PTSDWhat is it? Post traumatic stress disorder is a psychiatric disorder that you get by witnessing or experiencing a traumatic or life threatening event such as war, natural disasters or an assault. Signs and Symptoms There are three main types of symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. You would relive the experience through flashbacks and nightmares. The next symptom is increased emotional reactions and avoidance of any people, places or things that might remind you of the traumatic event. The third and final set of symptoms are having difficulty concentrating and sleeping, feeling abnormally jumpy and finally being more easily angered. These symptoms right after the event might not mean you have PTSD unless they last for at least a month because these symptoms are very common for the first week or so that doesn’t mean the patent has PTSD. How does it affect you? Even though there is no way of knowing how PTSD will affect certain people, the most common effect is an increased chance of getting depression. People with PTSD are also more likely to have unemployment records, separation from a spouse and of being fired due to their reduced concentration and angerablity. PTSD might also cause problems with the patients social life because it has been known to cause alcoholism, drug problems and social anxiety. TreatmentThere are two main ways to treat PTSD. The main goal of psychotherapy and medication is to improve the symptoms. They do this by showing and helping the patient address their symptoms, making you think AND feel better about yourself, learning to cope with any symptoms that might come up years later and finally treating the other problems the you get from the traumatic event. For example anxiety and depression. Psychotherapy Psychotherapy or talk therapy has many different types but the three main ones used for treating PTSD are cognitive therapy, exposure therapy and eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). Cognitive therapy helps the patient understand what types of thoughts are holding back you’re recovery, for example the fear of the (or similar) event happening again or negative thoughts about yourself. Exposure therapy basically works by scaring the patent with events similar to what happened to them using something like virtual reality. This helps with teaching coping techniques. EMDR is used with exposure therapy and a guided group of eye movements that will change how you react with the event. It has also been thought that group therapy with also help because it helps the patent feel less like their alone with this problem and shows them that their are other people going through the same thing. Medication Several medications can help with PTSD but the main three are antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and prazosin. The antidepressants are used to cure the symptoms of depression and improve the problems with sleep and concentration. Some examples of these drugs are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor, zoloft and paxil. the anti-anxiety drugs are simply used for anti-anxiety. Finally prazosin is used to suppress the nightmare and flashback symptoms. History PTSD has always been a thing but wasn’t officially considered a disorder until 1980. Before then it was just seen as “shell shock” because doctors and medical professionals assumed it was from all of the exploding artillery shells in world war one. The earliest case can be traced back to prehistoric times from saber toothed tiger attacks.