Everything You Need to Know About Posttraumatic Stress Disorder describes the causes, symptoms, and available treatments for posttraumatic stress disorder. The acute stress response is a natural response to unnatural events. When a serious, troubling event occurs, the immediate response may be a disturbance in a person’s cognitive, emotional, occupational, or social functioning. The victim often feels disconnected and unable carry out his or her normal activities. Collectively, these disturbances are known as the acute stress response, and they generally subside within a few weeks.
Posttraumatic stress disorder is diagnosable when the symptoms of the acute stress response persist or return, or when new symptoms emerge. Throughout history, the effects of trauma have been noted, especially as they relate to combat. Soldiers who were injured in combat, as well as those who witnessed injury and death, often returned to civilian life changed by the experiences and seemingly unreachable. More recently, attention has been given to trauma that is a result of childhood abuse, terrorism, crime, accidents, domestic violence, and disaster. Posttraumatic stress disorder is so prevalent that mental health services providers are now required to assess all clients for a history of trauma. When trauma is detected, specially trained providers are required to conduct trauma informed care.
Everything You Need to Know About Posttraumatic Stress Disorder describes the physical and mental processes that occur at the time of the trauma. The signs and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder are clearly described. The associated disorders of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse are explained. Levels of disability from posttraumatic stress disorder are identified, and the requirements of trauma informed care are defined. The interventions provided by licensed psychotherapists, physicians, and social workers defined and explained in Everything You Need to Know About Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
Everything you Need to Know About Posttraumatic Stress Disorder is an ideal quick references for undergraduate and graduate students in psychology, counseling, social work, and health care. It is also an excellent resource for people who have posttraumatic stress disorder.
A counselor notices that her client, a recovering drug addict, seems to shut down during some of her sessions. Further interviewing reveals that the woman was raped years earlier, and suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder, which has worsened since she stopped using drugs. Her treatment plan is revised to include Eye Movement Desensitization Reprogramming, and she is better prepared to stay abstinent and remain in treatment.
A military wife discloses that even though she is grateful that her husband has returned from Iraq without any injuries, but a year after his discharge, he is still unemployed, and she feels as though their relationship has derailed. She is thinking of divorcing him until her therapist talks to her about the disconnect that is often associated with posttraumatic stress disorder. With this information, the wife can approach her husband differently and encourage him to get treatment.
An aging Vietnam veteran goes to the VA for medical treatment, and shortly thereafter begins to have troubling nightmares about his tour of duty decades earlier. When he does not return for his next appointment, a nurse practitioner calls him and determines that seeing the military personnel at the VA has triggered his symptoms. All of these people have signs of posttraumatic stress disorder, and many will improve with an accurate diagnosis and trauma informed treatment.
A postal worker is hit while delivering the mail from the delivery truck. After his injuries clear, he is still unwilling to drive his car, and he has not returned to work. He is depressed and withdrawn, and afraid of losing his retirement. His supervisor sends him to the Employee Assistance Professional, who refers him to a mental health counselor, who helps him to recognize how the accident triggered feelings he had many years before when his brother was killed in an accident.
People with posttraumatic stress disorder are often misunderstood. Families complain that the person who experienced the trauma is isolated and disconnected from family activities. Some individuals have deep feelings of depression, anxiety, and fear, no matter how much time has passed since the trauma they experienced. Understanding posttraumatic stress disorder is an important part of restoring the traumatized person to their former level of functioning, and educating their families on how best to offer support and encouragement.
Trauma changes people. It leaves a permanent imprint by creating a “flashbulb memory” that captures the traumatic event. Intrusive, vivid memories of the event, nightmares, and disorienting flashbacks cloud thinking and destabilize emotions.
Posttraumatic stress disorder is treatable, but not fixable, because it can always be triggered. Treatment helps the individual with posttraumatic stress disorder to recognize and avoid triggers, manage symptoms, and restore their level of functioning.
This book is written to familiarize the reader with the dynamics of trauma, the signs and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, and effective strategies for managing symptoms.