Trauma and stressor-related disorders
Reactive attachment disorder (RAD) is a serious condition in which an infant or
young child doesn’t establish healthy attachments with parents or caregivers. It may
develop if the child’s basic needs for comfort, affection, and nurturing aren’t met,
and loving, caring, stable attachments with others are not established.
Childhood trauma, abuse, or neglect without a caring adult to make the experiences
less traumatic can also result in disinhibited social engagement disorder (DSED).
This is an attachment disorder in which a child may actively and inappropriately
approach and interact with unfamiliar adults.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a form of chronic psychological stress that
affects as many as 5% of people who experience a traumatic event such as an accident,
violent crime, or wartime combat. It is characterized by intrusive and distressing
memories of the trauma, hyper-vigilance, and diminished ability to relate to
loved ones and cope with normal life activities. A combination of medications and
psychotherapy is the most effective treatment.
Some people seem to be born to be happy and cheerful despite life’s misfortunes.
They are energetic, productive, and have a joyous temperament, that in an extreme
form, is called hyperthymia. In contrast, some people are always down, they suffer
from a chronic, often lifelong, mild depression called persistent depressive disorder
(PDD) that was formerly called dysthymia, and no matter how fortunate they are,
go through life with depressed mood and pessimism. A very high proportion
(perhaps 90%) of people with a persistent depressive disorder are subject to episodes
of more severe depression, a mood disorder, and the most common type of
Symptoms of depression include feelings of sadness and hopelessness, irritability,
apathy, sleep problems, decreased energy, changes in appetite, inability to concentrate,
feelings of worthlessness, and thoughts of death or suicide. If many of these
symptoms are present in a child more than one week or for more than two weeks
in an adult, the person experiencing them may be among the 5% to 8% of the U.S.
population suffering at least one episode of major depression each year and a lifetime
risk of 16% to 19%.23 Depression is a leading cause of disability, and depression
increases the risk of illnesses such as asthma, heart attack, and stroke.
There is a genetic component to depression. It is more likely if a parent or an
identical twin had a mood disorder. Depression may be triggered by stressful life
events such as childbirth (postpartum depression), a divorce, the death of a spouse,
or developing a serious illness such as cancer or a heart attack. Seasonal affective
disorder or SAD is a form of depression associated with the seasonal decline in
daylight hours. Depression also may be associated with misuse of alcohol and other
drugs and with a variety of neurological and other illnesses.
Bipolar disorder, formerly called manic depression, causes extreme mood swings
that include emotional highs (mania or hypomania) and lows (depression). Episodes
of mood swings typically begin in the teen ages or the early 20s and may
occur rarely or multiple times a year. When a person’s mood shifts from depression
to mania, they may feel euphoric and full of energy. Mood swings can affect sleep,
judgment, behavior, the ability to think clearly, and cause significant distress and
difficulty in life. Getting help and treatment with medications and psychological
counseling from a mental health professional with expertise in bipolar disorder can
help get the disorder under control.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in this blog or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon, Apple, Barnes and Noble and elsewhere). Copyright 2021 by J. Joseph Speidel.