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 In my opinion, I will recommend that this patient would be assessed and treated for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as well. I believe the stress life of this patient regarding her job (compulsory overtime), and relationship issue (divorce) can be a precipitating factor for the development of PTSD. According to Engelhard et al (2007), substantial symptoms of PTSD can arise from relatively minor stressors such as problems with work, finances, and relations. Besides, the hallmark of PTSD, anxiety disorder, and depression are caused by the same intrusive memories. Thus, symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression overlap (Engelhard et al 2007).
Besides, this patient should be taught to practice diaphragmatic breathing techniques (deep breathing). Per Ramsey (2019), breathing is the number one anxiety fighter because it soothes the nervous system. The respiratory system is controlled by the autonomic nervous system which consists of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. During a period of anxiety, the sympathetic nervous system is activated causing rapid breathing, elevated heart rate, tremor, diaphoresis, poor concentration, and the like. All these happen because there is a limited amount of oxygenated blood in the body system. However, when the victim is encouraged to practice deep breathing exercises, the diaphragm is elevated, giving room for more oxygen to enter the bloodstream. This stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system to activate leading to reduced respiration, heart rate, fear, diaphoresis which eventually end up in anxiety reduction.
Chen, Y., Huang, X., Chien, C., & Cheng, J. (2017). The Effectiveness of Diaphragmatic Breathing Relaxation Training for Reducing Anxiety. Perspectives in Psychiatric Care, 53(4), 329–336. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1111/ppc.12184
Engelhard IM, Arntz A, & van den Hout MA. (2007). The low specificity of symptoms on the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptom scale: a comparison of individuals with PTSD, individuals with other anxiety disorders, and individuals without psychopathology. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 46(4), 449–456. https://doi-org.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/10.1348/014466507×206883
RAMSEY, D. (2019). Make Anxiety Your Superpower. Men’s Health, 34(3), 51–53.
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