Mental Health Book


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Triggers

Aka: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Triggers, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Risk Factors, PTSD Triggers, PTSD Risk Factors, Acute Stress Disorder Triggers, Spectrum of Trauma Response
  1. See Also
    1. Anxiety Disorder
    2. Anxiety Secondary Cause
    3. Anxiety Symptoms
    4. Generalized Anxiety Disorder
    5. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
    6. Body Dysmorphic Disorder
    7. Panic Disorder
    8. Social Anxiety Disorder (Social Phobia)
    9. Acute Stress Disorder
    10. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    11. Excessive Worry
    12. Anxiety Non-pharmacologic Management
    13. Anxiety Pharmacologic Management
  2. Causes: Common Related Traumas leading to Acute Stress Disorder and PTSD
    1. Natural disaster
      1. Earthquake
      2. Flooding
      3. Hurricane
    2. Structure Fire or explosion
    3. Transportation or Motor Vehicle Accident
    4. Other serious accident (home, work, recreational)
    5. Toxic substance exposure
    6. Physical assault or assault with a weapon
    7. Sexual Assault or other unwanted sexual experience
    8. War-related Trauma (combat or war zone exposure)
    9. Captivity
    10. Life-threatening illness or injury
    11. Severe suffering
    12. Sudden violent death of someone else
    13. Serious injury, or sudden death of someone close
    14. Spontaneous Abortion
  3. Pathophysiology: Spectrum of Trauma Response
    1. Acute stress reaction (normal Trauma response)
      1. Timing
        1. Onset within minutes of Traumatic event
        2. Resolves in hour to days
      2. Symptoms
        1. Transient symptoms (e.g. anxiety, Fatigue, decreased concentration)
        2. Intensity of response varies with event severity
        3. Re-experiencing symptoms
          1. Thoughts
          2. Dreams
          3. Images
        4. Intense emotional reactions
          1. Fear
          2. Bewilderment
          3. Anger
          4. Helplessness
          5. Despair
    2. Acute Stress Disorder (exaggerated response)
      1. Timing
        1. Onset within 4 weeks of the Trauma
        2. Duration of symptoms 2 days to 4 weeks
      2. Symptoms
        1. Similar symptoms as for acute stress reaction, but more severe and persistent
        2. Marked symptoms causing significant distress or Impairment
    3. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
      1. Timing
        1. Persists >4 weeks
      2. Symptoms
        1. Marked symptoms, distress and Impairment persist
        2. Abnormal response to environmental triggers
        3. Classical conditioned response to Trauma
          1. Traumatic event with serious threat to life
          2. Response to initial event
            1. Intense fear
            2. Helplessness
            3. Horror
          3. Hypothalamic-Pituitary axis involvement
            1. Excessive Cortisol release
  4. Risk Factors: PTSD
    1. Severity of Trauma
    2. Genetic vulnerability (30% association in twins)
    3. History of previous Trauma
    4. Preexisting psychiatric disorder
    5. Family History of psychiatric disorder
    6. Limited support systems
    7. Exposure to reactivating environmental events

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