Person is able to adapt to various circumstances; with change in our lives, we are changing ourselves. Changes occurring in us help us survive, independently from the circumstances we can fall into. However, some events, especially stretching over time, could result in deep mental disorder called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). When we talk about PTSD, it is implied that the person has come through one or even more situations of traumatic character that have considerably influenced the psyche of the person. Such situations usually considerably differ from events in the past or have caused so much suffering that the person responds to it with extremely negative reaction.
In PTSD, there are observed the following clinical symptoms: unmotivated vigilance – person is intently watching all that is going on around, as if being constantly in danger; blunted emotions – in some situation a person partially or wholly loses the ability of emotional displays; explosive reaction – at the slightest surprise people fling (Hughes, 2012). Among the other symptoms there are impaired concentration and memory; aggressiveness – the desire to solve the problem by application of force; depression – when a person considers everything to be useless and meaningless; general anxiety (Foa et al., 2008). People with PTSD can also experience rage, propensity to drug and drug substances abuse; unwelcome memories; hallucinatory experiences; insomnia; thoughts of suicide; guilt of survivor. Many PTSD victims are ready to do something, which can help him avoid the tragedy reminders.
The picture of behavior and mental state, known as PTSD, presents a special way of living in the world. The traditional approach involves provision of PTSD patients with the possibility of participation in different adaptation programs (Hughes, 2012). Unfortunately, it does not provide a solution to the problem, since the core of such programs lies in not helping people to solve their psychological problems, but serve as an effort of bringing the changed person’s reality perceptions to the standards functioning within society.
There are various ways, in which society as a whole can help people with PTSD, as well as professional communities, their own families and the local governments. The latter ones should fund various research programs that would allow for extensive work in development of the new and effective PTSD treatment methods. It should encourage creation of professional communities and lay and professional support groups that will help such people, providing effective psychological support. The family can also do a lot, as it unites the closest and dearest people to the patients with PTSD. Family members should find out more about the disease and understand, in which ways they can effectively help their relative suffering from PTSD. They can always offer help and can listen to their relatives when they need to, surround them with care and consideration so as make the treatment as easy and fast as possible for the patients (Cook et al., 2009). Professional communities should conduct research, find effective models of treatment that would allow for better and more effective results of the conducted treatment steps.
Many treatment specialists forget about the reality that the real mental and physical health does not have to conform to social standards and norms, but to come to terms with the actual facts of life and oneself. If the current circumstances of life are greatly affected by disturbing memories, behavior, thinking and feelings that were inherited from the past, it is very important to acknowledge that they exist, even if for someone it seems abnormal. The family and society have a significant role in PTSD treatment and can help by providing the necessary support and understanding to the person.
Cook, J., Jakupcak, M., Rosenheck, R., Fontana, A., & McFall, M. (2009). Influence of PTSD symptom clusters on smoking status among help-seeking Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 11(10), 1189-1195.
Foa, E. B., Keane, T. M., Friedman, M. J., & Cohen, J. A. (Eds.). (2008). Effective treatments for PTSD: practice guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies. Guilford Press.
Hughes, V. (2012). Stress: the roots of resilience. Nature, 490, 165–167.