Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that develops in response to an initial trauma, consisting of actual or threatened harm to oneself or others. Traumatic events are normal. The majority of people will experience some form of psychological trauma, once or more in their lifetime. However, research shows that only a minority of people, about 6.8%, have a history of diagnosable PTSD (NCS-R). (So PTSD is not simply caused by trauma alone but apparently in combination with certain vulnerability factors.) Research reviewing 26 separate studies showed that 70% of people no longer met diagnosis of PTSD after treatment with CBT (Clark & Beck, 2010, p. 550).
The diagnostic criteria for PTSD employed in DSM-IV-TR, the most common psychiatric system of classification, may be summarized as follows:
A: Exposure to a traumatic event
Involving both risk of serious injury or death to self or others and reacting with intense fear, horror, or helplessness.
B: Persistent re-experiencing
One or more of the following symptoms: flashback memories, recurring distressing dreams, subjective re-experiencing of the traumatic event(s), or intense negative psychological or physiological response to any objective or subjective reminder of the trauma.
C: Persistent avoidance and emotional numbing
- avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma, such as certain thoughts or feelings, or talking about the event(s);
- avoidance of behaviours, places, or people that might lead to distressing memories;
- inability to recall major parts of the trauma(s), or decreased involvement in significant life activities;
- decreased capacity (down to complete inability) to feel certain feelings;
- an expectation that one’s future will be somehow constrained in ways not normal to other people.
D: Persistent symptoms of increased nervous arousal
These are all physiological response issues, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, or problems with anger, concentration, or hypervigilance.
E: Duration of symptoms for more than 1 month
If all other criteria are present, but 30 days have not elapsed, the individual is diagnosed with Acute Stress Disorder.
F: Significant impairment
The symptoms reported must lead to “clinically significant distress or impairment” of major domains of life activity, such as social relations, occupational activities, or other “important areas of functioning”.
Blog Articles About Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
- Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Factsheet January 4, 2011This is a basic introductory factsheet for cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) clients.The post Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) Factsheet appeared first on Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy in London. […]Solutions: London Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT)