Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a complex of symptoms of a mental disorder that occurs as a result of a one-time or repeated external super-strong traumatic effect on the patient’s psyche (physical or sexual violence, participation in hostilities, constant nervous overstrain associated with fear)
For the post-traumatic syndrome is characterized by:
– a state of heightened anxiety, against which from time to time there are bouts of unusually vivid memories of traumatic events. Such seizures often develop when they meet with triggers (keys), which are stimuli that are a fragment of memories of a traumatic event (child’s crying, squeaking of brakes, the smell of gasoline, the rumble of a flying airplane, etc.).
– partial amnesia, so that the patient can not remember all the details of the traumatic situation
– Obsessive memories of a traumatic event, which have an unusually bright but fragmentary character (pictures from the past). memories are accompanied by a sense of horror, anxiety, anguish, helplessness, which in strength do not concede to the emotional experiences suffered during the disaster
-accidental experiences are combined with various disorders of the autonomic nervous system (increased blood pressure and heart rate, palpitation, profuse cold sweats, increased diuresis, etc.).
-flash-back symptomatology (the patient has a feeling that the past breaks into real life) and episodes of visual and auditory hallucinations, when a patient of PTSD sees the dead people, hears voices, feels the movement of hot wind, etc. Flash-back symptomatology can cause inadequate actions – impulsive movements, aggression, suicide attempts.
– Due to constant nervous overstrain and characteristic sleep disturbances (nightmares, insomnia), a so-called cerebrosthenic syndrome develops over time in patients with post-traumatic syndrome (a complex of symptoms indicative of depletion of the central nervous system), as well as violations from the cardiovascular, endocrine , digestive and other leading body systems. Characteristically, the clinical symptoms of PTSD are usually manifested after a latency period after traumatic events (3 to 18 weeks) and persists for a long time (months, years, and often decades).
Post-traumatic stress disorders are among the five most common psychological pathologies. It is believed that about 7.8% of the inhabitants of our planet for life transfer PTSD. At the same time, women suffer more often than men
The risk of developing PTSD also depends on the nature of the external impact. So, those or other manifestations of posttraumatic syndrome were found in 30% of veterans of the war in Vietnam and 80-95% of former prisoners of concentration camps.
Treatment of PTSD is complex, at the beginning of the disease, drug and psychotherapeutic, after – mostly psychotherapeutic. The effectiveness of cognitive psychotherapy is proved in which the patient learns to relax, to abstract from what happened, to control his thoughts and actions. Good results are provided by a technique that at the beginning of the process involves participation in the moment of the arrival of attention, in order to eventually develop the habit of automatically passing consciousness to neutral or positive emotions, bypassing the traumatic experience in the event of a trigger.