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Definition Symptoms and Interventions for PostTraumatic Stress Disorder

This paper was able to establish that PTSD is characterized by previous exposure to a traumatic event that produces intrusive recollections, avoidant symptoms, and hyper-arousal symptoms. This disorder is treated through psychotherapy, serotonergic drugs, and through cognitive therapy. Patients suffering from the disease have recurring nightmares involving their traumatic experience, they also become easily agitated, and tend to withdraw themselves from their families and from the rest of society. NBA referee Bob Delaney and war veterans James Miller and Joseph Dwyer are just some of the few who have suffered or are suffering from this disease. Hopefully, this paper will put a sharper and clearer focus on this disorder and its crippling effects on many war veterans and victims of trauma.The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM IV) defines post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) based on several diagnostic criteria. It is characterized by a history of exposure to a traumatic event that meets two symptoms from each of the three symptom clusters, which are: intrusive recollections, avoidant/numbing symptoms, and hyper-arousal symptoms. The first criterion of the illness speaks of a traumatic event that involved “actual or threatened death or serious injury, physical injury to oneself or others” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).The American Psychiatric Association (2000) discusses that according to the DSM IV criteria, the second criterion of PTSD involves disturbing recollections whereby the traumatic event is persistently re-experienced through persistent images, thoughts, or dreams. The APA also describes that often, there is a feeling of the traumatic event recurring through illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative feedbacks. Internal and external reminders of the traumatic event often cause extreme psychological distress. The DSM IV describes the third criterion as the persistent numbing or avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma.

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