Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
It is estimated that more than 6% of the U.S. population will experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in their lifetime (National Center for PTSD, 2010). This debilitating disorder often interferes with an individual’s ability to function in daily life. Common symptoms of anxiousness and depression frequently lead to substance abuse issues and even physical ailments. For this Discussion, as you examine the Thompson Family Case Study in this week’s Learning Resources, consider how you might assess and treat clients presenting with PTSD.
· Review this week’s Learning Resources and reflect on the insights they provide. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
· View the media Academic Year in Residence: Thompson Family Case Study, and assess the client in the case study.
· For guidance on assessing the client, refer to pages 137–142 of the Wheeler text in this week’s Learning Resources.
Note: To complete this Discussion, you must assess the client, but you are not required to submit a formal Comprehensive Client Assessment. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Post an explanation of your observations of the client in Thompson Family Case Study, including behaviors that align to the PTSD criteria in DSM-5. Then, explain therapeutic approaches you might use with this client, including psychotropic medications if appropriate. Finally, explain expected outcomes for the client based on these therapeutic approaches. Support your approach with evidence-based literature.
N:B REMEMBER TO INCLUDE THE INTRODUCTION, CONCLUSION AND REFERENCES LESS THAN 7 YEARS OLD
Wheeler, K. (Ed.). (2014). Psychotherapy for the advanced practice psychiatric nurse: A how-to guide for evidence-based practice (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Chapter 13, “Stabilization for Trauma and Dissociation” (pp. 469–508)
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2012a). Academic year in residence: Thompson family case study [Multimedia file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.
Ochberg, F. (2012). Psychotherapy for chronic PTSD [Video file]. Mill Valley, CA: Psychotherapy.net.
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. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulty adjusting and coping, but with time and good self-care, they usually get better. If the symptoms get worse, last for months or even years, and interfere with your day-to-day functioning, you may have PTSD.
Getting effective treatment after PTSD symptoms develop can be critical to reduce symptoms and improve function.
Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms may start within one month of a traumatic event, but sometimes symptoms may not appear until years after the event. These symptoms cause significant problems in social or work situations and in relationships. They can also interfere with your ability to go about your normal daily tasks. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
PTSD symptoms are generally grouped into four types: intrusive memories, avoidance, negative changes in thinking and mood, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Symptoms can vary over time or vary from person to person.
Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:
- Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
- Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
- Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event
Symptoms of avoidance may include:
- Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event
Negative changes in thinking and mood
Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may include:
- Negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Hopelessness about the future
- Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
- Difficulty maintaining close relationships
- Feeling detached from family and friends
- Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Difficulty experiencing positive emotions Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Feeling emotionally numb
Changes in physical and emotional reactions
Symptoms of changes in physical and emotional reactions (also called arousal symptoms) may include:
- Being easily startled or frightened
- Always being on guard for danger Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
- Trouble sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
- Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
- Overwhelming guilt or shame Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
For children 6 years old and younger, signs and symptoms may also include:
- Re-enacting the traumatic event or aspects of the traumatic event through play
- Frightening dreams that may or may not include aspects of the traumatic event
Intensity of symptoms
PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity over time. You may have more PTSD symptoms when you’re stressed in general, or when you come across reminders of what you went through. For example, you may hear a car backfire and relive combat experiences. Or you may see a report on the news about a sexual assault and feel overcome by memories of your own assault. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
When to see a doctor
If you have disturbing thoughts and feelings about a traumatic event for more than a month, if they’re severe, or if you feel you’re having trouble getting your life back under control, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. Getting treatment as soon as possible can help prevent PTSD symptoms from getting worse.
If you have suicidal thoughts
If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts, get help right away through one or more of these resources:
- Reach out to a close friend or loved one. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
- Contact a minister, a spiritual leader or someone in your faith community.
- Call a suicide hotline number — in the United States, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) to reach a trained counselor. Use that same number and press 1 to reach the Veterans Crisis Line.
- Make an appointment with your doctor or a mental health professional Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
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