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Post-traumatic stress disorder: An under-diagnosed and under-treated entity

 

Sunil Wimalawansa, MD, PhD, MBA, FACE, FRCP, DSc.

 

Review

 

Cardio-Metabolic Institute, 51, Veronica Avenue, Somerset, NJ 8873, U.S.A

E-mail: wimalawansa1@hotmail.com

 

Accepted 17 September, 2016

 

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious behavioural and psychological abnormality that occurs after perceived or actual exposure to unusual, severe, acute stressful events.  In addition to returning soldiers from war front, PTSD is also occur in civilian victims of wars, terrorist attacks, serious accidents, sexual abuse/rape, or other violent episodes, and following school and workplace bullying or harassments.  However, early diagnosis, individualized effective therapies and appropriate follow-up programs could effectively lead to cure. In addition, to psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, out of the box approaches need to be explored including meditation, music therapy, and relaxation methods.  Not only is PTSD under-diagnosed, but it also misdiagnosed or mislabelled, including as depression or adjustment disorders.  Treatment of PTSD needs to be well-coordinated with all stakeholders taking active part, synergistically, maximizing utilization of resources to prevent recurrences.  However, mislabelling PTSD as a diagnosis, prevents patients getting effective therapy and thereby may harm them and their families.  The provision of timely, effective therapeutic plans not only alleviates the PTSD symptoms, but also prevents recurrences; thus facilitating their return to normal productive lives.  Several novel neurohormonal and structural brain abnormalities have been identified in patients with PTSD, allowing further understanding, and identifying new medications and management options to help PTSD victims. 

Keywords:  Neurons, psychiatry, homeostasis, structure-function, endocrine, behaviour