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Contains subject matter which individuals may find upsetting.

Adult supervision suggested.


Lesson video

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Welcome to the fifth lesson in this unit on mental wellbeing, where we will be developing our understanding about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD.

I'm Mrs. Harris, and in this lesson we're going to be exploring what PTSD is and what support is available.

For this lesson, you will need an exercise book or paper and a pen.

This is what our lesson is going to look like today.

You should already have completed the intro quiz.

I'm now going to recap our previous lesson.

We looked at everyday stressors and triggers, and we examined how to choose lifestyle traits that would help to negate these stressors.

In this lesson, we're going to explore what the causes and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are.

And once we've learned this, we're going to investigate what support is available for PTSD and how to support others.

At the end of the lesson, there will then be an exit quiz for you to reflect on what we've learned.

Here are our keywords for this lesson: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, is according to the NHS, an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening, or distressing events.

Whether events are traumatic or not can be subjective between different people, but there are some that are undeniably traumatic, and we shall explore this further during this lesson.

When we talk about traumatic events, we mean those that are deeply distressing or disturbing, such as a car accident or serious health issue.

The word disorder can sometimes conjure up a negative image in our mind.

But it is simply a condition that affects our regular day-to-day functions, whether that is physical movement or mental health.

Why might these events be described as traumatic? Remember that traumatic means deeply disturbing or distressing.

We have the road accidents, why is this distressing or disturbing? How might people be affected? A major illness, how might people be affected? Is it distressing, disturbing? Is it just the person suffering from the illness that would find it traumatic, or would other people find someone else's illness traumatic as well? We have a picture of childbirth.

Why is this distressing or disturbing? How could people be affected? Maybe the birth didn't go quite to plan.

A picture of a robbery.

Maybe people have been affected and feel unsafe in their own house.

Take a moment to reflect on each event shown by the pictures, considering why they might be classed as traumatic.

You may wish to pause the video at this point while you complete this activity on your piece of paper, on your exercise book.

We are now going to learn how to identify the symptoms and causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which I'll refer to as PTSD for the remainder of this lesson.

In a previous lesson, we talked about exam stress and anxiety.

One coping strategy to reduce this was using a variety of efficient techniques.

We are going to use one strategy in our lesson today that is often used by pupils when revising, and this is a mind map.

The first example has six categories, and then those categories are then split into subsections.

This could be a way you choose to present the information from today's lesson.

I sometimes like to use a particular colour for each subsection, but the example of both was use a variety, it's up to you.

The second example uses both words and pictures to summarise the information into categories.

This might be more suited to your preferred learning style, and you might want to use this for presenting today's information.

I'll let you decide.

This is your task, prepare your mind map ready to add to throughout the lesson.

You need to include PTSD in the middle of your mind map.

Your categories are: symptoms, causes, treatment and support.

Pause the video to complete this task, and then resume when you are ready.

What are the causes of PTSD? I'm going to read out some information, then you are going to pause the video and add this information to the causes arm of your mind map.

Any situation that an individual finds traumatic can cause PTSD.

We have seen previously in this lesson that road accidents, violent personal assaults being a victim of a robbery, serious health issues, and childbirth experiences are just some of the situations that could cause PTSD.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can start just after a traumatic event or it can occur weeks, months, or even years later.

About one in every three people who experience a disturbing event are estimated to be affected by PTSD, but we still do not know why some develop the condition and others do not.

People who repeatedly experience traumatic situations, such as severe neglect, abuse, or violence, may be diagnosed with complex PTSD.

So you may wish to pause the video now to add this information to your mind map.

Let's take a minute to consolidate our knowledge of PTSD.

How soon can PTSD develop after a traumatic event? PTSD only develops the day after a traumatic event.

PTSD develops a year after traumatic event.

PTSD can develop straight after, or weeks, months, or years after.

PTSD develops one month after a traumatic event.

Did you agree with me? PTSD can develop straight after, or weeks, months, or years after.

There is no set timeframe in relation to the onset of PTSD.

What are the symptoms of PTSD? I'm going to read out some information again, then you're going to pause the video and add this information to the symptoms arm of your mind map.

Remember to take the time to add pictures in order to represent the information, if this is your preferred learning style.

Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic experience and might go through nightmares and flashbacks.

This is often depicted in the media as being experienced by soldiers who have been involved in warfare.

Those living with PTSD might report feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt.

Guilt is particularly common if they've survived the traumatic event, but others did not.

They may also have problems sleeping, such as insomnia, and finding concentrating difficult.

Insomnia is having regular problems sleeping rather than just the odd night.

These symptoms can be severe and intense enough to affect a person's everyday life.

Remember to pause this video to add the information to your mind map.

Let's recap for a moment.

Those living with PTSD might report feelings of isolation, irritability, and guilt.

Is this true or false? Did you get it right? These are all feelings that may affect someone's mental health.

We are now going to learn what support is available for those living with PTSD.

We will pause at particular times to allow you to add information to your mind map.

So what support is available to those living with PTSD? I'm going to read out the information again.

Then you are going to pause the video and add this information to the treatments and supports arm of your mind map.

Remember to take the time to add pictures in order to represent the information if this is your preferred learning style.

In our last session, we talked about everyday stressors, and it's just worth pointing out that we may all experience traumatic events in our life.

And if so, also normal to find them upsetting and confusing.

Both those feelings would normally improve after a few weeks.

However, if you are still experiencing problems four weeks after the event, or your symptoms are severely affecting your everyday life, it would be advised that you contact your GP.

Your GP could suggest that you give yourself a little more time to see if your coping strategies are enough to get you through.

They may prescribe antidepressants or refer you for psychological therapies, such as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT, or Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing, EMDR.

It's probably worth talking a little bit about EMDR.

And just to say, it's a structured therapy that encourages the patient to briefly focus on the trauma memory, while simultaneously experiencing bilateral stimulation, which is normally eye movements.

This is quite a complicated therapy, and you can always spend more time researching this if you're interested.

So let's recap for a moment.

CBT stands for Cohabiting Behavioural Therapy? This is true or false? Did you get it right? CBT stands for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

We've talked about this in one of our previous lessons, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT is a talking remedy that can help you manage your anxiety by altering the way you think and behave.

It is one of many different treatment options for PTSD.

This is your task, PTSD only affects people who have experienced warfare.

To what extent do you agree with this statement? You are being asked, to what extent do you agree with this statement? This wording, to what extent, is used in exams. I also teach geography and sociology, and this type of question, common phrase, pops up a lot.

In order to answer this effectively, you need to weigh up both sides of the arguments.

Write a paragraph that agrees with the statement, or says why some people might agree, and then write a paragraph supporting the other side of the argument.

You must then come to a conclusion at the end of what your overall opinion is.

Pause the video to complete this task, and then resume when you are finished.


In case you didn't know, it stands for, What a Good One Looks Like.

This is an example of how you might have answered the question.

It's a bit shorter than yours, probably, but we'll go through it together.

The first sentence, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder caused by traumatic stress, is the definition of PTSD and a good way to start.

The next part of the answer focuses on arguments in favour of the statement.

People who have experienced warfare are bound to witness traumatic events and feel a sense of isolation, irritability and guilt.

PTSD could begin to affect them weeks, months, and even years later.

The next part of the answer gives evidence to disagree with this statement.

However, other traumatic events may well cause PTSD to other individuals.

For example, childbirth experiences, road accidents, and serious illnesses could cause PTSD, and are more likely to affect a larger proportion of the population than warfare.

Finally, this piece of work finishes off with a concluding statement.

Therefore, I disagree with the above statement.

PTSD can affect up to one in three people who have experienced a traumatic event.

How did yours compare? It doesn't matter if you agree or disagree with the statement, as long as you have evidence to back up your points.

Feel free to amend your version, and make changes or improvements as you see fit.

That brings us to the end of our lesson on PTSD.

Before you go and complete your exit quiz, I'd like to thank you for engaging with the tasks and ask you to reflect on today.

Can you summarise PTSD in 30 words or less? I hope you've acquired some useful information to carry forward with you, and allowing you to develop your empathy in dealing with anyone you may come across in your life living with PTSD.

I look forward to carrying on our learning in the next lesson in this unit.