Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Essay

It is estimated that more almost 7% of the U.S. population will experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in their lifetime (National Institute of Mental Health, 2017). This debilitating disorder often interferes with an individual’s ability to function in daily life. Common symptoms of anxiousness and depression frequently lead to behavioral issues, adolescent substance abuse issues, and even physical ailments. For this Assignment, you examine a PTSD video case study and consider how you might assess and treat clients presenting with PTSD. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Essay

To prepare:

Review this week’s Learning Resources and reflect on the insights they provide about diagnosing and treating PTSD.
View the media Presentation Example: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and assess the client in the case study.
For guidance on assessing the client, refer to Chapter 3 of the Wheeler text.
Note: To complete this Assignment, you must assess the client, but you are not required to submit a formal comprehensive client assessment.  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Essay

The Assignment
Succinctly, in 1–2 pages, address the following:

Briefly explain the neurobiological basis for PTSD illness.
Discuss the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for PTSD and relate these criteria to the symptomology presented in the case study. Does the video case presentation provide sufficient information to derive a PTSD diagnosis? Justify your reasoning. Do you agree with the other diagnoses in the case presentation? Why or why not?
Discuss one other psychotherapy treatment option for the client in this case study. Explain whether your treatment option is considered a “gold standard treatment” from a clinical practice guideline perspective, and why using gold standard, evidence-based treatments from clinical practice guidelines is important for psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners.
Support your Assignment with specific examples from this week’s media and at least three peer-reviewed, evidence-based sources. Explain why each of your supporting sources is considered scholarly. Attach the PDFs of your sources.


Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

A psychiatric condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is brought on by and worsened as a result of being exposed to stressful situations. Individuals with this condition are plagued by a wide range of clinical manifestations, including intense worry, flashbacks, nightmares, and an unending stream of thoughts related to a specific incident. A person’s vulnerability to developing post-traumatic stress disorder is increased when they are repeatedly exposed to or suffer from traumatic situations.

Neurobiological Basis for PTSD

When a traumatic incident occurs, the absence of baseline Cortisol has an impact on the neurobiology of those who suffer from PTSD. Overactivation of central CRH-NE cascades is altered as a result. However, the problem may be exacerbated if the serotonin, NPY, or GABA are not functioning properly. Additionally, patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are more susceptible to experiencing a drop in hormone cortisol and norepinephrine levels (Brewin et al., 2019). Glucocorticoids, on the other hand, interfere with the storage of traumatic experiences, inhibiting the recall of memories as a result. Aside from that, the patient may be experiencing aberrant hippocampal activity at this point, which might be affecting the cognitive problems associated with post-traumatic stress disorder.

PTSD DSM-5 diagnostic criteria and relation to the symptomology presented

In light of the case study given, it may be concluded that the DSM-5 diagnostic parameters for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are consistent with facets of PTSD symptomology. Joe is put in a life-or-death situation when he witnesses his father being hit from behind by a speeding automobile. In essence, the incident that happens may be linked to DSM-5 criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) attributed to the reason that Joe was personally engaged in a terrible incident and observed a frightening incident with his father. As a second criterion, the individual must have invasive indications that are distinguished by accident-related occurrences both at the time of the incident and after it occurs (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). In the video, the minor is shown feeling anxious, being extremely hostile at home and at school, becoming agitated at the least trigger, experiencing nightmares, and having phobia-like symptoms. As such, the patient’s health problem may be described by meeting the DSM-5 criteria for PTSD.  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Essay

Does the video case presentation provide sufficient information to derive a PTSD diagnosis?

The details provided in the video case are sufficient to make a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For example, upon witnessing the event with his father, he started changing and exhibiting unusual characteristics and behaviors. Anxiety, aggressiveness, and difficulty sleeping are taking shape in the patient, as are coexisting conditions such as depression, a disjointed stream of thoughts, and an inability to describe the occurrence. The patient is also having difficulty retrieving memories from the incident.

Do you agree with the other diagnoses in the case presentation?

Yes. It is noteworthy how well the diagnosis given in the video case corresponds to what the patient went through after a traumatic occurrence. The individual is suffering from changed anxiety circumstances, a shift in his way of thought, and is enduring a potentially life-threatening incident.

Other psychotherapy treatment option

Exposure therapy is another kind of psychotherapy treatment that may be used. Joe will be exposed to his trauma recollections in a more controlled environment under this sort of therapy strategy. There are a number of ways to accomplish this goal, including textual and visual representations of the past (Brown et al., 2019).

Whether the treatment option is considered a “gold standard treatment”

Within the context of clinical practice guidelines, exposure therapy is regarded to be the gold standard treatment. The types of behaviors that a person develops in response to thoughts and recollections that are classified as distressing will become the focus of a psychiatrist’s treatment when managing a traumatic disorder. Joe’s experience with numerous exposure treatments necessitates the implementation of this strategy.


American Psychiatric Association, D. S. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5 (Vol. 5). Washington, DC: American psychiatric association.

Brewin, C. R., Rumball, F., & Happé, F. (2019). Neglected causes of post-traumatic stress disorder. BMJ, l2372.

Brown, L. A., Zandberg, L. J., & Foa, E. B. (2019). Mechanisms of change in prolonged exposure therapy for PTSD: Implications for clinical practice. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 29(1), 6-14.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Essay




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