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PTSD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Based on the Military Community

Delores Davis

on 3 December 2014

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Transcript of PTSD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing – During therapy sessions, patients focus on their most disturbing trauma, but their minds are distracted by eye movements and noises. Watching the therapist’s pen move back and forth or listening to random taps or beeps can stimulate the brain, allowing the patient to talk about their trauma without feeling stressed. Over time, patients feel less stressed about the trauma and have a more clear understanding of it.

As mentioned previously, CBT is very useful in individual and group therapy. There are several parts to CBT, including:

Exposure Therapy - Exposes people to the trauma they experienced, but in a safe and controlled manner by using mental imagery, writing, or visits to the place where the event happened; used to coped with feelings.

Cognitive Restructuring - Helps people make sense of the bad memories by helping them to look at what happened in a more realistic way. When there are feelings of guilt, it can cause a person to remember events differently from reality.

Stress Inoculation Training - Reduces PTSD symptoms by learning how to control anxiety. This therapy also helps people look at their memories in a healthier way.
Most treatments for PTSD patients lasts about 3-6 months. However, patients who have other addictions such as alcoholism or drug abuse can prolong treatment up to a year or more!
People may have negative changes in their thoughts and beliefs. The way you think about yourself and others changes because of the trauma.

They may blame themselves for the event taking place.

They may not have positive or loving feelings toward other people and may stay away from relationships.

They may forget about parts of the traumatic event or not be able to talk about them.

They may think the world is completely dangerous, and no one can be trusted.
Negative Changes
This is also called re-experiencing symptoms. Memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time. You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the event took place.

They may have nightmares of the event or a similar situation that wake you up at night and may keep you from sleeping.

They may have flashbacks that feel like you are going through the event again. These can come at any time.

Things that make you relive the event are called triggers. A trigger can be something you hear, see, or even smell. Examples are a car accident, a news report, the smell of a fire, or even watching a movie.
Reliving the Event
History of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in the United States Military Community
Adams, Morgan. "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms, Causes and Effects." PsychGuides.Com. Elements of behavioral health, 7 May 2010. Web. 17 Nov. 2014. <http://www.psychguides.com/guides/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-symptoms-causes-and-effects/>.

Frey, Rebecca J., Ph.D. "Post-traumatic stress disorder." Mind Disorders. Advameg, Inc, 22 May 2009. Web. 17 Nov. 2014. <http://www.minddisorders.com/>






Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition triggered by witnessing or experiencing something traumatic.

It has a very long history affecting veterans dating back to the Civil War.

The disorder is characterized by flashbacks, avoidance, mistrust of others, self-blame and hyper-vigilance. These symptoms may be acute or chronic.

Treatment is out there. The types of treatment include psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, and counseling.

Since many of these treatments do not last longer than 6 months, long-term therapies are needed for chronic situations.

Due to the nature of the symptoms, which can result in a dishonorable discharge, we believe that qualifications for receiving treatment should still include PTSD to ensure that patients do not get released to the public, becoming a danger to themselves and others.
Researchers are testing the possibilities of giving CBT and other treatments over the phone and/or through Internet use. One study showed people with PTSD meeting with a therapist to learn about the disorder, make a list of trigger symptoms, and strategies to reduce stress. Participants visited a website for more information about PTSD, then kept a log of their coping skills and symptoms. This Internet-based treatment study showed a reduction in PTSD symptoms and depression, and the effects lasted even after treatment ended.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) has researchers exploring medications that could target the underlying causes of PTSD in an effort of preventative care. Other researchers are attempting to enhance cognitive, personality, and social protective factors to minimize risk factors and ward off full-blown PTSD after trauma. Even still, researchers are attempting to identify what factors determine whether someone with PTSD will respond well to one type of intervention or another, aiming to develop more personalized, effective and efficient treatments.

The advancement of gene therapy and brain imaging technologies continue to help pinpoint when and where in the brain PTSD begins. This understanding may then lead to better targeted treatments to suit each person's own needs or even prevent the disorder before it causes harm.
Honorably discharged war era (any of the nation’s war or peacekeeping periods) veterans and his/her family members           
Washington State National Guard or Military Reserve members deployed in support of the nation’s war and peacekeeping missions, and their family members
The veteran does not need to be suffering from or diagnosed with PTSD, but should be able to demonstrate significant post war adjustment issues to warrant outpatient care
No VA service connected disability for any condition is required for this service within the WDVA PTSD Program
Services are free to qualified veterans
Priority is given to those most vulnerable or those that have no other reasonable options for care.
VA Counseling Eligibility
Individual Treatment
The First Step in Treatment is Knowing What is Wrong and Understanding that you can do Something About it.
This is also called hyper-arousal. They may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. They also might suddenly become angry or irritable.

They may have a hard time sleeping.

They may have trouble concentrating.

They may be startled by a loud noise or surprise.

They might want to have their back to a wall in a restaurant or waiting room.
Feeling Keyed Up
This is when a person tries to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. They may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.

They may avoid crowds, because they feel dangerous and are unpredictable.

They may avoid driving if their military convoy was bombed or attacked.

They may avoid watching war movies or TV shows that depict war.

They may keep very busy or avoid seeking help because it keeps them from having to think or talk about the event.
Avoiding Situations
The symptoms from PTSD can be moderate to severe. They can be debilitating and affect a persons whole life. They also affect the people around whoever had PTSD. Some of the major symptoms are:
Studies of specific populations of PTSD patients (combat veterans, genocide, former political hostages or prisoners, etc.) have shed light on the social and cultural causes of PTSD. In general, societies that are highly authoritarian glorify or sexualize violence, and have high rates of PTSD even among civilians.

Researchers indicate that traumatic events cause lasting changes in the human nervous system, including abnormal secretions of stress hormones. In addition, researchers have found changes in the amygdala and the hippocampus in PTSD patients—the parts of the brain that form links between fear and memory. Experiments with ketamine, a drug that inactivates one of the neurotransmitter chemicals in the central nervous system, suggest that trauma works in a similar way to damage associative pathways in the brain. PET scans of PTSD patients suggest that trauma affects the parts of the brain that effect speech and language.
My explanations of PTSD focus primarily on the way that the mind is affected, by a traumatic experiences. A severe trauma such as war, or similar events, can lead to psychiatric difficulties.

Extreme trauma can cause the brain to record impressions in a way that is different from the ordinary formation of memories. These disjointed impressions may re-emerge as flashbacks months or years after the traumatic experience. Chronic and repetitive trauma, exemplified by combat or hostage situations, can and will lead to a chronic form of PTSD.

Psychiatrists and Theorists speculate that upon facing overwhelming trauma the mind is unable to process information and feelings in a normal way. It is as if the thoughts and feelings at the time of the traumatic event take on a life of their own, later intruding into consciousness and causing distress.
History of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the United States Military Community
History of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in the United States Military Community
During the American Civil War, military physicians diagnosed many cases of functional disability as the result of fear of battle and the stresses of military life.
History of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the United States Military Community
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that's triggered by a terrifying event either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?
Elvina Pasic
Armando Greer
Christian Saldana
Delores Davis
Stephanie Weaver
Tiffany Robertson

PTSD: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in a Military Community
PTSD Program Services
The PTSD Program attempts to create community-based avenues to counseling service that are less formal in nature, offering the highest level of confidentiality possible. Services include individual, couples, family, and veteran group counseling.

Some contractors offer group services to women veterans and spouses of veterans. Veterans may be referred to specialized inpatient or outpatient treatment offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers or Vet Centers within Washington State. 
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can be used in group AND individual treatments. In individual CBT, there are two parts:

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT)
Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)
Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing – Focusing on therapist’s finger or noises to distract overwhelming stress
Some patients with chronic PTSD decide to change their settings temporarily by moving into a rehabilitation resort.
Experiential Therapy:
Equine Therapy
Play Therapy

Medications are often prescribed by doctors to help patients cope with PTSD symptoms. Some of those medications include Celexa, Prozac and Zoloft.
Ethical Treatments
MDMA (Ecstacy pills)
Reliving the event
Avoiding situations
Negative changes
Feeling keyed up

World War II (1941-1945)
World War I (1914-1918)
Vietnam War (1955-1975)
Korean War (1950-1953)
Afghanistan and Iraq War (2003-present)
Persian Gulf War (1990-1991)
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