The Clinical Picture of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Its Treatment in Different Types of Traumatic Exposures


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Abstract

The effects of different extreme events were studied in relation to two types of stress - combat (military) stress and stress imposed by the Chernobyl nuclear power station accident. Totals of 30 combatants and 33 clean-up workers were investigated and treated. The characteristics of the initial stage of stress reactions and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were assessed in terms of the major diagnostic criteria in each group. The overall conclusions were: that the responses to different stresses involved the development of similar pathological states, including all the main symptoms of PTSD. However, these were accompanied by significant phenomenological differences at the level of syndromes depending on the nature of the stressors (traumatic events). This report provides detailed assessment of the questions of the complex treatment of patients using psychotherapy and medications, as well as approaches to rehabilitation and social support.

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