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Discussing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Persistent stress often leads to impaired performance and stress-related health problems, sometimes lingering even after the stressor has been terminated. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is one of the most dramatic examples of the aftereffects of stress.
You have been asked to prepare a brief presentation on PTSD that focuses on different theoretical views of the disorder and the controversy surrounding its increased prevalence. Answer the following questions to organize your presentation.
1. How would a researcher working from the bio/psycho/social perspective explain PTSD? What are some of the specific biological, psychological, and social factors in the disorder?
2. How would a researcher working within the diathesis-stress model explain PTSD? What are some of the specific predisposing and precipitating factors in PTSD?
3. How would a researcher working within the field of psycho/neuro/immunology explain PTSD? What are some possible mind-body pathways to the disorder?
4. What evidence supports those who claim that PTSD is a genuine condition that is triggered by a traumatic event?
5. What evidence supports skeptics who claim that PTSD is at least partly a cultural or social phenomenon?

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Solution Preview

1. Look at the signs and symptoms,as well as the course and outcome of the developed or developing PTSD condition in a person who participated in or became a target of violent, traumatic life destroying actions.

- Predisposing
- Trauma
- Violence
- Anger
- Guilt & regret-fullness
- Recurrence of traumatic scenes and visions during sleep
- Night mares
- Insomnia
- Lack of social interaction
- Disinterest in anything fun that the person used to like before
- Aggression
- Drinking and substance abuse
- Suicidal thinking

3. Health is affected both physically and psychologically when a person suffers from all mental illnesses, especially stress and PTSD. Integrative health studies show that with PTSD, over time, the quality of the patient's physical health diminishes, along with the ability to remain resilient and get back to a normal life from before the traumatic experiences and actions. Psycho/neuro/immunological studies frequently point out to the effect on immune system and even the physical structure of the brain that gets changed due to stress caused by PTSD.

4. Traumatic life experiences do happen and they do indeed cause PTSD. Perhaps, this is ...

Solution Summary

Short answer on post traumatic stress disorder - factors, issues, treatment & risks.