Preview
Preview

The Neurobiology of Fear: Emotional Memory and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

:: 8 Works Cited
Length: 1181 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The Neurobiology of Fear: Emotional Memory and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


For survivors of traumatic events, the trauma itself is often only the beginning. While some are relatively unaffected, many others will develop post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, an affliction that haunts its victims with terrifying memories, nightmares, and panic attacks. (For a comprehensive list of symptoms and diagnostic criteria, the reader may refer to the DSM-IV, relevant portions of which may be found online (7).) The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 3.6 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 54 suffer from PTSD; 30 percent of those who have spent time in war zones - one million veterans of Vietnam alone - are affected (6). PTSD is treated with several forms of psychotherapy, including exposure therapy, centered around a controlled confrontation of frightening stimuli. While medication may treat co-occurring depression, anxiety, or insomnia (6), pharmacological agents targeting PTSD remain unavailable. In part, this is because researchers have only begun to describe the underlying neurobiology. Several recent studies have pointed to the brain structure known as the amygdala as a central player, but questions remain: How does this small structure "recognize" danger? How does it create emotional memories? What causes recurrence of these memories?

Answers to these questions are complex and incomplete. As an anxiety disorder, PTSD has its foundations in fear and "emotional memory." Like factual memory, emotional memory also involves the storage and recall of events and details; this has been termed the explicit or conscious memory (2). Emotional memory, though, has a second, distinct component. This facet, t...


... middle of paper ...


...ing, from Stephen Maren's Emotion and Memory Systems Laboratory at the University of Michigan. http://maren1.psych.lsa.umich.edu/Models.html

4)Summary of Research at Stephen Maren's Emotion and Memory Systems Laboratory at the University of Michigan. http://maren1.psych.lsa.umich.edu/Research.html

5)Anxiety Disorders Treatment Target: Amygdala Circuitry, from the National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/events/pranxst.cfm

6)Facts About Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, from the National Institute of Mental Health. http://www.nimh.nih.gov/anxiety/ptsdfacts.cfm

7)PTSD Diagnostic Criteria from the DSM-IV, from Bully Online, a service of the United Kingdom National Workplace Bullying Advice Line.
http://www.successunlimited.co.uk/PTSD/

8)Building a Brainier Mouse. Zsien, Joe T. 2000. Scientific American
http://www.sciam.com/missing.cfm


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Limbic Parts Essay - Hippocampus The hippocampus is part of the limbic system, located within the temporal lobe. It plays a role in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory and spatial navigation. In people with PTSD, there are deficits in declarative memory, which may be linked with the observed volume reduction of the left hippocampus (Kuhn and Gallinat). According to a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study conducted by Pavic et al. with 15 right-handed chronic PTSD subjects against 15 case-matched healthy subjects; Subjects with PTSD were shown to have significantly smaller right hippocampus volumes (13.5%)....   [tags: hippocampus, short-term memory]
:: 21 Works Cited
1537 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Essay - In all honesty I did not hear the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) until some time after I re-deployed from Iraq in mid August 2003. Surely the term had been around long before them, but it wasn’t commonly used acronym in the military. I didn’t have nearly the frequent use that is has in today’s Army. Nowadays, everything a Soldier does is associated with PTSD even if the Soldier has not been diagnosed with it; it has become such a ill-used word that from what I can see everyone is try to jump on the band wagon....   [tags: Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD] 772 words
(2.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Veterans Essay - This essay discusses Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and its effect on combat soldiers involved in the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars. The goal of this paper is to inform others about what the soldiers deal with during and after combat and the different treatments available for them to cope with and hopefully overcome this disorder. PTSD is an anxiety disorder that develops when someone is witness to or experiences a traumatic event. PTSD has specific symptoms resulting from traumatic life threatening experiences....   [tags: Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD] 1004 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms and Treatment Essay example - In 1980, the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) first came into existence in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition (DSM-III). Only in 1987 did the DSM series make reference to traumatized children. The first major studies of the effects of large traumas on children were Bloch's 1956 study of the effect of a tornado in Mississippi, Lacey's 1972 study of the effects of an avalanche on a Welsh school, Newman's 1976 work on the Buffalo Creek disaster and Terr's 1979 research on the Chowchilla bus kidnapping....   [tags: Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD]
:: 5 Works Cited
1428 words
(4.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Epidemic of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Essay - The human brain is extremely complex, top scientists and surgeons still struggle to comprehend how it works. The way that the brain can process information and help a person to problem solve is amazing, but another part of the brain can hold memories. Some are good--like a memory of a family vacation or of family holidays--but there are also frightening memories that can haunt a person until his or her death, if they don’t get help. For a very long time researchers have focused on combatant PTSD, for very good reason, but now a problem has risen among civilians, and they have not been focused on the growth of PTSD right here in regular everyday people’s lives....   [tags: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Essays]
:: 11 Works Cited
3893 words
(11.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Essay - After experiencing a traumatic event, the mind has been known to horde away the details and memories and then send them back at unexpected times and places, sometimes after years have passed. It does so in a haunting way that makes the recall just as disturbing as the original event. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is the name for the acquired mental condition that follows a psychologically distressing event "outside the range of usual human experience" (Bernstein, et al). There are five diagnostic criteria for this disorder and there are no cures for this affliction, only therapies which lessen the burden of the symptoms....   [tags: Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD]
:: 7 Works Cited
1925 words
(5.5 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Factors of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - The Factors of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Post traumatic stress disorder occurs after a person is exposed to a terrifying ordeal which causes either grave physical or psychological harm where harm was threatened. It can become an extremely debilitating disorder to the persons life. The person can have problems interacting in social and family life, occupational instability and the breakdown of marriages can occur. The disorder is triggered after traumatic events such as violent personal assaults such as mugging or rape, or to family, natural disasters such as earthquakes, accidents such as car crashes, human disasters such as 9/11 and after military combat...   [tags: Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD] 672 words
(1.9 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder In Veterans - For more than twenty years, Patricia Dietz, a wife of a Vietnam veteran, has suffered along with her husband the effects of post traumatic stress disorder. She has stated that, "It has changed everything; it has affected the rest of his and her life." Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is when a person is haunted by his memories so badly that it affects not only the rest of his life, but others close to him as well. Any time there is a traumatic event, physical danger, or threat or personal danger, this disorder is able to appear in ones' life (USA Today Magazine)....   [tags: Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD]
:: 7 Works Cited
1200 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Essay example - There are hundreds of different kinds of psychiatric disorders listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed. (DSM-IV). One of them is called Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Based on the research, post-traumatic disorder usually occurs following the experience or witnessing of life-threatening events such as military combat, natural disasters, terrorist incidents, serious accidents, or violent personal assaults like rape (Harvard Women’s Health Watch, 2005)....   [tags: Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD]
:: 1 Works Cited
1428 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Implications of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for War Veterans Essay - Implications of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for War Veterans War is a complex concept that is increasingly difficult to understand, particularly in an age that allows for live images of combat to be beamed around the world. Many war films depict the brutalities of war and affects war has on participants, but it seems that these representations merely skim the surface. The 20th century is an era that saw a significant amount of military action: World Wars I and II, the Cold War, Vietnam, and the Gulf War - millions of men fought, some survived and live among us today....   [tags: Post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD]
:: 7 Works Cited
1565 words
(4.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]