To begin with, during their lifetime, humans have to go through a lot of stress. Hectic routine, family issues, or problems at work might cause negative emotions. Usually, it is possible to manage these problems and keep balance. However, some situations are so terrifying that they might cause the development of serious illnesses. One of the severe issues resulting from experiencing traumatic events is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which has life-disturbing symptoms and requires proper treatment.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is one of the most prominent mental health conditions. An individual might develop it after going through horrifying situations such as a terrorist attack, natural disaster, assault, war, or crime. There is a variety of associated symptoms, including insomnia, nightmares, intrusive memories, which might prevent an individual from normal functioning. Thus, this disorder is extremely important to investigate, and three chosen articles are relevant to the topic and will help to evaluate the issue.
The first article, “Sex differences in PTSD symptoms: A differential item functioning approach,” examines what a person experiences while having PTSD. It also raises the question of whether there are any differences in the ways cross-cultural populations deal with terrifying situations. Understanding what exactly a person with the mentioned diagnosis is exposed to is crucial for the investigation of the topic. The article informs about the main symptoms, which include intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, emotional cue reactivity, avoidance of thoughts and reminders, aggression, sleep deprivation, negative emotions, and poor concentration (Murphy, Elklit, Chen, and Ghazal, 2019). Of course, it is not an easy task to go through.
Also, there are differences in the symptoms that men and women with PTSD demonstrate. Murphy et al.found out that females reported increased levels of cue reactivity, avoidance, and intrusiveness, while males scored higher on recklessness and self-destructiveness. One of the main explanations for the contrast might be the fact that females tend to have different “emotional appraisals of the traumatic stressor,” while the other reason might be the “comorbidity with PTSD and other disorders” (p. 323). Therefore, a professional should be aware of the possible variations of this syndrome while choosing a treatment. All the provided information contributes to the research of the assigned topic because, in order to work with any syndrome, a doctor should be aware of the course it might take. It is crucial to understand and evaluate the context within which this disorder is progressing.
The second article is called “An Investigation of Depression, Trauma History, and Symptom Severity in Individuals Enrolled in a Treatment Trial for Chronic PTSD.” It explores the factors that significantly affect the severity of PTSD symptoms. It is strongly related to the research topic because even though many people deal with extremely stressful situations during their lives, not all of them end up developing serious illnesses. Bedard-Gilligan et al. (2015) state that in the United States, 70% of the population are exposed to trauma, while out of this number, 24% of humans get PTSD.
It is crucial to understand which groups of people are at high risk of having harsh diagnoses. The authors raise a concern that doctors often do not look at the wider picture while treating this mental health issue. In order to find a better approach, a professional should have a full anamnesis of a patient. It is necessary to know if he or she had experienced it before and if so, to clarify its level of severity. Bedard-Gilligan et al. (2015) say, “the relationship between trauma type and severity may be better explained by associated depression” (p. 776). Thus, the therapist has to examine if an individual has a history of other mental health conditions and disorders, including anxiety, depression, or panic attack disorder. The authors speak about a conducted study, which assessed diagnostic co-occurrence among men and women with PTSD, and showed that only 2.5% of participants had “pure PTSD” (p.735). This article is also extremely important for the topic research because it provides information about the extent of the illness’s hardship.
The third article is called “PTSD: from Neurobiology to Pharmacological Treatments,” and it investigates the pathophysiology of PTSD and its connection to neurobiology and examines the pharmacological treatment of the disorder. This information is also valuable as it is crucial to know how to achieve better results while treating patients with a disorder. Kelmendi et al. (2016)state that in spite of the fact that there is a lot of research done on PTSD treatments, less than 30% of pharmacotherapies “achieve full remission, and even then, approved pharmacological treatments often take weeks for therapeutic effect” (p. 1). The article informs about serotonin, noradrenergic system and glutamatergic systems, GABA, and cannabinoids, and then explores pharmacological interventions of these structures to the treatment targets. The problem is that each of the discussed medications has considerable side effects and, more importantly, might not be effective enough (Kelmendi et al., 2016) In the end, the authors offer their perspectives on possible future research paths. This part is also remarkable because medicine should constantly be developing.
To conclude, post-traumatic stress disorder is certainly an extremely serious mental health condition. Patients with this diagnosis suffer a lot because the associated symptoms do not let an individual focus on life routine. Thankfully, this illness is curable, and in order to find the right treatment, a therapist has to evaluate all conditions of the illness course carefully. It is also significant to examine an environment surrounding a patient, as well as make sure that their anamnesis is properly collected and provides a full picture.
- Bedard, G. M., Duax Jakob, J. M., Doane, L. S., Jaeger, J., Eftekhari, A., Feeny, N., & Zoellner, L. A. (2015). An investigation of depression, trauma History, and symptom severity in individuals enrolled in a treatment trial for chronic PTSD. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 71(7), 725–740.
- Benjamin K., Thomas G. A., Stephanie Y., Steven S., Chadi G. Abdallah, & John H. K. (2016). PTSD: From neurobiology to pharmacological treatments. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 7(1), doi:10.3402/ejpt.v7.31858.
- Murphy, S., Elklit, A., Chen, Y. Y., Ghazali, S. R., & Shevlin, M. (2019). Sex differences in PTSD symptoms: A differential item functioning approach. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 11(3), 319–327.