The PTSD test is developed to screen the symptoms for PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder) as per criteria given in DSM 5. The condition is recognized in DSM and this test will screen the individual for PTSD symptoms. This test is for informational use only and cannot replace the diagnosis of a mental health professional.
Final Result :
What is PTSD?
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental disorder that is found in individuals who have been through or seen a painful and frightening trauma. These traumas can be natural disasters, war, rape, bomb blasts or a serious accident.
In the past, PTSD has been known by different names. During World War I, it was known by the name of “shell shock” and after World War II as “combat fatigue”. But combat veterans are not the only ones who experience PTSD. It is found in all peoples regardless of their age, ethnicity, nationality, and culture.
When PTSD is diagnosed?
PTSD is diagnosed when an individual is exposed to a frightening traumatic event. Everyone feels frightened when they experience a traumatic event. Fear is a natural response that the person experiences during a dangerous situation. It helps the person to protect himself or herself from harm. People naturally are able to recover from the initial symptoms. Those who are unable to do so are diagnosed with PTSD. Individuals suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder may feel terrified and strained.
Symptoms of Post-traumatic stress disorder appear within one month of the disturbing event. However, in some cases, symptoms may appear years after the event has occurred. The symptoms may affect the person's functioning in all areas of life such as school, work, social activities, and daily routine.
The symptoms of PTSD are categorized into four types which are as follows:
● intrusive memories
● negative changes in thinking and mood
● Changes in physical and emotional reactions.
● These symptoms can differ from person to person or differ over time.
Causes of PTSD
A person may develop post-traumatic stress disorder when he/she experiences, witness or learn about an incident involving actual or threatened death, sexual assault, serious injury or accident. Following are some of the causes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD):
● Traumatic experiences, its amount and severity experienced by an individual in his/her life.
● Family histories of mental health risks, such as anxiety and depression
● The temperament of a person that is the inherited features of his or her personality
● Brain functioning involved in the regulation of chemicals and hormones the body releases as a response to stress.
It is not possible to predict that who will develop PTSD as a result of trauma but there are certain risk factors that can increase the susceptibility of a person to develop PTSD symptoms. The nature of the traumatic event is very important in determining many risk factors. Traumatic events that pose a severe threat to life or personal safety are more likely to cause PTSD. Harm such as rape, assault, and torture are inflicted by humans intentionally and they tend to be more traumatic than natural disasters. The degree to which the traumatic incident was unpredicted, uncontrollable, and inevitable also plays a role.
Following are the risk factors of PTSD that may increase its chances:
● Experiencing additional problems after the incident, for example, loss of a loved one or a job
● Lack of social support following an event
● Possessing a history of mental health problems
● Having a history of substance use
● Experience of childhood abuse
● Deprived physical health before or as a result of a traumatic event
● The risk factors of PTSD also include some physical and genetic factors.
● Brain structure: As compared to others, the hippocampus of the people with PTSD appears different as shown by brain scans. The function of the hippocampus is the processing of emotions and memories, and it could influence the chance of having flashbacks.
● Response to stress: People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have different levels of hormones that are usually released in a fight-or-flight state.
● Gender: This plays a very vital role in developing PTSD symptoms. According to a study, women have greater chances to acquire PTSD although men are more likely to experience violence.
Types of traumatic events
Following are the most common events that lead to the development of PTSD:
● War exposure
● Physical abuse during childhood
● Sexual assault
● Physical violence
● Being intimidated with a weapon
● A severe accident
Other traumatic events that also lead to PTSD include natural disasters (like earthquake, tsunami, and floods), fire, robbery, plane crash, abduction, life-threatening illnesses, terrorism, and other dangerous events.
Description of PTSD Test
PTSD test is based on the clinical interview with the psychologist and the criteria given in DSM 5. This PTSD test cannot be used in a professional setting for the diagnosis and the nature of this test is for self-assessment, a formal diagnosis can only be made by the mental health professional.