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Risk factors for post traumatic stress disorder - Essay Example

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Risk factors for post traumatic stress disorder

Furthermore, hyper arousal symptoms refer to being skittish, hyper vigilance, irritability, anger outbursts and difficulty in sleeping and relaxing. This life affecting condition is distressing, weakening and a big hindrance for a person to achieve his outmost capacity. Generally, treatment for this disorder is medication, cognitive behavioral therapy or the combination of both.
Traumas are unforeseen disturbing incidents that bring forth different reactions from people. While different people have various mechanisms in coping with traumatic experiences, some people do tend to develop the post-traumatic stress disorder due to the intense emotional impact of traumas. There is however various possible risk factors that contribute to the development of post traumatic stress disorder. Numerous studies are emerging to learn more of these existing risk factors. This paper then is a discussion of some recent studies done on gender, socio-economic status and preexisting psychological conditions as risk factors for developing post traumatic stress disorder.
It is clear that the men and women of a general population do differ not only in physiological and biological aspects but in a social level as well. Emotional and psychological vulnerability differ because men and women react to experiences in clearly much different ways.
In a study done by Davidson, Kigamwa, Nicholls, Njenga and Nyamai (2004), a group of people were studied within three months after a terrorist attack. These people were first hand witnesses to "the bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, on a busy Friday morning in August 1998". The bombing resulted to 220 dead people and injuries to thousands of people. The 2, 627 respondents to the study were mostly made up of educated and professional individuals.
Of the people included in the study, 47% consisted of women and more than half of the women were married and pregnant at the time of the bombing. The study established that there were 35% of the population sample that coincided with post traumatic stress disorder symptoms after the test results was summarized. Factors related with the analysis were associated primarily with the subjects having the female gender along with unmarried status and less education.
For post traumatic stress disorder, gender should be regarded with more attention and understanding because according to Gavranidou and Rosner's (2003) findings in their review of recent studies, "men experience traumatic events more often, women and men differ in the type of traumatic experiences , and women more often develop post traumatic stress disorder after the experience of a traumatic event".
Men and women differ in the type of traumatic experiences because, "women more often experience sexual abuse and rape, whereas men are more frequently traumatized by physical attacks and serious accidents" (Gavranidou and Rosner, 2003). In addition, there were also no definite differences with respect to gender in the accounted traumatic incidents such as death of a loved one or natural disasters in the studies reviewed by the two researchers. Each ...Show more


Post traumatic stress disorder is characterized as a severe reaction to trauma. According to Petty (2000) "several large-scale national surveys showed that this is one of the most common (if not the most common) psychiatric disorders in the USA today". To be fully diagnosed with this disorder, one must have symptoms in each of the symptom groups clustered into the intrusive, avoidance and hyper arousal symptoms…
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