Introduction: PTSD

By: Aakash Ramsay, Dan Begg, and Joey Liner

“I am blind to beauty for I have seen the ugliness of war, my heart discard my soul’s an open sore, my spirits broken and my body is not well, for I have seen the smoke and fire and passed through the gates of hell, I’ve held a dying man grasping for last breath and been surrounded by the taste of death and the smell of fear, I’ve buried both friend and foe in fields where no crops will ever grow, there is no honor in taking of a life, and I have done so with my rifle and my knife, and I do not sleep well at night, for in my dreams I still fight, and the enemy I see is a soldier… and its me.” (source)

The goal of this webpage is to clearly identify Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the different names it is associated with. We will look at the evolution of PTSD through warfare specifically. Our timeframe will involve World War I to modern day and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. By looking at these wars we will show how PTSD has evolved into a forefront issue in the field of Pyschology and modern soceity.


PTSD, or post-traumatic stress disorder, is an anxiety problem that develops in some people after extremely traumatic events, such as combat, crime, an accident or natural disaster.

People with PTSD may relive the event via intrusive memories, flashbacks and nightmares; avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma; and have anxious feelings they didn’t have before that are so intense their lives are disrupted. (


The areas of the brain affected by PTSD are the prefrontal cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus

Studies have identified that PTSD affects areas of the brain differently. PTSD causes under-activity in the prefrontal cortex, over-activity in the amygdala, and shrinkage of the hippocampus. The prefrontal cortex is associated with thoughts and actions; therefore, under-activity might result in loss of interest of activities and decision making. Over-activity in the amygdala will result in increased emotional sensitive because that area of the brain controls emotions. The hippocampus controls memory, and shrinkage shrinkage caused by PTSD can result in memory loss.


PTSD can occur due to:

  • military combat
  • sexual or physical abuse
  • serious accidents like car crashes
  • and natural disasters.


Some symptoms of PTSD include:

  • reliving the event
  • avoiding situations that remind you of the event
  • feeling numb
  • hyperarousal

Common problems associated with PTSD are:

  • drinking and/or drug problems
  • feeling hopeless or shameful
  • employment problems
  • relationship problems (divorce or violence)


American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (Revised 4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Patoine, B. (February, 2008). Head Injury Increase in Military Highlights Limited Treatment Options: New Research Seeks Answers. The Dana Foundation. Retrieved October 28, 2011, from

What is PTSD? – National Center for PTSD. (2011, August 31). NATIONAL CENTER for PTSD Home. Retrieved November 28, 2011, from

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