Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Essay Assignment Paper

Posted: November 1st, 2022

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Essay Assignment Paper

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric condition that requires proper diagnosis and treatment to improve patient outcomes (Bisson et al., 2016). The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria are utilized to determine PTSD, which then guides the client’s therapy options. Following Joe’s practical example of an eight-year-old boy, this essay investigates PSTD diagnosis criteria as well as therapy strategies.

The Neurobiological Explanation for PTSD

PTSD neuroscience is comprised of the neurobiological system’s neuroendocrine, neurochemical, and neuroanatomical foundations. According to Bisson et al. (2016), the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is important in coordinating the body’s ability to respond to stress. The neurological system’s response to stress begins in the hypothalamus, where corticotrophin hormone stimulates the anterior pituitary gland to release adrenocorticotrophic hormone (Ibrahim & Hassan, 2017). The hormone also boosts glucocorticoid synthesis, which acts as a negative feedback system, lowering stress reactions. Excessive stress and chronic cortisol release impair the hippocampus of the brain, causing neuroplasty and neurogenesis impairment.



The neurochemistry, on the other hand, is involved with the regulation of peptides, opioid neurotransmitters, catecholamines, and amino acids, all of which are involved in the dread and stress responses. The primary catecholamines implicated in PSTD are norepinephrine and dopamine. Catecholamine levels rise in persons suffering from PTSD (Shalev et al., 2017). The amygdala and the hippocampus are two primary brain modifications that increase the likelihood of developing PTSD. Alterations in the coordination of the brain’s circuitry influence the development of PTSD.

The DSM-5 Diagnostic Requirements in PSTD

A number of DSM-5 elements are incorporated in the PSTD diagnostic requirements (APA, 2013). The first criterion is that there be an instance of trauma, which in Joe’s case was an MVA while accompanying his father. The patient must have a persistent and permanent recall of the traumatic incident, according to the second condition (Pai et al, 2017; APA, 2013). Joe had several memories, dreams, and musings of the terror that he and his dad had experienced.

As a third criterion, the client must demonstrate hyper-arousal responses. In the video, Joe exhibited disrupted sleep schedules; agitation, attention issues, and was belligerent, clashing with relatives and colleagues. The client must also be suffering unfavorable mood reactions, according to the last condition (Pai et al, 2017; APA, 2013). Joe, the example study’s subject, had cognitive disability, negative feelings, and interpersonal problems.

The video shows the prerequisites for receiving a PSTD assessment vividly. The video illustrates various scenarios that represent trauma-like situations, as well as how Joe responded after the terrible occurrence, which also included cognitive alterations, different sleeping habits, and animosity, especially when reminded of the same incident. The data available is sufficient for a diagnosis of PTSD.

Available Treatment Options for Psychotherapy 

Prolonged counseling engagement is my preferred psychotherapeutic therapy of choice. Extended therapeutic contact is the first line of treatment for anyone suffering from PTSD, especially children, veterans, and grownups (Fan et al., 2015). In the management of PTSD clients, prolonged exposure therapy is backed by scientific proof and professional recommendations. Prolonged exposure therapy can help individuals with PTSD symptoms like hopelessness, fury, and anxiety. Clients get remedies such as in-vivo interaction, imaginal exposure, emotional processing, and psychosocial interventions throughout prolonged exposure treatment.


American Psychiatric Association [APA] (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), 5th ed. Author.

Bisson, J. I., Cosgrove, S., Lewis, C., & Roberts, N. P. (2016). Post-traumatic stress disorder. BMJ, 351.

Fan, F., Long, K., Zhou, Y., Zheng, Y., & Liu, X. (2015). Longitudinal trajectories of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms among adolescents after the Wenchuan earthquake in China. Psychological Medicine, 45(13), 2885–2896.

Grande, T. (2019). Presentation example: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) [YouTube Video].

Ibrahim, H., & Hassan, C.Q. (2017). Post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms resulting from torture and other traumatic events among Syrian Kurdish refugees in Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 241.

Pai, A., Suris, A. M., & North, C.S. (2017). Posttraumatic stress disorder in the DSM-5: Controversy, change, and conceptual considerations. Behavioral Sciences, 7(1), 1-7.

Shalev, A., Liberzon, I., & Marmar, C. (2017). Post-traumatic stress disorder. New England Journal of Medicine, 376(25), 2459-2469.

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Neurobiological Basis

PTSD has complicated neurobiology that incorporates several parts of the brain system. During times of stress, the amygdala serves as a warning mechanism. Because of this, the sympathetic nervous system, as well as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, are both activated. As soon as this activation takes place, the mind and the body undergo a series of transformations. This assists a person in regulating their responses to the stimulus. A surge in pulse rate, blood sugar, and blood pressure is triggered by monoamine neurotransmitters released by the adrenal glands (Lanius & Olff, 2017). This occurs as a direct result of the body having entered into a state of worry and anxiety at this point. There are neuropeptides that produce cortisol, and the hypothalamus is responsible for initiating the transmission of them (Lanius & Olff, 2017). This reduces the brain’s reaction to stress by calming the receptors.


DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria and Symptomology for the Case Presentation

Direct or indirect exposure to a traumatic incident is one of the DSM-5 criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder, along with the presence of symptoms falling into one of four categories: changes in alertness and responsiveness, negative changes in thoughts and emotions, avoidance, and intrusion (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Additionally, the manifestations must have persisted for at least a month, lead to significant distress or impair daily functioning, and should not be the result of some other illness or the use of substances.

The video case presentation satisfies all of the necessary requirements for making a diagnosis of PTSD for the patient. As a young child, Joe had an accident and exhibited intrusive recollections of it. In addition to this, he often had nightmares and found it difficult to fall or stay asleep. It got to the point that he would physically assault his peers, his older siblings, and even his tutors.

Psychotherapy Treatment Options

Psychotherapy options for PTSD include EMDR and trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). EMDR is a therapy that may assist individuals in processing distressing memories, thoughts, and emotions connected to traumatic experiences (Wilson et al., 2018). Processing these events is one way to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD. Conversely, trauma-focused CBT is one of the most successful methods of treatment for PTSD, especially in adolescents and children. It has repeatedly shown its efficacy by assisting patients who have suffered trauma to conquer the negative consequences that were brought on by traumatic experiences in the past (Watkins et al., 2018).


American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. Am Psychiatric Assoc21(21), 591-643.

Lanius, R., & Olff, M. (2017). The neurobiology of PTSD. European Journal of Psychotraumatology, 8(1), 1314165.

Watkins, L. E., Sprang, K. R., & Rothbaum, B. O. (2018). Treating PTSD: A review of evidence-based psychotherapy interventions. Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 12.

Wilson, G., Farrell, D., Barron, I., Hutchins, J., Whybrow, D., & Kiernan, M. D. (2018). The use of eye-movement desensitization reprocessing (EMDR) therapy in treating post-traumatic stress disorder—A systematic narrative review. Frontiers in Psychology9.

It is estimated that more almost 7% of the U.S. population will experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in their lifetime (National Institute of Mental Health, 2017). This debilitating disorder often interferes with an individual’s ability to function in daily life. Common symptoms of anxiousness and depression frequently lead to behavioral issues, adolescent substance abuse issues, and even physical ailments. For this Assignment, you examine a PTSD video case study and consider how you might assess and treat clients presenting with PTSD.

To prepare:

Review this week’s Learning Resources and reflect on the insights they provide about diagnosing and treating PTSD.

View the media Presentation Example: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and assess the client in the case study.

For guidance on assessing the client, refer to Chapter 3 of the Wheeler text.

Note: To complete this Assignment, you must assess the client, but you are not required to submit a formal comprehensive client assessment. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Essay Assignment Paper

The Assignment

Succinctly, in 1–2 pages, address the following:

Briefly explain the neurobiological basis for PTSD illness.

Discuss the DSM-5-TR diagnostic criteria for PTSD and relate these criteria to the symptomology presented in the case study. Does the video case presentation provide sufficient information to derive a PTSD diagnosis? Justify your reasoning. Do you agree with the other diagnoses in the case presentation? Why or why not?

Discuss one other psychotherapy treatment option for the client in this case study. Explain whether your treatment option is considered a “gold standard treatment” from a clinical practice guideline perspective, and why using gold standard, evidence-based treatments from clinical practice guidelines is important for psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners.

Support your Assignment with specific examples from this week’s media and at least three peer-reviewed, evidence-based sources. Explain why each of your supporting sources is considered scholarly. Attach the PDFs of your sources. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Essay Assignment Paper

Expert paper writers are just a few clicks away

Place an order in 3 easy steps. Takes less than 5 mins.

Calculate the price of your order

You will get a personal manager and a discount.
We'll send you the first draft for approval by at
Total price:
Live Chat+1 (631)333-0101EmailWhatsApp