An anxiety disorder that develops in some individuals who have had major traumatic experiences. The person is typically numb at first but later has symptoms including depression, excessive irritability, guilt (for having survived while others died), recurrent nightmares, flashbacks to the traumatic scene, and overreactions to sudden noises.
Post-traumatic stress became known in the 70s due to the adjustment problems of some Vietnam veterans. It was first listed as a diagnostic category by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980. Although the name “post-traumatic stress” was new, the condition was not. It was known as “shell shock” in World War I and “battle fatigue” during World War II.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
Reliving the event through upsetting thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks, or having very strong mental and physical reactions if something reminds the person of the event. Avoiding activities, thoughts, feelings or conversations that remind the person of the event; feeling numb to one’s surroundings; or being unable to remember details of the event. Having a loss […]
The back or behind, as opposed to the anterior. For a more complete listing of terms used in medicine for spatial orientation, please see the entry to “Anatomic Orientation Terms”.
- Posterior chamber
The space in the eye behind the iris and in front of the lens. (The iris is the colored ring of tissue that regulates the amount of light entering the eye by adjusting the size of the pupil. The lens is the transparent biconvex body in the eye that refracts light. By “biconvex” is meant […]
- Posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
The knee is a joint which has three parts. The thigh bone (femur) meets the large shin bone (tibia) forming the main knee joint. This joint has an inner (medial) and an outer (lateral) compartment. The kneecap (patella) and the femur form a third joint, called the patellofemoral joint. The meniscus is a c-shaped cartilage […]
- Posterior pituitary
The back portion of the pituitary, a small gland in the head called the master gland. The posterior pituitary secretes the hormone oxytocin which increases uterine contractions and antidiuretic hormone (ADH) which increases reabsorption of water by the tubules of the kidney. Underproduction of ADH results in a disorder called diabetes insipidus characterized by inability […]