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PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Key Diagnosis

Updated on January 8, 2018

PTSD Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder commonly called PTSD has been called by a lot of different names over the years from shell shock to Combat Exhaustion to Stress Response Syndrome to Post Traumatic Self Destruction whatever you want to call it the people who suffer from it just call it hell.

For the longest time PTSD has been associated with military veterans and the old statement "He brought the war home with him". Now there are a good percentage of military veterans that do suffer from post traumatic stress disorder it is not being commonly diagnosed with people who have not had any war experiences but have experienced traumas in their lifes

In this hubpage we will take a closer look at PTSD and some of the treatments that are now being used to help those living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Forms Of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder forms when a person experiences a trauma in their life. Now this could be anything from witnessing a violent crime to suffering abuse to surviving a car crash what ever the brain determines as traumatic could set PTSD into motion. There are millions of people who experience the exact same event as someone suffering from PTSD and will have no ill effects it comes down to the hard wiring of the brain on how it handles the situation or situations

There are two forms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

A) Short Term - This tends to be a temporary form of PTSD as it tends not to last too long similar to what was referred to as shock. Normally the symptoms of PTSD will disappear within a few weeks or months

B) Long Term or Chronic - Unfortunately for suffers of chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder this form can last for years of decades

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Diagnosis

As with all of my mental health posts only a properly trained professional can diagnose a person with PTSD. All of the free tests on Google are fine, and normally sponsored by a drug company, but your doctor will have the final word and get you the help if need be

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder diagnosis according to the DSM is the following:

- all symptoms must have lasted for a minimum of one month


(A) At least one re-experiencing symptom

- Flashbacks including reliving the traumatic event repeatedly

- Nightmares regarding the traumatic event

- Series of frightening thoughts relating to the event


(B) At least one avoidance symptom

- Avoiding places or events that may bring up memories of the event

- Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the event(s)


(C) At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms

- Being easily startled or frightened

- Feeling tense or on the edge

- Difficulty sleeping

- Angry Outbursts


(D) At least two cognition and mood symptoms

- Negative thoughts directed at ones self or the world

- Strong feelings of guilt or blame

- Sudden loss of interest in activities one use to enjoy


Other Mental Health Issues With PTSD

PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is classified as an anxiety disorder and what tends to happen with people suffering from PTSD is the development of other mental health issues

Depression - A lot of the feelings associated with PTSD share common features with Major Depressive Disorder and must be treated as such. Depression alone has the potential of being a life destructive but when combined with PTSD it becomes a bit more difficult to treat

Anxiety - As mentioned PTSD is classified as an anxiety disorder however it is pretty common for the person to develop anxiety issues that spread to more than just the traumatic event

Substance Abuse- Unfortunately substance abuse is pretty common when it comes to chronic post traumatic stress disorder as the person abuses drugs or alcohol in order to cover up the trauma of th event and the feelings coinciding with PTSD. This is evident in the high number of veterans who have returned from war with alcohol or drug issues

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Treatments

Thankfully with the passing of time there are now a number of treatments for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that have shown a good rate of success. The two most common are medication and therapy

(A) Medication - A doctor or psychiatrist will sometimes prescribe medication to treat the anxiety element of PTSD and anti-depressants for the depression end of this particular mental health disorder. As of late doctors are learning that some types of medications will help with sleep and recurring nightmares

(B) Therapy - There are two forms of cognitive behavioral therapy used for the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder that have shown success

(1) Exposure Therapy - What exposure therapy does is gradually reintroduce the patient to elements relating to their PTSD and traumatic event in a safe environment in the hope that the fear associated with the event dissipates.

(2) Cognitive Restructuring - What Cognitive Restructuring is hoping to do is help the patient make sense of what they are experience in terms of feelings regarding the event. It is common for the patient to not remember the exact details of the event but the feelings associated with it.

Substance Abuse Counseling - is needed for patients with PTSD who have covered up their feelings associated with the event with drugs or alcohol. In order to treat the underlying problem, PTSD, the person needs to be clean and sober for it to be effective

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Triggers

Trying to explain triggers to those who have never dealt with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be difficult. Basically a trigger is a sudden memory that may come out of nowhere and it can be just about anything.

Large triggers such as a specific date or location or hearing about an event similar to the traumatic event that they suffered tend to be easily identifiable. Its the small triggers that tend to cause the most problems. A small trigger can be a sound, a smell, a tone of voice or pretty much anything

What I have seen help is keeping a journal for the times when a person is triggered. By immediately jotting down everything that was happening around the time of the trigger can help identify and treat those specific triggers

Have You Experienced PTSD

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PTSD Video

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Summary

For the longest time people suffering from PTSD would not seek out treatment for feelings of shame and guilt but thankfully with reeducation that is slowly decreasing. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder can be incredibly difficult for the person dealing with it and for those around them. Thankfully the treatment methods have continued to improve and professionals are trained to seek out the signs that a patient may be dealing with this mental health issue. I am including a piece of work from Shakespeare written a very long time ago to show there is nothing new about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Tell me, sweet lord, what is't that takes from thee
Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?
Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth,
And start so often when thou sit'st alone?
Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks,
And given my treasures and my rights of thee
To thick-eyed musing and cursed melancholy?

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    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 

      18 months ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      As a teenager, I was involved in a farm accident that nearly took my life. It took a long time to get over the flashbacks and the nightmares. Once I got away from the farm, however, the depression and anxiety surfaced later in my life after several difficult childbirths. I still have residual affects and see a counselor regularly.

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