Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disease which affects many different parts of the body. The disease occurs in many people who have seen or experienced any traumatic events involving a threat, injury, or death. About 4% of the population will experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in a given year (Bisson, J., & Andrew, M. 2007). The disease can affect children, teenagers, adults, and the elderly. However, many individuals affected by the disease have been abused, assaulted, raped, spent time in prison; have taken part in a war, or even a terroristic threat.
The terroristic attacks on September 11th, 2001 were prime examples of events which caused post-traumatic stress disorder in several individuals. When the towers collapsed many adults, children, teenagers, and elderly people were killed, leaving the world in devastation. Post-traumatic stress disorder not only affected the people experiencing the disaster, but the attack also affected individuals watching the disaster, helping during and after the disaster, and the attack also affected the loved one’s who lost relatives and friends throughout the horrific events. As of today, individuals continue battling post-traumatic stress disorder due to the September 11th attacks, which have led to more cases of post-traumatic stress disorder in the War on Terror.
War can cause post-traumatic stress disorder in many soldiers and veterans. Although the disease was unknown to doctors at one point, cases of the post-traumatic stress disorder have been traced back to wars way long ago. The trauma in which soldiers endure throughout war can cause night terrors, shakes, flashbacks, and the reliving of events due to the horrible sights soldiers are forced to watch. Many soldiers feel as if they are at fault for the death of innocent people including children, which can lead to terrifying visions. No matter how much an individual hates their enemy, post-traumatic stress disorder can override any individuals mind. The disease has been the cause for many problems in different people over the years, but the cause for post-traumatic stress disorder has yet to be determined.
Many parts of the human body factor into post-traumatic stress disorder. Post-traumatic stress can be caused by psychological, genetic, physical, and social problems. The disorder changes the body's response to stress which affects the stress hormones and chemicals carrying information from one nerve to another (neurotransmitters) (Bisson, J., & Andrew, M. 2007). Post-traumatic stress disorder does not have medical tests to determine a complete diagnosis; however, a diagnosis is made based upon certain symptoms. Health care providers may ask different questions including the time period in which the symptoms began. The questions asked will help the health care provider diagnose post-traumatic stress disorder, or any other disease the doctor might think could be causing problems. If a person has post-traumatic stress disorder, the symptoms should start occurring within thirty days after the person has been traumatized. Unfortunately, post-traumatic stress disorder can also cause many people to become addicted to drugs, alcohol, and ultimately become depressed. However, the goal is to seek help and provide treatment for victims of post-traumatic stress before the individual is negatively affected by the disease.
Different treatments can help prevent post-traumatic stress disorder from developing after a person is affected by a traumatic experience. Social support from family and friends is very important when trying to prevent post-traumatic stress disorder. If post-traumatic stress disorder does occur, a form of treatment called "desensitization" may be used. Desensitization helps reduce symptoms by encouraging individuals to remember the traumatic event and express their feelings about the occurrences (Hetrick, S. E., Purcell, R., Garner, B.,