Post Traumatic Stress Disorder arises as a delayed and/or protracted response to a stressful event or situation often of exceptionally threatening or catastrophic nature which is likely to cause significant distress in almost anyone (example natural or man made disaster, combat, serious accident, witnessing the violent death of others, being the victim of torture, terrorism, rape or other crimes)
Symptoms include the following:
- Episodes of repeated re-living of the trauma in intrusive memory (flashbacks) or dreams, occurring against the persisting background of a sense of numbness and emotional blunting.
- Detachment from other people.
- Unresponsive to surroundings.
- Anhedonia (inability to feel pleasure).
- Avoidance of activities or situations reminiscent of the trauma.
- Fear and avoidance of cues that remind the sufferer of the original trauma.
- Hypervigilance or enhanced startle reaction.
- Anxiety and Depression.
- Excessive use of alcohol or drugs.
The onset follows the trauma with a latency period which may range from a few weeks to months.
- Essentially psychotherapy for example Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
- Use of antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication for co-morbid development of depression and/or anxiety
- Beta Blockers for example Propranolol