Psychological symptoms and syndromes

Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and phobic anxiety are common after frightening trauma and can be severe, whether or not there is evidence of previous psychological and social vulnerability. These psychological complications are not closely related to the severity of any physical injury. The general principles of assessment are those for similar psychological problems occurring in the absence of trauma.

Depression—A failure to recognise depression is distressingly common, perhaps because care focuses on physical injuries. Inquiries about depressive symptoms should therefore be routine.

Post-traumatic stress disorder is also common and disabling. It is characterised by intrusive memories of the trauma, avoidance of reminders of it, and chronic arousal and distress. It may be complicated by alcohol misuse. It usually has an early onset in the first few weeks (acute stress disorder). Many people improve rapidly but, if symptoms are still present two or three months after the injury, they are likely to persist for much longer. A few cases have a delayed onset. Psychological treatment is effective.

Phobic anxiety may be associated with post-traumatic stress disorder but can occur separately. A particularly common form

Effect of immediate debriefing on victims of road traffic injury. Those with high initial scores on the impact of events scale (intrusive thoughts and avoidance) had worse outcome than untreated controls at 4 months and 3 years

/ \

\ BHomicide and road deaths (0.1%)


\ HZlRape and other sexual crimes (1.6%)

/ \

Other violence (20%)

Burglary (40%) Theft (22%)

Criminal damage and arson (11%)

Other crime (5%)

Other referrals (0.7%)

Reasons for people being offered help by Victim Support 1997-8

Reasons for people being offered help by Victim Support 1997-8

Free Yourself from Panic Attacks

Free Yourself from Panic Attacks

With all the stresses and strains of modern living, panic attacks are become a common problem for many people. Panic attacks occur when the pressure we are living under starts to creep up and overwhelm us. Often it's a result of running on the treadmill of life and forgetting to watch the signs and symptoms of the effects of excessive stress on our bodies. Thankfully panic attacks are very treatable. Often it is just a matter of learning to recognize the symptoms and learn simple but effective techniques that help you release yourself from the crippling effects a panic attack can bring.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment