Psychiatry Fast Five Quiz: What Do You Know About Post-traumatic Stress Disorder?

Stephen Soreff, MD

Disclosures

January 30, 2017

Certain PTSD patients may become homicidal and some may be suicidal. The potential for suicide and homicide must be noted as an essential part of the patient's mental status.

In laboratory studies, cortisol levels may be decreased, and norepinephrine and epinephrine levels may be elevated. However, these findings are still only used for research. Patients can be disoriented as to current place or time. Mood can be affected as well, with feelings of depression, anxiety, guilt, and/or fear.

People with PTSD can appear agitated and have an extreme startle reaction. They may have poor concentration, poor impulse control, and an altered speech rate and flow. Memory is also likely to be affected: Patients may report forgetfulness, particularly concerning details of the traumatic event. Yet, some patients experience a flashbulb memory, in which they vividly recall in detail the traumatic event.

Memory abnormalities may not be limited to the traumatic event.

To learn more about the presentation of PTSD, read here.

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