Post-traumatic embitterment disorder first came to light in German after an observation in a rising pathological reactions to critical life events. It is almost similar to Post traumatic stress disorder except that it causes fear and anxiety,( Linden). Diagnostic criteria are vague; its research is limited despite the rising number of cases of the people suffering from post-traumatic embitterment disorder. This paper discusses its causes, symptoms and treatment.
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Post-traumatic embitterment disorder is a mental disorder that makes a patient feel humiliated, bitter and helpless in their situation. .”This is an effect on people that makes them feel the world has treated them unfairly. They are angry and helpless” Linden. The disorder is seen in times of changes that force people to cope with the new circumstances in their lives. This disorder if often hard to treat and causes disability in someone’s life.
This disorder is mostly as a result of a physical threat to someone’s life , basic belief or incidences of traumatizing events in an individual’s life. The trigger event can be a single occurrence, which is traumatic to someone and it violates their beliefs. These events may include, the death of a relative, divorce, witnessing a terrorist act and even unemployment among other reasons.
A person suffering from post-traumatic embitterment disorder has different psychological reactions; they show significant emotional as well as behavioral symptoms such as depression. Embitterment can become pathological when it reaches a high intensity, causing, intrusive thoughts, dysphonic mood, suicidal ideas and aggression towards other people for no particular reason. These people may also form a behavior of avoiding the place where the traumatizing event happened, the people who may remind them of the critical event. The desire to revenge, self-blame, difficulty in sleeping and loss of appetite are some of the other symptoms easily noticed. These symptoms occur for a continuous duration of more than three months.
Psychiatrists have come up with different ways to treat post-traumatic embitterment disorder. One of this ways is by first using the Post Traumatic-Embitterment disorder-Rating Scale. This is an instrument that allows the screening for embitterment and measurement of how sever it is. An expert asks the self-rating questions to the patient. Participants are asked to answer the questions on five point scale to what scale their statements apply. These questions range from “not at all”(0) to “very true”(5)
There are rising cases of post-traumatic embitterment disorder due to the harsh economic condition and the increasing number of traumatizing incidences in people’s life. Many individuals who are suffering from this disorder do not even realize that they are sick neither do they know the right places to seek help. Research on this disorder is limited; however, the Psychiatric community is debating on whether to list post-traumatic embitterment in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental disorder. This step will encourage people to seek help and foster interest in conducting more research on the disorder.
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