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PTSD and Trauma: Mental Health Research Team Report

According to the American Psychological Association, “trauma is an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape, or [a] natural disaster.” If one’s trauma is triggered, it over activates the amygdala that is located in the temporal lobe and is responsible for the “response to [a] threatening or dangerous stimuli,” (PNAS). The result of the overactivation of amygdala could result in not being able to think properly and losing the control of how they respond to that stimuli.

In some cases, that trauma one experiences causes them to develop Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or commonly known as PTSDHowever, not everyone who goes through trauma may develop Post-traumatic Stress Disorder because there are other key factors that also play in it. For example, according to Awakenings Treatment Center, those who have a “family history of mental illnesses[,] history of substance abuse[, or] suffered an injury during an attack,” are more vulnerable in developing PTSD. In the United States alone, about 12 million adults suffer from PTSD; When measured at a global scale, it is estimated that about six people out of a hundred suffer from PTSD.

Effects or symptoms of suffering from PTSD could be sensory sensitivity: certain senses such as smell or sight could remind them of their traumatic experience. For example, an individual may have an unusual (extreme) response towards a loud or a particular sound depending on what is linked towards that event. Though symptoms vary per person, many may experience anxiety or agitation as well.

So what are some ways to treat PTSD?

Many psychologists recommend trauma-focused psychotherapies because it “focuses on the memory of the traumatic event or its meaning,” (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs). It helps individuals learn how to cope with their trauma and learn to speak about it with others. In addition, another common form of treatment is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). This is because it “challeng[es] the unhealthy thought processes and emotions connected to someone’s trauma,” (Choosing Therapy). In conclusion, the most significant way we can help someone with PTSD is to support them.


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