Law Office of Christopher Earley
 

What is PTSD?

Many Massachusetts accident victims experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder following a significant mental and/or physical injury.  The Florida personal injury firm of Perenich, Carroll, Perenich, Avril, Caulfield & Noyes, P.A has a great post on their website about PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Here it is:

"After the physical injury heals, after the surgery is completed, after the physical pain recedes, or even years after the funeral of a loved one the trauma victim often continues to suffer emotionally. Primary care doctors are becoming aware of the need to be sensitive to the patient who has posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

PTSD has been defined as a psychological disorder affecting individuals who have experienced significant physical or emotional trauma and is characterized by recurrent flashbacks of the traumatic event, nightmares, eating disorders, anxiety, fatigue, forgetfulness, and social withdrawal.

Reviewing the current thinking of the medical community regarding this disabling condition may enable PTSD sufferers to obtain the help they need.

James Turnbull, MD,[1] clinical professor of psychiatry and family practice at East Tennessee State University and medical director of Frontier Health Inc, talked about PTSD and grief as part of the American Academy of Family Physicians Annual Clinical Focus, Mental Health 2000.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is best known to most people as "battle fatigue" or "shell shock" from its early descriptions in military personnel. However, PTSD can occur in anyone who is subjected to a serious trauma. Individuals who experience trauma can suffer major short-term and long-term effects on their health.

Many develop a characteristic set of posttraumatic symptoms that can endure for years after the original trauma.

Patients with PTSD may simultaneously have other psychiatric diagnoses, changes in health behavior, unexplained physical symptoms, and stress-related health problems. Studies in community samples report lifetime prevalence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ranging from 7.8% to 12.3% in the general population.

The wide range of symptoms and high levels of other related problems can obscure the presence of the underlying trauma and its consequences. This makes it difficult for a doctor to accurately diagnose and effectively manage these problems in their patients. In addition, many patients with posttraumatic syndromes are high utilizers of healthcare resources and may be more likely to seek care from medical professionals than from mental health professionals. Thus, this is an extremely important clinical topic for primary care physicians."