Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Neurobiological basis for PTSD illness
The neurobiological basis of Post-traumatic Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) involves the neurochemical features that change, resulting in abnormal regulation of neurochemicals such as serotonin, catecholamine, peptide, and amino acid, which are found in the brain circuits to enhance the integration of fear and stress responses (Lewis et al., 2020). A decrease in cortisol levels in the brain hinders stress regulation. A biologically elevated heart rate during a traumatic event results in cognitive impairments in functionality, memory and attention in the brain.
DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for PTSD
Criteria A: Exposure to an actual traumatic event such as an injury or near-death experience. A person directly experiences or witnesses a traumatic event or learns about an occurrence of the atraumatic event to close family members.
Criteria B: Presence of one or more associated symptoms that begin after a traumatic event and with more than one month (Kim et al., 2020). The symptoms include experiencing recurring, intrusive and involuntary memories about a traumatic event, recurrent nightmares and dreams whose content is related to the experienced traumatic event, flashbacks about the traumatic event and experiencing prolonged distress if exposed to triggers resembling the professional traumatic event (Mavranezouli et al., 2020).
Criteria C: Negative alterations in mood and cognitions related to the traumatic event that lasted more than one month, such as exaggerated negative personal beliefs, inability to remember the aspect of the traumatic experience and negative emotional state (Lewis et al., 2020).
Criteria D: Persistent avoidance of trauma-related stimuli, for example, avoidance of distressing thoughts or feeling and of external reminders of the traumatic event, such as places, objects, people or situation which reminds a person about the traumatic event.
Criteria E: Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity for more than a month, which are related to the traumatic event as evidenced by lack of concentration, being reckless, irritability, anger outbursts, sleep issues and being easily startled.
Criteria F: Disturbances identified cause personal and professional impairments, as well as clinical distress and are not caused by another physiological effect such as medicine, alcohol or drug use (Mavranezouli et al., 2020).
The video case represents the case of “Joe”, an eight years old boy who experiences and witnesses a road accident. In this case, the information supports the diagnosis of PTSD evidenced by direct experience and witnessing of a minor accident; he began getting intrusive memory of the accident, being easily agitated, and avoiding talking or remembering the accident (Kim et al., 2020). Also, he is experiencing trouble sleeping and nightmares. He has become physically aggressive with angry outbursts both at home and school. These are symptoms supporting the diagnosis of PTSD (Orsolini et al., 2019).
Other possible diagnoses from the case presentation are conduct disorder which is associated with symptoms such as personality disorder or depression, which is associated with distress which changes the brain function resulting in a feeling of sadness, behavioural symptoms such as anger, outburst, low energy levels, problems with concentration or, loss of appetite. Another diagnosis is arachnophobia, as Joe has spider phobia (Orsolini et al., 2019).
The best treatment is psychotherapy approaches such as cognitive behavioural therapy to control client thinking, which transforms feelings and behaviours, and exposure therapy to help the patient experience a similar trauma in a managed to improve associated symptoms (Mavranezouli et al., 2020).

Kim, T. D., Lee, S., & Yoon, S. (2020). Inflammation in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): a review of potential correlates of PTSD with a neurological perspective. Antioxidants, 9(2), 107.
Lewis, C., Roberts, N. P., Gibson, S., & Bisson, J. I. (2020). Dropout from psychological therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in adults: Systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 11(1), 1709709.
Mavranezouli, I., MegninViggars, O., Daly, C., Dias, S., Stockton, S., MeiserStedman, R., … & Pilling, S. (2020). Research Review: A network meta-analysis, psychological and psychosocial treatments for children and young people with posttraumatic stress disorder. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, 61(1), 18-29.
Orsolini, L., Chiappini, S., Volpe, U., De Berardis, D., Latini, R., Papanti, G. D., & Corkery, J. M. (2019). Using medicinal cannabis and synthetic cannabinoids in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): a systematic review. Medicine, 55(9), 525.

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