I’m working on a psychology question and need a sample draft to help me understand better.
DB 1– Sara
Post a brief description of the traumatic event you selected.
March 22nd was an ordinary day in Boulder, Colorado in which families went to their local grocery stores to grab their essential items and to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. It all changed in the blink of an eye when there was an active shooting in the grocery store in which 10 innocent lives were taken including a police officer. Children and adolescents were at the grocery store with their families and locked themselves in closets and offices in order to escape the gunfire. The shooter is now awaiting his trial (Sanchez, 2021).
Then, describe two symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) commonly seen with this type of trauma and explain why. Be specific.
In order to be diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) the individual will need to have exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence in a variety of ways. Due to this, the presence of one or more of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the event occurred such as recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the event, dreams, dissociative reactions, intense or prolonged psychological distress, and physiological reactions to internal and external cues. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the event can be avoidance of or efforts to reminders or memories. Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the event such as inability to remember important aspects of the event, persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world, distorted cognitions about the event, negative emotional state, and diminished interests in activities, detachment from others, and inability to experience positive emotions. There are also marked alterations in arousal and reactivity with the event such as irritable behavior, reckless behavior, hypervigilance, exaggerated response, problems with concentration, and sleep disturbances (Exhibit 1. 3-4, 2021). The client may be experiencing sleep disturbances due to reliving the event through their dreams which causes the client to either have difficulty falling asleep due to a fear of having the dreams or waking up from having a nightmare of the event in their sleep. Either way, difficulties with sleep can cause a domino of other concerns in their daily life such as aggressive behaviors due to lack of sleep or difficulty concentrating in their home or school life. Another symptom that may present itself is being scared of sounds that are loud or may sound similar to that of a gunshot. This can be something as small as a car door closing or a book closing in school. The sound may trigger the memories of hearing gunshots from the supermarket and cause a fight or flight response in the individual. They also may shut down after hearing it causing another set of symptoms and difficulties in the client’s life.
Finally, explain one way you might be affected when working with children or adolescents who have experienced this traumatic event and why.
When working with a child who has experienced a traumatic event shut as an active shooting, it is important to be aware of the client’s triggers and to recognize that the client may require more time to build trust and to become desensitized to certain stimuli such as loud noises or they may be reacting a particular way in sessions not because they intend to but due to a lack of sleep. It can be hard to make progress in sessions with clients if they are not properly rested as they are disengaging from sessions more frequently or may become more reactive to simple requests or statements. As a clinician, I should also be slower in my movements as sudden movements may scare the client and cause them to disassociate.
Exhibit 1.3-4, DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for PTSD – trauma-informed care in behavioral health services – NCBI bookshelf. (n.d.). National Center for Biotechnology Information. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK207191/box/p…
Sanchez, R., Murphy, P., Ellis, B., & Vera, A. (2021, March 24). Here’s what we know about the Boulder, Colorado, mass shooting suspect. CNN. https://www.cnn.com/2021/03/23/us/boulder-colorado…
DB 2– Tyler
Description of the traumatic event you selected
There are exponential amounts of trauma that children can experience in their lives, from witnessing a crime, to losing a family member, to being a victim of assault. The traumatic event I have selected is sexual assault. For instance if a child was sexually abused by a family member or family friend.
Describe two symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) commonly seen with this type of trauma and explain why
One symptom of PTSD in children with this type of trauma is having problems with sleep or nightmares. Children who have experienced or been victims of sexual assault typically develop anxieties that interrupt sleep patterns and the child’s ability to fall asleep (Putman, 2009). Fear from the event creates intrusive thoughts that children cannot effectively turn off, which causes trouble sleeping. Another symptom of PTSD in children who are victims of sexual assault is avoidance of all men, and fear of all men (Putnam, 2009). The reason behind this is that when a child is assaulted, their brains create a hyper vigilance in an attempt to protect themselves from future abuse (Putnam, 2009).
Explain one way you might be affected when working with children or adolescents who have experienced this traumatic event and why.
One way I might be affected when working with victims of sexual abuse is that I am a victim myself. I was much older when I was assaulted, but that does not change the fact that I developed PTSD from the event and have experienced similar symptoms that children experience. This could affect me personally by triggering flashbacks of my experience or creating a bias when working with these types of cases.
Putnam, S. E. (2009). The monsters in my head: Posttraumatic stress disorder and the child survivor of sexual abuse. Journal of Counseling and Development, 87(1), 80-89.
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