Essay Ptsd: Psychological Trauma and Northern Illinois University

Submitted By nancy06
Words: 2357
Pages: 10


PSY 303 Abnormal Psychology
Instructor: Ruth Scott May 14, 2012

Post-traumatic stress disorder can be very debilitating. It is a form of anxiety that usually happens when someone is exposed to trauma in some way. It can happen at any age, to both men and women. A person tends to feel helpless and fearful, and these events are always unexpected. It can come in the form of the death of a love one, an assault, a rape crime, or terrorism, just to name a few.
A great example of this is September 11, 2001. The terrorists act of that day, the amount of people that were lost. Those that experienced this hyenas act first hand whether you were involved in being in those buildings, or maybe you were just like many of us who witnessed it and watched. Or perhaps you lost a loved one in that incident. Most of us, who had a part of this, in one way or another, have developed PTSD.
There is no reason why we can explain why some people develop post traumatic stress disorder and why some do not even if they experience the same trauma at the same time. From my understanding, some people may be predisposed to getting this disorder. They may have a genetic component. A new study suggests that in some cases, a particular genetic profile is associated with development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Researchers determined certain variants of a gene that helps regulate serotonin (a brain chemical related to mood), may serve as a useful predictor of risk for symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following a trauma.
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PSY 303 Abnormal Psychology
Instructor: Ruth Scott May 14, 2012 Author Kerry J. Ressler, M.D., Ph.D., conducted a research study were some college students were interviewed back in 2008 before and after a traumatic event. In this case it happened to be the February 14, 2008 mass shooting at the Northern Illinois University campus. ( The president of the University, John G. Peters, announced, February 14, 2008 was the darkest day in the history of Northern Illinois University. On that day we lost five students – young people whose lives stretched before them with untold promise. Twenty-one others were injured, some seriously. Their classmates in Cole Hall that day were shaken to their core and the entire campus was traumatized by an incomprehensible act of violence. ( The data suggest that some functions of the serotonin transporter gene may mitigate or accentuate response to a severe trauma. According to the authors, this is consistent with current pharmacological treatment of PTSD with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). This serotonin transporter genotype may serve as a useful predictor of risk for PTSD related symptoms in the weeks and months following trauma. Importantly, noted Ressler, this is one of likely a number of genes that will ultimately be found to contribute to risk and resilience. ( This study also proves that having people who have had prior traumatic experiences are also at risk later in life to develop it again if they ever
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PSY 303 Abnormal Psychology
Instructor: Ruth Scott May 14, 2012

experience another trauma in their lives.
Some of the symptoms may be having flashbacks or reliving the traumatic event. When a person does this, it seems as if they are going through the whole event over and over again. Feels as if it just happened. For example, for me, my trauma came when I was very young. I was sexually abused by a close family member. I remember the pain, I remember being scared but what stuck with me the most was he told me no one would believe me if I told. And