In recognition of the severe distress and psychological dysfunction that often occur immediately after a trauma, a new diagnostic classification called Acute Stress Disorder (ASD) was adopted in the DSM-IV in 1994.
Victims are often reluctant to talk about the trauma or deliberately contemplate it; nevertheless the traumatic memory intrudes on their thoughts quite frequently.
This research paper discusses the stress symptoms that commonly follow trauma and describes PTSD and its prevalence. To meet diagnostic criteria for PTSD, the symptoms must cause significant impairment in daily functioning.
The theories underlying the development and maintenance of symptoms are discussed along with the treatments used for PTSD and their efficacy. These criteria provide a good operational definition of PTSD, as they describe the symptoms seen in most cases.
Third, arousal symptoms are optional in the ICD-IO but are required in the DSM-IE Clinical observation and theoretical accounts of PTSD support the importance of these symptoms and render the ICD-IO diagnostic criteria less satisfactory. For the majority of individuals, symptoms begin immediately after the trauma, although some appear to have a delayed reaction.
During the first 3 months after the trauma, the individual is said to have acute PTSD, whereas chronic PTSD is defined as symptoms persisting beyond 3 months.For instance, it is not clear that the symptoms of behavioral avoidance and emotional numbing are similar and belong in the same category.The ICD-IO criteria for PTSD also include some reexperiencing symptoms (nightmares, flashbacks, distress on exposure to reminders), actual or preferred avoidance of trauma reminders, and either an inability to recall important aspects of the trauma or sustained psychological sensitivity and arousal (sleep disturbance, hypervigilance, difficulty concentrating).A number of measures have been developed to assess PTSD, including clinical interviews and self-report instruments.These measures vary widely in terms of the target symptoms, administration time, and the samples used for ascertaining psychometric properties.Posttraumatic stress is a set of psychological and physical symptoms that follow a traumatic experience. Second, the individual must have three of the following avoidance symptoms: avoidance of thoughts or feelings related to the trauma, avoidance of trauma reminders, psychogenic amnesia, emotional numbing, detachment or estrangement from others, decreased interest in leisure activities, or a sense of foreshortened future.In some cases, these symptoms persist beyond the immediate aftermath of the trauma and develop into Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), an anxiety disorder that includes symptoms of arousal, avoidance, and reexperiencing, lasts for more than 1 month, and causes significant impairment in social or occupational functioning. Third, the individual must experience two of the following arousal symptoms: difficulty falling or staying asleep, difficulty concentrating, irritability or outbursts of anger, hypervigilance, or an exaggerated startle response.First, the DSM-IV specifies a minimal number of symptoms that need to be observed to receive the diagnosis, whereas the ICD-IO leaves more freedom for clinical judgment.The advantage of the former approach is its utility in clearly operationalizing the concept of PTSD. The most common traumas studied are combat, sexual assault, sexual abuse in childhood, criminal victimization, torture, accidents, and natural disasters. The International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10), published by the World Health Organization in 1992, describes a traumatic event as having an exceptionally threatening or catastrophic nature, which would be likely to cause pervasive distress in almost anyone.