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PTSD notes


--formerly known as "soldier's heart" (Civil war), "shell shocked" (WWI), "combat fatigue (WWII), "post-Vietnam syndrome", etc.
--1980 it got the name Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
--S/Sx: from war survivors: easily startled, quick to anger, can't find way in life, withdraw from family, flare into violence, turn to drugs, can't find footing
--S/Sx: depression, acute anxiety, on high alert all the time, mind and body stay in red zone as if lethal threat was continuous
--estimated 7.7 people in US have it
--can be caused by rape, assault, fires, natural disasters, car crashes, terrorism, etc etc etc.
--up to 50% of combat veterans have it
--combat veterans also more likely to have heart disease, diabetes, strokes, cancer
--10% of hurricane survivors have it
--Iraq war veterans especially vulnerable "because of amorphous nature of that conflict"
--Iraq veterans also have increased odds of being in car crash
--limited success with treatment
--"combination therapy" is counseling (indiv & group) plus antidepressants and drug/alcohol detox
--suffers have LOW CORTISOL, so body doesn't return to normal functioning after traumatic event
--people with unstable homes are more likely to develop PTSD than those from stable backgrounds
--sufferers may be most responsive to intervention right after they experience a trauma, researchers are working on new screening techniques
--"We don't walk into trama equally, so we don't all come out of it equally." Rachel Yehuda, neuroscientist

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