Please read the section in Module 50 about PTSD Then watch the short video about a war veteran who has been diagnosed with PTSD and his dog, Gumbo. Click on the link below to view: Rubric:
Module 50 on PTSD provides an in-depth understanding of the psychological condition known as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). This disorder commonly occurs as a result of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event, such as combat, sexual assault, natural disasters, or accidents. PTSD is characterized by a range of symptoms that persist for a prolonged period after the traumatic event has ended. These symptoms can significantly impair an individual’s functioning and quality of life.
The video that accompanies this assignment portrays a war veteran diagnosed with PTSD and his service dog, Gumbo. Service dogs are often trained to assist individuals with disabilities, including those with PTSD. They can provide emotional support, perform specific tasks, and help individuals cope with their symptoms. In this video, Gumbo accompanies the war veteran as he goes about his daily life, providing comfort and assistance when needed.
Now, let’s delve into the topic of PTSD in more detail. The understanding of PTSD has evolved over time and has become increasingly recognized and studied. Symptoms of PTSD can be grouped into four main clusters: intrusion, avoidance, negative alterations in mood and cognition, and alterations in arousal and reactivity.
Intrusion symptoms are characterized by recurrent, distressing memories of the traumatic event. These memories can emerge as flashbacks, nightmares, or intrusive thoughts that cause distress and discomfort. Avoidance symptoms refer to the efforts made by individuals with PTSD to avoid reminders or triggers associated with the traumatic event. This can include avoiding certain places, people, activities, or even thoughts and emotions related to the traumatic experience.
Negative alterations in mood and cognition involve a variety of symptoms, such as persistent negative beliefs and thoughts about oneself or the world, feelings of detachment from others, diminished interest in previously enjoyed activities, and emotional numbing. Individuals with PTSD may also experience persistent feelings of guilt, shame, or blame related to the traumatic event.
Alterations in arousal and reactivity refer to the physiological and emotional changes that occur in response to reminders or triggers of the traumatic event. These can manifest as heightened sensitivity, irritability, exaggerated startle response, difficulty concentrating, hypervigilance, and sleep disturbances.
To receive a diagnosis of PTSD, an individual must experience symptoms from each of the four clusters for at least one month. If these symptoms persist for longer than three months, the diagnosis is considered chronic PTSD. It is worth noting that some individuals may experience delayed onset of symptoms and may not develop PTSD until months or even years after the traumatic event.
The prevalence of PTSD varies depending on the population studied. Among war veterans, the prevalence rates are particularly high. The experiences of combat, exposure to extreme violence, and the loss of comrades-in-arms can have a profound impact on an individual’s mental health. Research indicates that up to 30% of veterans may develop PTSD at some point in their lives.
Apart from war veterans, other groups at a higher risk of PTSD include survivors of sexual assault, individuals who have experienced childhood abuse or neglect, first responders, and individuals who have experienced natural disasters or serious accidents. It is essential to recognize that anyone who has lived through a traumatic event can be susceptible to developing PTSD.
In conclusion, PTSD is a complex psychological condition resulting from exposure to a traumatic event. The symptoms can significantly impair an individual’s daily functioning and quality of life. Understanding the various clusters of symptoms, prevalence rates, and potential risk factors is crucial in correctly identifying and addressing PTSD. The video featuring the war veteran and his service dog, Gumbo, provides a glimpse into the role that service animals can play in supporting individuals with PTSD.