Definition: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one's own or someone else's physical, sexual, or psychological integrity, overwhelming the individual's ability to cope. As an effect of psychological trauma, PTSD is less frequent and more enduring than the more commonly seen post traumatic stress (also known as acute stress response). Diagnostic symptoms for PTSD include re-experiencing the original trauma(s) through flashbacks or nightmares, avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, and increased arousal—such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, anger, and hypervigilance. Formal diagnostic criteria (both DSM-IV-TR and ICD-10) require that the symptoms last more than one month and cause significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posttraumatic_stress_disorder
Symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) include the following:
Symptoms should be present for a minimum of 1 month following the initial traumatic event.
In addition, the patient’s general appearance may be affected by PTSD. Individuals may appear disheveled and have poor personal hygiene. Individuals with chronic PTSD may present with somatic complaints and, possibly, general medical conditions. Special attention should be paid to the patient's sleep hygiene.
Currently, diagnosis of PTSD is based on 6 criteria from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM).
The first DSM criterion has 2 components, as follows:
The second criterion involves the persistent reexperiencing of the event in 1 of several ways:
Unlike adults, children reexperience the event through repetitive play rather than through perception.
The third criterion involves avoidance of stimuli that are associated with the trauma and numbing of general responsiveness, as determined by the presence of 3 or more of the following:
The fourth criterion is 2 or more of the following symptoms of hyperarousal:
The fifth and sixth criteria are as follows:
HOPE4PTSDVETS.ORG defines Combat Trauma/PTSD as demonstrating a majority of the following symptoms as a direct result of military service in a forward combat area or theater of war.
1. Deep Anxiety and Inner Restlessness
2. Severe Depressive episodes lasting days, weeks, or months.
3. Periods of Isolation and/or detachment from family, friends, and/or community.
4. Persistent self-medicating through alcohol and/or substance abuse (prescribed and/or illegal).
5. Upredictable and recurring outbursts of Anger.
6. Suicidal ideation. Feeling as if you do not deserve to continue living.
7. Demonstrating hypervigilance such as patroling the perimeter of ones own house, sitting with back to the wall in public, constantly observing surroundings when in public.
8. Experiencing Increased anxiety when visiting places such as Malls, Movie Theaters, Restaurants, Etc.
9. Persistent Difficulty sleeping more than 4 hours and experiencing dreams which create similar feelings as the trauma event(s).
10. Suffering negative consequences such as legal, relationship, employment, or social as a result of these symptoms.