Articles

PTSD Definition Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychological disorder formed by exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence. It is linked to physiological changes within the brain, affecting the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex. PTSD has biological, psychological and environmental causation and implication. Post traumatic stress disorder can be treated, though has no medical cure to date. PTSD Symptoms There are eight criteria to be met for a PTSD diagnosis, four of which are arranged in symptom clusters. These symptom clusters comprise: Intrusive symptoms of the traumatic event (memories, dreams, flashbacks, traumatic event reminders) Avoidance of traumatic aspects (feelings...
Nearly a decade ago (2006) I wrote The PTSD Cup Explanation, a simple view of how PTSD causes symptoms in day-to-day life. This article is an update to that original piece. Regardless of the type of trauma endured, the PTSD Cup does not change, deviate or apply differently to your circumstance. The PTSD Cup is a basic representation of your capacity for tolerating stressors. As your cup fills, symptoms get worse. When your cup overflows, you may break down crying, become psychotic or manic, attempt to kill yourself, and many other possible outcomes. The differences unique to each individual lay within their environment (exposure to daily life), their ability to manage stressors, and finally, the actions that occur upon overflow. One...
A repetitive question by spouses and loved ones is that their sufferer walked out of the relationship with little to zero prediction of such event occurring. Some may have concluded that the end of the world would happen before their partner walking away from them would have. At this point I can only say, I'm sorry for the pain you're enduring right now. Two questions often follow this predicament: Why did they leave me? What can I do to save the relationship? There are many possible scenarios surrounding a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) sufferer leaving a partner. This article discusses the key situations and leaves open to comment further discussion for individual cases and possible solutions. Relationships are complicated...
About PTSD PTSD is a non-curable, yet treatable and manageable disorder. When you have reached the level for a PTSD diagnosis, you have reached the peak of many individual disorders rolled into one. Don’t freak out about non-curable, it just means once your brain has endured this level of distress, you can heal and manage symptoms, though another event could heighten symptoms, or make them worse as time goes on. Some people fully recover and experience little or no ongoing duress due to lack of future traumatic experience and excellent self management skills. Approximately 6% of PTSD sufferers never fully recover and experience regular debilitating symptoms that limit their ability to participate in society. Anxiety, sleeplessness...
To answer this question, lets first define a psychological trigger. A trigger is an activated traumatic memory due to your present environment via one or more of your five senses, sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. A trigger will result in a symptomatic or behavioral response. To fully understand the difference between trigger and stressor, please read Stressor vs. Trigger (recommended reading). Many sufferers and supporters view triggers negatively, as they provoke a negative action, so avoidance is often the solution--a natural human response. When you look closer at that natural response, what you're doing is instinctively creating a negative from a negative. It is far from healthy to avoid things that are not dangerous but...
PTSD Diagnosis - Adult To fully understand the below diagnostic criterion, read the discussion after the diagnosis, which outlines specific meaning and understanding from the DSM V. PTSD Diagnosis for a child is contained at the end of this article. -------------------- Note: The following criteria apply to adults, adolescents, and children older than 6 years. For children 6 years and younger, see corresponding criteria. A. Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence in one (or more) of the following ways: Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s), Witnessing, in person, the event(s) as it occurred to others, Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend. In...
Cognitive distortion forms the backbone of PTSD. Whether you know it or not, all moods and behavioral patterns originate from your cognitions-- your thoughts. The first thing that happens is a thought, and then a mood or behavior occurs. When you allow an area of your life to become dominated by negative thoughts, you'll come to believe things are as bad as you -- frequently incorrectly-- imagine them to be. This leaves us at identifying cognitive distortions and rationalizing them. An often-seen mistake occurs when you feel better rather quickly and assume you are completely better. This does not mean you have mastered the techniques and improved your longevity: you are merely having a spontaneous, false burst of positivity. These...
Most people exposed to a major traumatic event do not develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), nor is PTSD passed through genetics (Yehuda, Bierer, 2009). There is no rhyme or reason as to who gets PTSD and who does not. To make things worse, experts find evidence to support some risk factors, while others fail to find supporting evidence of the same factors. One aspect majority agreed upon is dose-response (Dead Link Removed), as this encompasses multiple factors. Dose-response refers to the longevity and compounding severity of trauma exposure. For example, in the United States, lifetime trauma exposure is 50-60%, PTSD prevalence is 7.8%; in Algeria, trauma exposure is 92%, PTSD prevalence is 37.4%. Dose-response association...
How many times have you heard yourself say, "I can't?" Everyone has these moments. Problems can seem too intricate to solve, and challenges can appear too difficult to face. For people living with PTSD, there is an additional piece that will easily make anything seem impossible: negative thinking. Negative thinking is choosing to have thoughts that discount any positive, hopeful, or desirable outcome. These negative thoughts often arise out of cognitive distortions. You can use your knowledge of cognitive distortion to better understand the types of negative thinking you engage in. For example, it is easy to have a distorted response to criticism. If my employer tells me that I've done something on a project incorrectly, I could turn...
Triggers are part and parcel of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If you have PTSD, you have triggers of some kind that cause a symptomatic reaction. The positive to triggers is that with time and effort you can remove them or lessen the symptomatic impact to non-distressing levels. Many years ago, I wrote about stressors vs. triggers due to the confusion that stemmed from the use of these terms. If you are unsure about the difference, you should read that article first, as we directly discuss triggers on the assumption you fully understand what they are and that you understand them in the correct context. The how to for trigger removal is the easy part. Going through the process of removing triggers is the challenging part...
Top