Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Analyzing the Effects of Witnessing Violent Acts
by Laplanters on February 2, 2016 - 1:01pm
a. Topic & Type of Paper / Justification of Social Issue
The topic of this paper will be the causes and effects of post-traumatic stress disorder in people who have witnessed, or been victim to, violent acts. This paper will be compartive and analytical, as it will analyze the causes and effects of different instances of PTSD (such as witnessing multiple war-time acts as a soldier, or witnessing a parent be physically abusive, or seeing a random accident such as a deadly car crash), and comparing between them. For instance, a traumatized and homeless war veteran may refuse to seek help though social benefits because they do not trust their government, blaming them for the acts they witnessed, and remain homeless, whereas someone who was physically abused by a parent may be a perfectly functional member of society, but b unable to maintain a romantic relationship because they believe they are undeserving of love. Finally, this paper will suggest ways we can raise awareness of this issue and steps that could be taken by governments and organizations to help alleviate the problem.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a social issue because in an age where we have come to realize that your mental health is just as important as your physical health, and that the most severe symptoms of mental illness can sometimes lay dormant for years before manifesting at their worst, there is no reason why there should not be more resources available to those who need help. The social ideal that the government should provide for the needs of it's citizens is not being met.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental illness that effects those who have been victims of, or who have witnessed, traumatic events, or who have heard about them (such as getting a phone call and being told that a loved one has just unexpectedly died). Symptoms are often persistent over time, such as anxiety attacks and nightmares leading to lack of sleep, and can be triggered by a number of environmental stimuli that could remind the victim of the traumatic event in question (Erford et al., 2016). While psychotherapy treatments such as exposure therapy and counseling has been shown to provide moderate to high amounts of recovery (CTPTSD, 2008), there is still a long way to go in solving this social problem.
b. 2-3 Major areas of interest / important questions and associated social science disciplines
- Should the government be providing more funding toward mental health awareness for victims of traumatic incidents? (Political Science)
- Is there a social stigma around victims of traumatic events that may prevent them from seeking help for their condition, out of fear of being stigmatized? If so, why? (Sociology, psychology)
c. Who / what groups are involved in this issue?
Post-traumatic stress disorder is predominantly an individual issue, seeing as it is a mental illness that a particular mind is afflicted with, and can be looked at on an individual level. However, a lot of symptoms can affect social behaviour (such as lack of sleep or increased aggressivity), and as such the issue of PTSD and it's effects can also be looked at the family and, depending on the population, community level.
Erford, B. T., Gunther, C., Duncan, K., Bardhoshi, G., Dummett, B., Kraft, J., Defiero, K., Falco, M., & Ross, M. (2016). Meta-Analysis of Counseling Outcomes for the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Journal Of Counseling & Development, 94(1), 13-30. doi:10.1002/jcad.12058
Committee on Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Institute of Medicine. (2008). Treatment of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder : An Assessment of the Evidence. Retrieved from http://site.ebrary.com/lib/champlaincollege/detail.action?docID=10225194