Assignment: PTSD

PTSD is a biopsychological condition associated with very stressful or life-threatening events. Symptoms include having intrusive thoughts about or reliving the event(s), withdrawing from others, and experiencing anxiety or hyperarousal for weeks or months following the event(s). People with PTSD may turn to drugs or alcohol to help them cope. They may exhibit signs of depression, their relationships may deteriorate, and they may manifest physical symptoms.

PTSD has been studied intensively among veterans and active military personnel since at least World War II. In recent times, media coverage of PTSD has been extensive, in part because of the incidence among military personnel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. But beyond the military, PTSD can directly affect survivors of stressful events such as abuse, rape, physical violence, severe accidents, and natural disasters. People may even experience PTSD following some medical procedures. Beyond such direct effects, PTSD affects the families and loved ones of PTSD sufferers. With such a large segment of the population experiencing or at risk for PTSD, it is important to raise awareness about the symptoms, consequences, and treatment.

In this Assignment, you will analyze the biological basis for PTSD and the treatments associated.

To prepare for this Assignment:

  • Review emotions, stress, and health in the textbook and Learning Resources, paying special attention to the brain areas involved in negative emotions (e.g., anger, sadness, and fear) and how the brain changes in response to extreme stressors.
  • Review the National Institute of Health site devoted to PTSD found in the Learning Resources.
  • hoose ONE of the following articles that applies to the biological basis of PTSD:

“Reduced amygdala responsivity during conditioning to trauma related stimuli in posttraumatic stress disorder”


“Interpersonal violence in posttraumatic women: brain networks triggered by trauma-related pictures”


“Effects of intranasal oxytocin on amygdala reactivity to emotional faces in recently trauma-exposed individuals”


“Psychotherapy for Military-Related PTSD: A Review of Randomized Clinical Trials”


You may choose your own article; however, it must be approved by your instructor by Thursday before the assignment is due.

The Assignment (3 pages):

  • What is the biological basis of PTSD? What occurs in the brain and nervous system that apparently gives rise to PTSD symptoms?
  • How is PTSD diagnosed, according to the DSM–5? Does this relate to the biological basis that you just described?
  • Describe the treatment options that are available for PTSD. Do they seem to address the biological basis of the disorder, as you have described them?
  • Summarize your article about the biological basis of PTSD in enough detail that your reader will understand what was done in the study and what the results of the study were (similar to the articles you found in in the first week).
  • Based on the article you identified as well as the other reading you have done this week, describe a test you could develop to help determine whether a particular individual might be more susceptible to developing PTSD if they were to experience an extremely stressful situation.

Support your Assignment with specific references to all resources used in its preparation. You should include in-text citations in the body of your Assignment as well as complete references in APA format at the end of your Assignment.

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