Post traumatic stress disorder is usually described as a severe anxiety disorder that develops as a result of some previous psychological trauma. Psychological trauma is any type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event. Damage to the psyche may actually involve factual physical changes inside the brain and brain chemistry, and may severely interfere with the way person responds to any kind of future stress. These traumatic events may include any kind of stressors such as a threat of death, threat of physical, sexual or psychological integrity, or anything else that overwhelms the individual’s ability to cope.
Diagnosis for chronic post traumatic stress disorder
Post traumatic stress disorder is usually diagnosed based on the symptoms. Diagnosis is established if the victim of post traumatic stress disorder keeps re-experiencing the original psychological trauma through flashbacks or nightmares, or tends to avoid anything that reminds of the trauma. Moreover, people with chronic post traumatic stress disorder will suffer from an increased arousal. This means they will be extremely angry, may have an enhanced state of sensory sensitivity, and may have problems with falling or staying asleep. To meet the criteria for diagnosis, a patient has to experience the symptoms for at least more than one month. In addition, these symptoms are causing significant impairment in all areas of patient’s normal functioning.
Causes of chronic post traumatic stress disorder
In most of the cases, chronic post traumatic stress disorder is caused by a combination of physical and psychological trauma or by each of them individually. In most of the cases, post traumatic stress disorder occurs as a result of a terrorist attack trauma caused by natural disasters, as a result of rape, or as a consequence of war. In many cases, patient’s post traumatic stress disorder is rooted somewhere in the childhood when the person was a victim of physical, emotional or even sexual abuse. However, any kind of life-threatening situation, including the attempts of any kind of assault, may cause damage to the psyche and later manifest in symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder.
Generally speaking, post traumatic stress disorder is possible whenever the individual’s coping mechanisms fail to manage a stressful situation. Therefore, medical practice recognizes patients who suffered psychological damage because of their illness, certain kind of medical complications or even because of the stress they have experienced in their work place. Some of the professions, such as emergency service workers or people working as professional soldiers, are at drastically increased risk of post traumatic stress disorder.