PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: What it is and how it is diagnosed

A lot is written about Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) but what is it really and how does the medical profession diagnose it?


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is often defined as a severe anxiety or psycological disorder than can develop following direct personal contact with some form of traumatic event.


Criteria for diagnosing PTSD

Usually there are 14 main critera that have to be satisfied for a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:


  1. The person has to have direct experience of a traumatic event where the person has experienced, clickclick viagra saleviagra sale witnessed, reciperecipe cialis salecialis sale or been confronted with an event or events that have involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, adviceadvice or a threat to the physical integrity of self or others, and they responed to the event with intense fear, helplessness, or genuine horror.
  2. The person concerned has to keep re-experiencing the event either by way of flash-backs, re-living the event, nightmares, illusions or hallucinations or reenacting the event in a way that causes distress,
  3. That the individual is avoiding certain 'triggers' (thoughts, feelings, places, objects, situations or other people) for fear of becoming distressed.
  4. Feelings of being isolated, detached or estrangement from others
  5. Feeling of numbness or the inability to have certain feelings any more (like love or closeness).
  6. The sense of not having a future or the inability to project positively into the future. Suffers often can't see beyond today.
  7. Loss of interest in connecting with others
  8. Difficulty falling or staying asleep
  9. Irritability or outbursts of anger
  10. Difficulty concentrating
  11. Hypervigilance
  12. Exaggerated startle response
  13. That the symptoms have lasted for more than one month
  14. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of their life

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is considered chronic if the sympoms last for more than 3 months.

Delayed Onset PTSD can occur where there is a delay of 6 months or more between the event and the start of the symptoms.


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