Monday, 24 September 2012

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Starting work on research, I began to look into things that cause abnormal behavior in people, particularly effects of trauma and stress.

>So first I looked into Post Traumatic Stress disorder. From what I read in a Wikipedia article, PTSD is an anxiety disorder and usually caused by the threat of violence against a person or someone close to them, if not an actual violent act. It's also much more prevalent and long lasting then other similar disorders.
>This would work well with our story and the effects of the trauma the woman suffers lasts for many years on wards.The symptoms of the disorder also include flashbacks and re-experiencing the trauma, which again goes with the ideas we had.

From other articles, I began researching into more depth about the disorder.

What Causes PTSD?

  • Caused by dangerous events either aimed at us or watching something harmful happening to someone close. 
  • In this sense, if the woman watched her son dying, it could have triggered this disorder.
  • Examples of events could have happened to the woman could be a serious accident such as a car crash, a violent assault or even her son being diagnosed with a disease and dying quite soon and suddenly from it. 

The Affects of PTSD

  • Symptoms can start anywhere from a few weeks to six months after the event. 
  • Symptoms include Flashbacks to the event, Numbing the event out and becoming highly aware.
  • The subject in our film is much more the type who blocks out- in that she's living in a dream world where her son is still alive but then relives the trauma when she remembers. 
  • However the avoidance and numbing descriptions I've seen is quite different- the symptoms stated shows the subjects become enthralled in puzzles or jigsaws which distract them from thinking about it, or even become emotionally numb so that they don;t have to deal with it.
  • This is quite different to the woman who is carrying on with like as if the incident never happened.
  • There are other symptoms, such as substance abuse, depression, panic and fear, muscle aches and headaches that are associated with PTSD
  • According to the article, after a traumatic experiencem, most people do some kind of signs of PTSD, although they may not have it.
  • Some things that can make the disorder worse are:
    • are sudden and unexpected
    • go on for a long time
    • are when you are trapped and can’t get away
    • are man-made
    • cause many deaths
    • cause mutilation and loss of arms or legs
    • involve children.

Two of these things (involve children and are sudden and unexpected) are involved in the incident with the woman in our story, which would help add to the symptoms she has.

From the same article, these are ways to help PTSD

Do ………

  • keep life as normal as possible
  • get back to your usual routine
  • talk about what happened to someone you trust
  • try relaxation exercises
  • go back to work
  • eat and exercise regularly
  • go back to where the traumatic event happened
  • take time to be with family and friends
  • be careful when driving – your concentration may be poor
  • be more careful generally – accidents are more likely at this time
  • speak to a doctor
  • expect to get better .

Don’t ……..

  • beat yourself up about it - PTSD symptoms are not a sign of weakness. They are a normal reaction, of normal people, to terrifying experiences.
  • bottle up your feelings.  If you have developed PTSD symptoms, don’t keep it to yourself because treatment is usually very successful.  
  • avoid talking about it
  • expect the memories to go away immediately; they may be with you for quite some time
  • expect too much of yourself. Cut yourself a bit of slack while you adjust to what has happened.
  • stay away from other people
  • drink lots of alcohol or coffee or smoke more
  • get overtired
  • miss meals
  • take holidays on your own.  

[The bold are things the main character does do- she tries to bottle up her feelings and just go back to the normal routine, but effectively blocks out her memories and is in denial about what happened.]

And things that can interfere with getting better:

You may find that other people may:                
  • not let you talk about it
  • avoid you
  • be angry with you 
  • think of you as weak
  • blame you.

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