About Posttraumatic Stress Personality Disorder Better Known as PTSD

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Updated: Aug 18, 2023
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Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, better known as PTSD, is a disorder in which a person continues to experience fear and related symptoms after a traumatic event (Comer, 2016). Symptoms of PTSD may begin shortly after (days/weeks) or even long after (months/years) the traumatic event, and can last for months or even years. Some symptoms of PTSD are troubling memories, trauma-linked dreams, dissociative experiences, and physical reactions when reminded of the event. PTSD can affect any person of any age and can impinge on their personal life, family, social and/or occupational life.

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Any traumatic event can trigger a stress disorder. The most common traumatic events stem from combat, disasters, and abuse/victimization. Factors such as biology, personality, childhood experiences, social support, multicultural aspects, and/or the seriousness of the traumatic event can all contribute to the development of a psychological stress disorder. To treat PTSD, approaches include drug therapy, behavioral exposure, cognitive therapy, family therapy, and group therapy (Comer 2016).

In the video, the young soldier is trying to adjust back to a normal life. The young man clearly shows that he has PTSD; he sees images in his head of dead people, hears gunshots, and visualizes planes. Throughout the day, he remembers events of the war. Physically, you can see him sweat and breathe heavily as a result of stress. At the end of the video, the soldier is in group therapy with other veterans who help him recall good memories of the military. Watching this video was sad at first but had a hopeful ending. My friend’s father has PTSD from being in the war and I remember staying overnight and hearing her father scream out. I didn’t understand why he was screaming at first or why he didn’t like to be startled, but as I learned more, I felt really bad for him and my friend. My friend’s father was also undergoing therapy, which helped him a lot, but I don’t think he will ever be the same again. He learned to cope, but that doesn’t change what he experienced.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formerly known as multiple personality disorder, is when a person has two or more distinct personalities. Each personality has a unique set of memories, behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. Usually, the primary personality appears more often, but at any given time, one of the other or subpersonalities takes over. The switch from one personality to another is usually triggered by a stressful event, although some clinicians can bring the personalities out via hypnosis. The symptoms typically begin in childhood after episodes of trauma or abuse, often sexual abuse, but most cases are first diagnosed in late adolescence or early adulthood. Women are also three times more likely to receive this diagnosis than men. Subpersonalities have three different types of relationships: mutually amnesic (have no awareness that the others exist), mutually cognizant patterns (aware of the others), and one-way amnesic relationship (are aware of others, but it’s not mutual). Subpersonalities may have their own names, abilities, preferences, physiological responses, and even identifying features. Treatment for DID is typically psychodynamic therapy and/or hypnotic therapy. Therapists aim to help clients recognize the root of their disorder and recover gaps in their memory. The ultimate goal for the therapist is to get the subpersonalities to merge into one fully functioning personality (Comer, 2016).

In the video, the first woman we meet is Gretchen, who is divorced with two children that she never sees. Gretchen is also a college student and lives with multiple personality disorder. Whenever she hears loud noises or sees disturbing images, she experiences panic attacks, which cause her personalities to take over while she is unconscious. Gretchen has three personalities: one named Enigma, who wants to kill the body if the suppressed memories come out, an 8-year-old personality, and a 14-year-old personality named Myself, who wants to kill her. Gretchen went to a psychiatric hospital to get help for her disorder. She did group therapy and one-on-one therapy; during therapy, the sub-personalities would come out. Watching the video about Gretchen, I couldn’t help but feel bad for her. Living with a personality that wants to kill you is scary. I was glad to see that Gretchen continued to get help and finished her degree. It just goes to show that no matter what happens, you can prevail.

The next video was about John. John has many subpersonalities, but John, Scout, and Doc are the ones who are aware of each other. John is a police officer, and Scout and Doc come out from time to time to help John out, depending on the situation. Johnny is another alter who is 10 years old; he knows John, but they are not the same person. Another alter is Edward, who remembers being pushed down a flight of stairs as a child. John has heard voices in his head for as long as he can remember and is aware that they all communicate. John has 20 personalities, many of which are children. He goes to therapy to receive help for his disorder, and he was also diagnosed with PTSD and multiple personality disorder. Although I’m proud that John is a police officer because he wants to help other people, I’m not sure that if this were happening in present-day society, being a police officer would be a good idea. Having DID or multiple personality disorder and being a police officer could be potentially dangerous because the primary is not always in control. I thought it was interesting how the dog knew when a different personality arose and then when John came back. Dogs are super smart animals!

The last person presented was Barb, who has a 5-year-old personality named May, a teenage boy personality who fights all the time, a personality who wants to kill her, and an alter who spends a lot of money and has no responsibilities. Barb doesn’t know her other personalities and has no memories before the birth of her children. She was sexually abused as a child, not only by her father but also by other men her father allowed. Sometimes, Barb loses days when her alters come out; sometimes, she ends up in different states, and once, in Canada. Aside from being sexually abused, Barb was also mentally and physically abused. In order to stay safe and cope, she created different personalities. She went to a psychiatric hospital to ensure her safety, preventing any further damage. I couldn’t understand why a mother would want to keep everything a secret for ‘show’. As a mother, if I knew something was happening to my child, I would do everything within my power to stop it. I felt deeply for Barb’s husband; I know it’s a challenging adjustment to desire your wife when she isn’t always herself. Even though the children know Barb’s alters, I don’t think they truly understand the severity of their mother’s disorder. I am relieved that Barb sought help before an alter killed her, or worse. She posed a danger not only to herself, but also to her children. I don’t think she should have ever been left alone with her children, because she was too unstable.

When people go through traumatic events in life, some may develop PTSD and/or dissociative identity disorder. Both of these disorders affect not only the individual’s life but also those around them. The sooner the person can get help, the better.

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About Posttraumatic Stress Personality Disorder Better Known As PTSD. (2022, Aug 17). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/about-posttraumatic-stress-personality-disorder-better-known-as-ptsd/