PTSD victim to solicit information about the mental states of the individuals. This therapy focuses on establishment of the various symptoms that are exhibited by the victims. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most commonly used psychotherapy methods in the treatment of PTSD.

This form of treatment comprises exposure therapy, cognitive therapy, and stress inoculation training (Putts, 2014). Exposure therapy enables victims to restructure their fears to avoid further bad memories. Cognitive therapy is a treatment approach that aims at reorganizing the memory to enable the patient to forget the dreadful event. Lastly, stress inoculation is used to create healthy memories of the trauma to reduce the victim’s anxiety about the event.

In addition, health professional used medication to manage PTSD. In this case, the affected individuals are medicated with antidepressants. Despite the side effects of the medications, the antidepressants reduce some of the symptoms of PTSD. This situation enables a patient to go through psychotherapy. The appropriateness of the chosen therapy depends on the patient’s symptoms and reaction.

Professional Approach that a Nurse is indicated to do on a plan of care addressing this Condition

Care and precaution should be taken while handling PSTD victims. Patients show different symptoms that range from despair and hopelessness to outburst reactions towards other people such as brutality and anger. Therefore, it is important for medical practitioners to address this issue professionally to assist the victims to regain their normality (Sareen, 2014).

There is a need to focus on the prevailing conditions before the trauma, the occurrence on the trauma, and conditions after the trauma. In addition, the patient should be given early treatment based on the methods of treatment that result in disremembering of trauma (Motraghi et al, 2014).


This essay has explored the various situational events that trigger PTSD, clinical manifestations, and the various treatments and therapies that health professionals use to manage the condition. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder can be difficult to manage when corrective measures are delayed. As a result, health professionals should determine the uniqueness of individuals that leads them to varying reactions towards dreadful events.

Reference List

Motraghi, T., Seim, R., & Meyer, E., & Morissette, S. (2014). Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: A Methodological Review Using CONSORT Guidelines. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 70(3),197-208.

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Putts, M. (2014). Recognizing Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms in Individuals With Psychotic Disorders. Journal of Counseling & Development,92(1), 83-9.

Sareen, J. (2014). Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in Adults: Impact, Comorbidity, Risk Factors, and Treatment. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 59(9),460-67.

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