PTSD and Violence

police, ptsd, violenceWhat is PTSD?

PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder develops following an assault or a traumatic event where adverse reactions develop in form of thoughts or feelings pertaining to this event while a person experiences more arousal as well as changes the way it thinks. PTSD is responsible for certain neurological patterns that can influence the way a person reacts to other fearful events causing changes in brain and body. Those who are exposed to trauma also experience hormonal changes.

Sexual and physical violence leads to trauma that leads to PTSD. As sexual violence is connected with physical as well, it is common that trauma is experienced. Some studies show that it is sexual violence that most frequently leads to PTSD, but it is also the extent of trauma during sexual violence that results in PTSD. Women who suffered from sexual violence are more likely to develop PTSD unlike those who were physically abused (Bennice et al, 2003)

The exposure to PTSD then leads to other emotional and social problems.

PTSD symptoms

Symptoms of PTSD involve experiencing painful moments including images of the event, more intense reactions along with higher rates of fear. As a result, there may be attempts to suppress such events or avoid them. When children experience PTSD it may affect their development.

There are various categories of PTSD according to DSM-IV, such as experiencing the trauma of an event that either was life threatening or provoked reactions of fear, horror or helplessness, a numbing effect or avoiding similar or related situations. There are behavioral symptoms characterized by higher arousal such as irritability, emotional imbalance or problems with relating to others. Those who have a history of abuse are also more likely to experience PTSD. There are also other symptoms such as depression, anxiety, psychological morbidity, confusion about one’s own feelings, and anger. Often those who also exhibited or experienced prior traumas were more likely to develop PTSD symptoms.

Other factors that coexist with PTSD involves health and disability that leads to a diminished mental health. Those who experienced PTDS often have to deal later with disability issues.

Those who experienced PTSD may exhibit either lower or higher level of responses to fear. Those who experienced lower levels of responses to dangerous situations may also then engage in other criminal activities.

Different types of PTSD symptoms may be experienced in different environments. Some may have unwanted thoughts or feelings.

PTSD and Harassment

PTSD can also be the result of mental harassment, where bullying and undermining could result in victims experiencing PSTD like symptoms. Both harassment and bullying can lead to trauma that increases the chances of PTSD.

In the same way, maltreatment in form of being exposed to violence at home resulted in experiencing anxiety, inability to function and trauma. Children who grow up in environments where they are subject to traumatic experiences are then diagnosed with PTSD.

Bennice, Jennifer A; Resick, Patricia A, Mechanic Mindy, Astin, Millie (2003). The Relative Effects of Intimate Partner Physical and Sexual Violence on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Symptomatology Violence and Victims; New York 18.1: 87-94.

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