Although there has been much more discovered about mental disorders and their various effects on the individuals who bear them, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one that still comes with many misconceptions. Only revealed to the world due to being one of many results from the aftermath of man-made war, PTSD is a fairly new term to unravel in these current times. And though its exposure has been from battle, is there more information to bring to life underneath its battered surface?
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder stretches far beyond the battlefield and possesses multiple aspects that not many people know. Like all other mental disorders, it manifests in and distorts the mind. These aspects will be further explained down below.
From Shock To Disorder
Before a definite name could be set in stone, people had taken to calling the disorder many names, the most common being “shell shock.” This came about from observations of soldiers’ behaviors when returning home, who could not adjust back to civilization and acted as if they were still in war. The term PTSD had first been coined in the third edition of work that aimed to discover and decipher mental disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980. Americans used the term soldiers who displayed “shell shock” behaviors in the aftermath of the Vietnam War. And with similar findings in French and German medical literature, shock changed to disorder.
Not Just A Single Cause
War is only one of many traumatic events that can cause this disorder. Some other events include: a car accident, witnessing the death of a loved one, and bullying. What sort of traumatic event brings about this disorder, varies from person to person. There are even people who do not develop it at all. However, unlike the term, the cause for it is not definite.
Like its causes, its symptoms are not absolute. Some symptoms of PTSD are flashbacks, instabilities in mood, and trouble sleeping.
Flashbacks can occur at random times and are often triggered by words or objects that remind an individual of the traumatic event they have gone through.
Instability in mood can occur at random as well as suddenly, people can go from feeling fine to terribly distraught.
Trouble sleeping can come in the form of lack of sleep or too much of it, weakening the mind.
There are many options when it comes to treatments, and one option may work for one person but not another. Two notable kinds of treatment are cognitive behavior therapy (which works on handling negative emotions from the disorder) and medication, which balances the chemistry in the brain.
What Lies Beneath
PTSD, despite being a fairly new addition to the disorders known, contains many aspects yet to be fully grasped. From its causes to its treatments, it is an invasive and life-changing thing to live with. Even so, remember that help is never impossible to find and always present.