Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Powerful Essays
Millions of people each year flee their country in order to escape persecution and conflict, seeking asylum as a refugee (Amnesty International Australia 2011). Many refugees present with and develop mental illness due to having experienced or witnessing events such as rape, torture, war, imprisonment, murder, physical injury and genocide, before fleeing their homes (Nicholl & Thompson 2004). Refugees are now accessing mental health services for the treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) defined by DSM-IV-TR is “characterised by the re-experiencing of an extremely traumatic event accompanied by symptoms of increased arousal and by avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma” (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 2000). There are many impacts and effects this disorder has on refugees requiring treatment, interventions, education and a need for understanding the individuals’ cultural sensitivities. The DSM-IV-TR requires six criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD. Criterion A defines the traumatic event, including any specifics relating to the event itself (Criterion A1) and the response to the event (Criterion A2). Criterion B refers to symptoms of re-experiencing the trauma, criterion C refers to the avoidance of reminders and numbing of general responsiveness to the event and criterion D refers to symptoms persistent by increased hyper arousal. Criterion E involves symptoms being present for longer than 1 month, and criterion F involves disturbances that cause distress and impairment to areas of functioning (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 2000). It is classified as acute if symptoms last less than three months and if symptoms present beyond 3 mo... ... middle of paper ... ...ntary Medicine, vol. 14, no. 7, pp. 801-806. National Institute of Mental Health 2009, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), viewed 18 August 2011, . Nicholl, C & Thompson, A 2004, ‘The psychological treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in adult refugees: A review of the current state of psychological therapies’, Journal of Mental Health, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 351-362. Shives, L 2005, Basic Concepts of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia. Smith, M & Segal, J 2011, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), viewed 17 August 2011 . Tiziani, A 2009, Harvard’s Nursing Guide To Drugs, 8th edn, Elsevier, NSW.
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