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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) In Our Polity

StressObika’s wife is threatening him with divorce because the latter has lost his status as the breadwinner of the home. He invested his capital in a joint business with a group of friends which turned out to be an illegal drug business. The case is with the security agents.

Six months ago, the fire of terrorism consumed Sani’s wife and eldest son. Besides the death of these two family members, Sani has no information concerning his two teenage daughters.

Kunle was very sure of winning the election in his constituency. The support from friends and the electorate was so overwhelming that in spite of his inability to bear the financial cost of the electioneering campaign, he went and took a huge bank loan. Yet he lost the election.

After spending two years in an orthopaedic hospital, Philips is yet to undergo surgery due to motor accident he suffered. Inpite of several cries and complaints from the indegenes of the local government and other road users, the state ministry of works failed to repair this important road which has claimed the lives of many.

Perhaps no mortal is immuned from the vicissitudes of life. The four earlier examples give illumination to this truism. Hence the trajectory of human life fluctuates between happiness and sorrow, victory and defeat, freedom and bondage, surplus and suffering. More than what happens to us, our attitude is the greatest determinant out of our destiny. Zig Zigglar confirms this when he noted that life is ten percent of what happens to us and ninty percentage of how to respond to this.

Daily, multitudes of mortals in our globe today are exposed to various degrees of traumas. From intimate partners violence, workplace and automobile to terrorists and war oppressive attacks, the list seems inexhaustible. There are yet others such as business as well as politically related traumas which nonetheless create terrible problems in people’s lives.

The Oxford concise medical dictionary (10th edition) notes that PTSD is a type form of anxiety disorder caused by a major personal stress of a serious or frightening event. Andrew Coleman (2006) in the Dictionary of Psychology adds tat the PTSD may involve actual or threatened serious injury to self or others.

In the former situation, nobody may have doubts that victims of rape, automobile or home and workplace accidents will manifest post-traumatic stress disorders.

Beyond this direct cluster of victims who experience the trauma, others like their friends, colleagues and relations who witnessed the brutality and barbarism of the various cadres of trauma will likely manifest symptoms of PTSD. The reasons are substantive in terms of level of affiliation and identification with the direct victims, the actual biochemical and psychophysiological processes that accompany such vicarious experiences.

The symptoms of PTSD include, persistent reoccurrence of memories of the event, nightmares, insomnia, guilt, irritability and grief. Some victims may entertain suicidal thoughts as well as depression. In the current Diagonistic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fifth edition (DSM-5) PTSD is included in a new section entitled Trauma and Stress Related Disorders.

Dr. Amaraegbu, a clinical psychologist lives in Lagos. drpassy@yahoo.com

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