Post-traumatic Stress Disorder
This is defined in the DSM-IV as:
A. The person has been exposed to a traumatic event in which both of theÂ following have been present:
(1) the person experienced, witnessed, or was confronted with an event or eventsÂ that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to theÂ physical integrity of self or others
(2) the person’s response involved intense fear,Â helplessness, or horror. Note: In children, this may be expressed instead byÂ disorganized or agitated behavior.
B. The traumatic event is persistently reexperienced in one (or more) of theÂ following ways:
(1) recurrent and intrusive distressing recollections of the event, including images,Â thoughts, or perceptions. Note: In young children, repetitive play may occur inwhich themes or aspects of the trauma are expressed.
(2) recurrent distressing dreams of the event. Note: In children, there may beÂ frightening dreams without recognizable content.
(3) acting or feeling as if the traumatic event were recurring (includes a sense ofÂ reliving the experience, illusions, hallucinations, and dissociative flashbackÂ episodes, including those that occur upon awakening or when intoxicated). Note:Â In young children, trauma-specific reenactment may occur.
(4) intense psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues thatÂ symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
(5) physiological reactivity on exposure to internal or external cues that symbolizeÂ or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event.
C. Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and numbing ofÂ general responsiveness (not present before the trauma), as indicated by three (orÂ more) of the following:
(1) efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma
(2) efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of theÂ trauma
(3) inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma
(4) markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities
(5) feeling of detachment or estrangement from others
(6) restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to have loving feelings)
(7) sense of a foreshortened future (e.g., does not expect to have a career,Â marriage, children, or a normal life span)
D. Persistent symptoms of increased arousal (not present before the trauma), asÂ indicated by two (or more) of the following:
(1) difficulty falling or staying asleep
(2) irritability or outbursts of anger
(3) difficulty concentrating
(5) exaggerated startle response
E. Duration of the disturbance (symptoms in Criteria B, C, and D) is more than one
F. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social,
occupational, or other important areas of functioning.