12074269 - Confronting posttraumatic HAVE YOU EVER cared...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
52 Nursing2004, Volume 34, Number 2 www.nursingcenter.com HAVE YOU EVER cared for a patient whose fearful response to a pro- cedure or care sit- uation seemed extreme? Maybe he wasn’t reacting to the procedure itself, but rather to the memory of an earlier trauma. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a term commonly associated with soldiers plagued by horrif- ic memories of battle. But combat experiences aren’t the only cause of PTSD. Other traumatic events, including rape, childhood abuse, or involvement in a car accident, natural disaster, or terrorist attack also can trigger the disorder. Long after the event, an experience that evokes memories of the event—even something as subtle as a certain sound or smell—can trigger intense emotions linked to the original trau- ma, causing abnormal behavior. At least 3.6% of Americans ages 15 to 54 have PTSD. When you understand what signs and symp- toms to look for and why they occur, you’re more likely to recognize a PTSD response and help the vic- tim get appropriate treatment. Reliving the trauma Experiencing or witnessing a frightening event that arouses intense feelings of fear, helplessness, or horror sets the stage for PTSD. The trauma has such a strong impact on the victim that he can’t shake the experience and continues to relive painful emotions associated with it. Sudden flash- backs may intrude on his thoughts. Other signs and symptoms include an exaggerated startle reflex, sleep disturbances and nightmares, irritability, angry outbursts, difficulty concentrating, hallucina- tions, sexual dysfunction, and an inability to speak about the tragedy. A child suffering from PTSD may express fear and helplessness with disorganized or agitated behavior. Someone with PTSD may experience unwanted
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Page1 / 3

12074269 - Confronting posttraumatic HAVE YOU EVER cared...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online