PTSD Flashcards Preview

Psychopathology > PTSD > Flashcards

Flashcards in PTSD Deck (19):

How does Disaster Syndrome work?

Three stages: Short-Term


What characterizes PTSD?

Experienced or witnessed traumatic event(s):
Event(s) involved actual or threatened death, serious injury or threat to the physical integrity of self or others
Learning of a trauma occurring to person close to individual
Response to event(s) involved intense fear, helplessness or horror and clinically significant distress or impairment
avoidance of stimuli associated with trauma
Duration of symptoms 1 month +


How might someone re-experience the event?

Intrusive memories
Act or feel as if the traumatic event were recurring (e.g., flashback)
Intense psychological distress to reminders
Physiological reactivity to internal or external cues


How might someone experience avoidance and numbing? (symptoms)

Avoidance of internal and external cues
Dissociative amnesia (no memory of trauma)
Diminished interest and participation
Detachment from others
Restricted range of affect (lower range of emotions)
Sense of foreshortened future (think they're going to die soon)


How might someone experience hyperarousal? (symptoms)

Irritability, anger outbursts
Problems with attention and concentration
Exaggerated startle response


What are the subtypes (specifiers - description for an individual) for PTSD?

Less than 3 months
3 months or more
With delayed onset
Onset 6 months or more after trauma


What characterizes acute stress disorder?

Duration of symptoms:
At least 2 days;
No more than 4 weeks
Within 4 weeks of trauma


What are some traumatic experiences commonly associated with PTSD?

Combat exposure
Childhood physical abuse
Physical attack
Being threatened with a weapon
Serious accident
Natural disaster


What is the relationship between rape and PTSD?

Most common cause of PTSD in women (acquaintance and stranger)
Paralytic effect of intense fear
Disclosing the rape


What is the relationship between combat exposure and PTSD?

Soldiers and civilians
Unpredictable and uncontrollable stressors
Protective aspect of wounds (Will shoot themselves to go home)
Goals of combat (If you believe in the cause you're less liekly to get PTSD)
Coping mechanisms?


What are some risk factors associated with PTSD?

Nature of stressor
Level of exposure to stressor


What are some Psychosocial and Sociocultural risk factors for PTSD?

Stress reaction seen as personal weakness
Self-blame, guilt (e.g., survivor)
Dissociation during trauma (amnesia or out-of-body experience)
History of disorders (family or self)
Insecure attachment style
Early separation from parents
Previous exposure to traumas
Trying to push the memories of trauma out of one's mind
Tendency to take personal responsibility for failure
Tendency to come with stress by focusing on emotions rather than of the problems themselves


What is the treatment for PTSD?

Medication - Controversial, May be specific to symptoms

Cognitive behavioral therapy: Imagery Based
Change the thought process
Direct exposure – not always possible
More effective than counselling or no intervention

Prolonged Exposure therapy:
Combined CBT approach that involves a step-by-step process
Being exposed to imagery or actual life situations reflecting trauma
Exposure is accompanied by changing thoughts and cognitive appraisals
Taught specific skills such as regulating and controlling breathing.
Research indicates that prolonged exposure therapy is effective.


When is it important to intervene?

Many experts on trauma agree that it is best to intervene in some fashion as soon as possible after a traumatic event, well before PTSD has a chance to develop.


What are some Protective factors for PTSD?

Strong social support
Higher cognitive ability
Secure attachement style


How does prolonged exposure therapy (PET) work?

possibility that it leads to the extinction of the fear response.
it may also change the meaning that stimuli have for people.


What are the symptoms of PTSD? What are the symptoms of acute PTSD?

Re-experiencing symptoms
Avoidance and numbing symptoms
Hyperarousal symptoms

Dissociative symptoms (during or after):
Numbing, detachment
Reduced awareness of surroundings
Derealization (reality doesn't feel real)
Depersonalization (don't feel connected to yourself)


What are the biological theories of PTSD?

Possible diathesis
Ventral medial prefrontal cortex activity
Hyper-responsive prefrontal cortical region or amygdala region
May be related to noradrenergic system


What are the psychological theoris of PTSD?

Psychodynamic theory:
repressed or consciously supressed
Cognitive theory:
PTSD is a disorder of the memory with the hallmark feature being the constant involuntary recollection of the traumatic event. Associated with impaired memory of emotionally neutral stimuli
Learning theory: Classical conditioning
Avoidance is built up and they are negatively reinforced by the reduction of fear that comes from not being in the presence of the CS