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Chapter 16

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PSYC 2800
Amanda Helleman

Chapter Summaries for the FinalPsych 2200Bahar BBuberoglu th April 9 2012 Chapter 16 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Flashbacks and nightmares persist long after any physical danger has passed often leading to emotional numbness and a diagnosis of POSTTRAUMATIC stress disorder PTSDTraumatic event that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults natural or humancaused disasters accidents and military combat Treatment is often difficult Roughly 1 in 6 veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are estimated to have symptoms of depression anxiety and PTSD spurring intense interest both in understanding its neural basis and in identifying new PTSD treatmentsFifty years ago the dominant view of PTSD labelled it as psychological problem in which individuals were trying to repress unpleasant experiences The traditional treatment for PTSD has been psychotherapyPatients are encouraged to imagine and talk about the stressful experiences they endured But people are trying to forget rather than relive A novel treatment based on virtualreality simulations is being developed to determine whether PTSD treatment outcomes can be improvedA virtualimmersion environment combines realistic street scenes sounds and odors to allow war veterans to relive traumatic events in a controlled environment The Virtual Iraq program can be customized to start with benign iyi huylu events such as children playing and gradually add increasingly stressful components that culminate in such traumatic events as a roadside bomb exploding in the virtual space around an armored personnel carrier To make Virtual Iraq realistic the system pumps in smells stepping up from the scent of bread baking to body odor to the reek of gunpowder and burning rubber Speakers provide the sounds while offtheshelf subwoofers mounted under the subjects chair recreate movementsResults were encouraging 20 subjects to completed VR treatments 16 no longer met the diagnostic criteria for PTSDThe first coherent attempt at a theory of self is found in the writings of Sigmund Freud and other psychiatrists beginning a century agoFreuds theories were based on his observations of his patients and were made without the help of the anatomical or imaging data available today The underlying tenet of Freuds theory is that our motivations remain largely hidden in our unconscious minds Freud posited suggested that a mysterious repressive force largely our sexual and aggressive urges actively withholds these motivations from conscious awareness He believed that mental illness results from the failure of repressive processes Freud proposed the three components of mind illustrated in Figure 161 1 Primitive functions including instinctual drives such as sex and aggression are located in the part of the mind that that Freud thought to be operating on an unconscious level and called the id2 The rational part of the mind he called the ego Much of the egos activity Freud also believed to be unconscious although experience to him our perceptions of the world is conscious3 The superego aspect of mind acts to repress the id and to mediate the ongoing interaction between the ego and the id For Freudians abnormal behaviors result from the emergence of unconscious drives into voluntary conscious behavior The aim of psychoanalysis the original talking therapy is to trace symptoms back to their unconscious roots and thus expose them to rational judgment Despite attempts to devise a contemporary version of FREUDS THEORY a neuropsychoanalysis to date no compelling unified theory has emerged that combines the insights of both disciplines to yield a better understanding of mind and brain Once a single discipline neurology and psychiatry split apart in the twentieth century Today neurologists identify the treat brain pathology medically Since Freud in contrast psychiatrists have embraced psychoanalysis along with their medical training At present however neurologists treat organic disorders of the nervous system such as Parkinsons disease and stroke Psychiatrists treat behavioral disorders such as schizophrenia and depression Multidisciplinary Research on Brain and Behavioral DisordersCauses of Abnormal BehaviorNeuroscientists presume that abnormal behavior can result from abnormal brain functioning Evidence for brain abnormalities is relatively straightforward in neurological disorders and the causes are largely known at least in a general sense1 Genetic errors as in Huntingtons disease 2 Progressive cell death resulting from a variety of neurodegenerative causes as in Parkinsons or Alzheimers disease 3 Rapid cell death as in stroke or traumatic brain injury 4 Loss of neural connections seen in disorders such as multiple sclerosis Causes of Certain Behavioral Disorders
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