Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder


In every day, human life is prone to overwhelming and frightening experiences. At one time or the other, one may encounter or witness a road accident, be a victim of an assault, torture or abuse, loose a loved one or be the victim of a severe neglect. These events and other terrifying event are the cause of an emotional illness referred to as Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Any event that is life-threatening or that severely compromises the emotional well being of a person or causes intense fear has the potential to cause PSTD. Although anyone who have experienced traumatic event can develop PTSD, soldiers, police and life-rescuers are commonly affected due to nature of their work. In times of war, soldiers may be shot or be killed or witness their colleagues be killed. No wonder PTSD was first brought to the attention of the medical community by war veterans after World War I. This explains why the medical fraternity first referred to this syndrome as the shell shock or the battle fatigue. Soldiers who participated in Vietnam’s war were commonly diagnosed with what medics referred to as post-Vietnam syndrome. Later the medics realized that traumatic events outside war have similar effects. Although PTSD may have existed as long as human being experienced trauma, it was not until 1980 when it started receiving a formal diagnosis. Traumatic events have a shocking effect. When persons experiences traumatic event, their sense that life is fair and they are reasonably safe and secure is greatly undermined. A traumatic event makes it clear to human being that can die at any moment. PTSD develops from these feeling. Since PTSD is a common occurrence in human life, it is important that every person learn the available treatment and the tips for self –help.

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Shiromani, P. et al (2009). Post-traumatic stress disorder: basic science and clinical practice. New York: Springer.

WebMD (2012). Post traumatic stress disorder. Retrieved on February 7, 2012 from WebMD: