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Source: Digital Journal
Published: Tuesday 24 April, 2012
In his new book published by Wyston Books, Inc., Shopping For A Shrink, Dr. Stanley Goldstein explains that Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms are not unique to soldiers. Civilians and even children can develop them too. A child who has been bitten by a dog, an adult following an auto accident, and a soldier after combat are equally at risk.
Dr. Goldstein states that the symptoms of PTSD may arise after an intensely frightening event during which harm or potential danger existed. These symptoms can include: nightmares, flashbacks; hallucinations; great distress when cues associated with the traumatic event occur; sleeping difficulty; outbursts of anger; difficulty concentrating; being overly vigilant or watchful.
Dr. Goldstein states that the basic cause of PTSD in both civilians and soldiers is the same: the human mind's limited endurance which, when exceeded, develops symptoms to communicate the need for help and that they reflect its attempted self-repair. This is no different from when a fever arises in the presence of an infection.
Dr. Goldstein states that the person with PTSD symptoms must integrate the disturbing past memories within their present mind to regain healthy psychological functioning (psychological homeostasis). He states that, except in degree, this is no different from when people deal with lesser stresses as the break-up of a relationship or the loss of a long-term job.
Dr. Goldstein emphasizes the importance of relating to current veterans suffering from PTSD in this manner lest they become stigmatized as did Vietnam war veterans. He states that even recurring thoughts of wartime experiences merely reflect the mind's healthy attempt to reintegrate itself following an excessively stressful event. This is similar to what happens after the common event of divorce when experiences are fraught with past associations.
Dr. Goldstein believes that psychotherapists can be most helpful to patients suffering from PTSD in two broad ways: by empathizing with their pain yet emphasizing that their disturbing memories have meaning and are capable of being understood and overcome.