Post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD)


images-3In humans, post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) are marked by deficits in anxiety, stress regulation and in social functioning. Traumatic stress in the normal individual results in activation of the sympatho-adrenal system causing a rise in noradrenaline and adrenaline, stimulation of the thyroid system causing increased secretion of thyroid hormones and activation of the HPA system resulting in elevated levels of cortisol. Studies in animals and in humans with PTSD indicate that chronic traumatic stress can result in dissociation of the sympatho-adrenomedullary and the HPA systems, resulting in sustained elevations of ACTH-cortisol responsivity (Wang, 1997).

Cognitive behavioral therapy and pharmacotherapy have been used to desensitize and reprocess cognitions into clear emotional and physical plots that reformulate the traumatic experience.

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