Posttraumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD, is “an emotional illness that is classified as an anxiety disorder and usually develops as a result of a terribly frightening, life-threatening, or otherwise highly unsafe experience”; Dr. Roxanne Dryden-Edwards quotes in her article titled “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder”. Unfortunately, several people experience this life-altering disorder and suffer from the sensitivity it causes in their every day lives. “PTSD has only been recognized as a formal diagnosis since
1980” (Dryden-Edwards, Para 1). In the past 30 years, this disorder has been diagnosed to people of all ages.
Numerous doctors and psychologists have attempted to figure out the cause and effect of this serious disorder. Dr. Dryden-Edwards states that “virtually any trauma that severely compromises the physical or emotional well-being of an individual or causes intense fear may cause PTSD”. Trauma could include possible events such as “witnessing a severe accident or physical injury, receiving a life-threatening medical diagnosis, being the victim of kidnapping or torture, exposure to war combat or to a natural disaster, terrorist attack or being the victim of either rape or robbery” (Dryden-Edwards, Para 2). Dr. Harold Cohen suggests in his article “What Cause PTSD?” that “PTSD focuses primarily on the way that the mind is affected by traumatic experiences”. Theorists speculate that “the mind is unable to process information and feelings in a normal way” (Cohen,
Para 1). Today some psychologists advocate the idea that “pre-traumatic psychological factors, for example, low self-esteem, may make the problem worse” (Cohen, Para 2).
According to Dr. Dryden-Edwards and Dr. Cohen, PTSD is a psychological disorder that impairs the brain and prohibits the sufferer from living a normal life. Research has focused on the neurochemicals that may be involved in PTSD. Scientists today are still studying the brain and are continuing to explore the various causes and effects of this devastating disorder.
Cohen, Harold. “What Causes PTSD?”
8 April 2006. Web. 10 April 2011. <http://psychcentral.com/lib/2006/what-causes-ptsd/>
Dryden-Edwards, Roxanne. “PTSD.”
10 April 2010. Web. 10 April 2011.