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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (Research Paper Sample)


To successfully complete this writing assignment,
Select a psychological disorder for comprehensive analysis from the following list (Choose only one.):
Post-traumatic stress disorder
Your selection of topic should be based on your personal or professional experience or your own academic or personal interest in the topic. Be sure to use current terminology from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5).
To best set up your paper for this assignment, start with an outline (Links to an external site.) of what you will include, based on the following requirements. The outline is NOT your assignment, but it helps to set up your paper for success to help identify all of the content areas and resources for your paper you will turn in. Use this outline to determine the appropriate APA headings to be applied to your paper. Do not upload an outline to Waypoint. To see APA guidelines for headings, visit APA Style Elements (Links to an external site.) in the University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center.
Include the following in your paper:
Overview of the diagnosis
Explanation of at least one theory of etiology (causes) of the disorder
Explanation of the associated factors in development of the disorder (genetic, environmental, familial, lifestyle)
A summary of the diagnostic and research technologies employed in clinical diagnosis, clinical and behavioral healthcare, and clinical interventions
Discussion of treatment options of the disorder
An analysis of the predominance of the disorder in our current society
Next, research your topic and obtain a minimum of two scholarly and/or peer-reviewed sources published within the last five years. These sources should provide evidence-based information regarding the psychological features of the disorder. Be sure to cite these sources accurately in your paper and include them on your references page. Consider the following for this step:
You may utilize required or recommended course materials in your work, but these will not count toward the reference requirements; however, you may cite and reference the DSM-5 as one of your sources used for the grading credit.
For support formatting your paper in APA, visit the University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center’s APA: Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.) and Formatting Your References List (Links to an external site.).
Write your assignment.
Suggestion: Complete your paper by the weekend to also take advantage of running a Paper Review (Links to an external site.) in the University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center to support your success.
Access the rubric (Links to an external site.) to confirm all required components have been addressed.
The Pathology, Diagnosis, and the DSM-5 writing assignment
Must be a minimum of four double-spaced pages in length (not including title and references pages) and formatted according to APA Style as outlined in the University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center’s APA Style (Links to an external site.)
Must include a separate title page with the following:
Title of paper
Student’s name
Course name and number
Instructor’s name
Date submitted
For further assistance with the formatting and the title page, refer to APA Formatting for Word 2013 (Links to an external site.).
Must utilize academic voice. See the Academic Voice (Links to an external site.) resource for additional guidance.
Must include an introduction and conclusion paragraph. Your introduction paragraph needs to end with a clear thesis statement that indicates the purpose of your paper.
For assistance on writing Introductions & Conclusions (Links to an external site.) as well as Writing a Thesis Statement (Links to an external site.), refer to the University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center resources.
Must include APA headings. For formatting support, visit APA Style Elements (Links to an external site.) in the University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center.
Must use at least two scholarly or peer-reviewed sources published within the last five years in addition to the course text or other course materials. You may also use required and recommended materials from the course but these will not count toward the research component of your grade.
The Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources (Links to an external site.) table offers additional guidance on appropriate source types. If you have questions about whether a specific source is appropriate for this assignment, please contact your instructor. Your instructor has the final say about the appropriateness of a specific source for a particular assignment.
To assist you in completing the research required for this assignment, view this University of Arizona Global Campus Library Quick ‘n’ Dirty (Links to an external site.) tutorial, which introduces the University of Arizona Global Campus Library and the research process, and provides some library search tips.
Must document any information used from sources in APA Style as outlined in the University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center’s APA: Citing Within Your Paper (Links to an external site.)
Must include a separate references page that is formatted according to APA Style as outlined in the University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center.


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Name of Student
PSY 303: Abnormal Psychology
Prof Name
21st June 2021
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Overview of Diagnosis
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), can be described as an acute anxiety response to life-threatening, or terrifying events that would be considered to exceed normal human experiences. As such, PTSD is a mental health disorder that occurs among individuals previously exposed to or witnessed traumatic events or experiences (Getzfeld, 2018). The disorder was first identified to commonly appear among war veterans who participated in war even before the Vietnam War.
Some of the most common diagnostic criteria include recurrent traumatic event flashback, avoiding activities that remind trauma, ignoring emotional responses related to a traumatic event, avoidance of trauma-like stimuli, failure to remember or describe critical aspects of the traumatic event, high levels of stress, and anxiety. Other diagnostic criteria for PTSD include increased sensitivity, high irritability, and disturbance during sleep (Watkins, Sprang & Rothbaum, 2018). However, the disorder is identified to affect individuals selectively across populations despite similar experiences. The disorder is associated with suicidal attempts, and behaviors making it dangerous. According to Getzfeld (2018), individuals with PTSD experience various challenges such as reduced income due to uneven expenditure, and drunkenness as a coping mechanism, parenting, relationship, and interpersonal complications. Further, PTSD is known to affect victims of violence such as domestic violence, rape, terror attacks among others.
Theory of Etiology of PTSD
Social learning theory offers a basis for the model of causes of PTSD. The model elaborates that generalized psychological and biological vulnerability contribute to the experience of trauma. As such, one feels vulnerable that a challenging experience could be waiting ahead. When the person experiences the true alarm (the traumatic experience such as rape of combat) the individual learns and the body responds to the experience. In future when one experiences an episode of PTSD, the trigger will be an event or emotion similar to the ones experienced during the trauma.
Intense emotions such as distress or anger become triggers to which the body responds with strong and mixed emotions. These experiences happen multiple times and an individual develops anxious apprehension afraid of reexperiencing the emotions. Alternatively, the person might react by developing a complete avoidance and numbing the emotional response. The nature and availability of social support plays a crucial role in the management of the symptoms. In addition, the ability to cope and one’s coping style will determine how the disorder presents. As such, treatment options revolve around one’s coping mechanisms and systems of social support.
Environmental and Lifestyle are Development Factors
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was given an identity by the publication of the DSM-III. The condition was prevalent among armed forces and was specifically given a diagnosis criteria for individuals who had been exposed to extreme traumatic experiences during combat. The diagnosis of PTSD extends beyond the experience of armed forces to individuals who undergo extreme traumas such as victims of rape. The DSM-III gave this condition a name and an identity which gave veterans of war, specifically those who fought in Vietnam an avenue to get help. Environmental conditions seem to be the precipitating factor as they determine the experiences individuals go through. Getzfeld (2018), notes that immigrants tend to have higher rates of PTSD compared to the general population. Victims of rape tend to report higher rates of PTSD than the general population. After the first episode of PTSD is experienced, patients will see a downward spiral in most aspects of their lives including interpersonal, relationship, parenting, and economically (Getzfeld (2018).
Diagnostic and Research Technologies
The diagnostic criteria for PTSD is presented in the DSM-5 and includes a checklist of symptoms that appear soon after the traumatic experience. There are six diagnostic criteria as listed below (APA, 2013).
* The individual has to be exposed to directly or indirectly to a traumatic event.
* Presence of intrusive symptoms.
* One continually recalls key features of the event.
* Individuals display changes in arousal and reactions.
* The symptoms must have been present for at least a month.
Diagnosis is done with through trained therapists and typically follows a test of the DSM-5 criteria (Simpson et al., 2020). Diagnosis is often done along a diagnosis for substance use disorder.
Treatment Options for PTSD
Commonly recommended treatment options have included the four variations of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET), and the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy (Watkins, Sprang & Rothbaum, 2018). The CBT category consists of various elements and types of treatment focusing on particular treatments. As such, the CBT intervention focuses on the connection between behaviors, feelings, and thoughts. The interventions target current symptoms, and challenges focusing on changing patterns of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors contributing to problems in functioning. In particular, the client will be expected to complete a 12-16 session program to transform the individual’s unhelpful thinking leading to improved emotional regulation, and appropriate behaviors (Watkins, Sprang & Rothbaum, 2018). Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), is a type of CBT that focuses on assisting patients to know how to question and modify unhelpful aspects connected to trauma. Prolonged exposure is a CBT technique for teaching clients how to gradually cope, approach, and deal with trauma-related situations, feelings, and memories (Getzfeld, 2018). Similarly, other treatment options aim at changing an individual’s thinking, offering them skills to face their fears harmlessly.
Analysis of the Predominance of the Disorder In Current Society
Over the years, the rates of PTSD in society have risen with the risk of trauma varying considerably due to upbringin

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