Wednesday, August 10, 2022

What Is The Clinical Definition Of Ptsd

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Diagnostic And Statistical Manual

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?

PTSD was classified as an anxiety disorder in the DSM-IV, but has since been reclassified as a “trauma- and stressor-related disorder” in the DSM-5. The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for PTSD include four symptom clusters: re-experiencing, avoidance, negative alterations in cognition/mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity.

What Are The Symptoms Of Post

There are four types of PTSD symptoms, but they may not be the same for everyone. Each person experiences symptoms in their own way. The types are:

  • Re-experiencing symptoms, where something reminds you of the trauma and you feel that fear again. Examples include
  • Flashbacks, which cause you to feel like you are going through the event again
  • Nightmares
  • Frightening thoughts
  • Avoidance symptoms, where you try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. This may cause you to
  • Stay away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the traumatic experience. For example, if you were in a car accident, you might stop driving.
  • Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event. For example, you might try to stay very busy to try to avoid thinking about what happened.
  • Arousal and reactivity symptoms, which may cause you to be jittery or be on the lookout for danger. They include
  • Being easily startled
  • Cognition and mood symptoms, which are negative changes in beliefs and feelings. They include
  • Trouble remembering important things about the traumatic event
  • Negative thoughts about yourself or the world
  • Feeling blame and guilt
  • No longer being interested in things you enjoyed
  • Trouble concentrating
  • The symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event. But sometimes they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years.

    When To Get Medical Advice

    It’s normal to experience upsetting and confusing thoughts after a traumatic event, but most people improve naturally over a few weeks.

    You should see a GP if you or your child are still having problems about 4 weeks after the traumatic experience, or if the symptoms are particularly troublesome.

    If necessary, your GP can refer you to mental health specialists for further assessment and treatment.

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    Are There Emerging Options To Prevent And Treat Ptsd

    Several experimental studies provide hope that better or alternative ways to prevent and treat PTSD are on the way. Simple visuospatial tasks such as playing a computer game shortly after a traumatic experience reduce re-experiencing. For established PTSD, interest in using drugs to augment psychological therapy is increasing. The results of a recent RCT of the psychedelic 3,4-methylenedioxymethylamphetamine with psychotherapy for treatment resistant PTSD have been promising. These approaches remain in their infancy, and further well designed clinical studies are required to determine if they will live up to their early promise.

    Box 2 Trauma Focused Exposure Therapy Cbt And Emdr

    What is Trauma?

    Exposure therapy

    • Therapists help patients to confront their traumatic memories through written or verbal narrative, detailed recounting of the traumatic experience, and repeated exposure to trauma related situations that were being avoided or evoked fear but are now safe

    Cognitive therapy

    • Focuses on identifying and modifying misinterpretations that led patients to overestimate the current threat

    • Focuses on modifying beliefs and how patients interpret their behaviour during the trauma, including problems with guilt and shame


    • Standardised, trauma focused procedure. Involves the use of bilateral physical stimulation , hypothesised to stimulate the patients information processing to help integrate the targeted event as an adaptive contextualised memory

    Group trauma focused CBT is also effective, but fewer studies have focused on this method. Non-trauma focused CBTincluding components such as grounding techniques to manage flashbacks , relaxation training , positive thinking and self talk has been found to be superior to waiting list control groups and has shown similar efficacy to trauma focused CBT and EMDR immediately after treatment, but this is not maintained at follow-up. Non-trauma focused CBT offers a valid alternative to trauma focused therapy if the latter is poorly tolerated, contraindicated, or unavailable. It is unclear whether specific therapies are more or less effective for particular subgroups or trauma types.

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    What Is Psychotherapy

    Psychotherapy involves communication between patients and therapists that is intended to help people:

    • Find relief from emotional distress, as in becoming less anxious, fearful or depressed.
    • Seek solutions to problems in their lives, such as dealing with disappointment, grief, family issues, and job or career dissatisfaction.
    • Modify ways of thinking and acting that are preventing them from working productively and enjoying personal relationships.

    Psychotherapy begins with some discussion of a person’s background and the concerns that led him or her to seek help. Following this initial assessment, the patient and therapist come to an agreement, called the treatment contract. The treatment contract specifies the goals of treatment, treatment procedures, and a regular schedule for the time, place and duration of their treatment sessions. Sometimes this treatment contract is written down explicitly, but more often it is discussed between patient and therapist.

    Talking with a psychotherapist differs from talking with a friend in three respects that increase its likelihood of being helpful:

    When To Suspect Ptsd

    • When patients present with mental or physical symptoms that cannot be fully explained after a traumatic event

    • When patients present with characteristic symptoms of PTSDre-experiencing, avoidance, and hyperarousal

    • When patients disclose a history of involvement in a traumatic event

    • When patients present with mental or physical symptoms that are difficult to explain in the absence of a disclosed traumatic event

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    How Is Ptsd Treated

    Many people have some symptoms of PTSD in the first couple of weeks after a traumatic event, but most recover on their own or with the help of family and friends.

    For people whose symptoms last longer, PTSD is treated with psychotherapy or sometimes medicine, or both. Everyone’s PTSD is different, so if you have PTSD you might need to try a few different types of treatment before you find something that works for you.

    Considering Ptsd Treatment For Yourself Or Others

    What Is PTSD: What Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?

    PTSD sufferers can benefit from a variety of different medications that can help reduce the fight or flight response common to all PTSD experiences. These medications may work to reduce an overabundance of activity in the central nervous system or adrenaline gland.

    Therapy has also been shown to be very effective for most PTSD sufferers. By gradually coming to terms with the traumatic event, they can gain greater control over symptoms and their own life. Unusual forms of therapy such as art and equine therapy can be useful.

    Many people with PTSD, especially those with a military background, have made great strides as a result of being paired with a service dog. Service dogs not only provide emotional support, but can perform basic tasks for their owners and alert them in the event of a medical crisis.

    Most PTSD sufferers will try multiple different treatments in combination before they find the answer that works best for them. The complexity of PTSD is one reason why PTSD clinical trials are so important.

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    How Do The Dsm

    Overall, the symptoms of PTSD are generally comparable between DSM-5 and DSM-IV. A few key alterations include:

    • The revision of Criterion A1 in DSM-5 narrowed qualifying traumatic events such that the unexpected death of family or a close friend due to natural causes is no longer included.
    • Criterion A2, requiring that the response to a traumatic event involved intense fear, hopelessness, or horror, was removed from DSM-5. Research suggests that Criterion A2 did not improve diagnostic accuracy .
    • The avoidance and numbing cluster in DSM-IV was separated into two criteria in DSM-5: Criterion C and Criterion D . This results in a requirement that a PTSD diagnosis includes at least one avoidance symptom.
    • Three new symptoms were added:
      • Criterion D : Overly negative thoughts and assumptions about oneself or the world and, negative affect
      • Criterion E : Reckless or destructive behavior

    Continuing Education

    PTSD Overview and Treatment

    The course describes the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for PTSD and evidence-based treatments. Videos of Veterans with PTSD and clinicians are included.

    Who Is At Risk For Post

    You can develop PTSD at any age. Many risk factors play a part in whether you will develop PTSD. They include:

    • Your sex women are more likely to develop PTSD
    • Having had trauma in childhood
    • Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
    • Going through a traumatic event that lasts a long time
    • Having little or no social support after the event
    • Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
    • Having a history of mental illness or substance use

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    What Are The Treatments For Post

    The main treatments for PTSD are talk therapy, medicines, or both. PTSD affects people differently, so a treatment that works for one person may not work for another. If you have PTSD, you need to work with a mental health professional to find the best treatment for your symptoms.:

    • Talk therapy, or psychotherapy, which can teach you about your symptoms. You will learn how to identify what triggers them and how to manage them. There are different types of talk therapy for PTSD.
    • Medicines can help with the symptoms of PTSD. Antidepressants may help control symptoms such as sadness, worry, anger, and feeling numb inside. Other medicines can help with sleep problems and nightmares.

    Molecular Mechanism And Predictive Factors

    Lecture 1 introduction to complex trauma

    The mechanisms leading to posttraumatic stress disorder have not yet been fully elucidated. Recent literature suggests that both the neuroendocrine and immune systems are involved in the formulation and development of PTSD . After traumatic exposures, the stress response pathways of the hypothalamicpituitaryadrenal axis and sympathetic nervous system are activated and lead to the abnormal release of glucocorticoids and catecholamines. GCs have downstream effects on immunosuppression, metabolism enhancement, and negative feedback inhibition of the HPA axis by binding to the GC receptor , thus connecting the neuroendocrine modulation with immune disturbance and inflammatory response. A recent meta-analysis of 20 studies found increased plasma levels of proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-alpha , interleukin-1beta , and interleukin-6 in individuals with PTSD compared to healthy controls . In addition, some other studies speculate that there is a prospective association of C-reactive protein and mitogen with the development of PTSD . These findings suggest that neuroendocrine and inflammatory changes, rather than being a consequence of PTSD, may in fact act as a biological basis and preexisting vulnerability for developing PTSD after trauma. In addition, it is reported that elevated levels of terminally differentiated T cells and an altered Th1/Th2 balance may also predispose an individual to PTSD.

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    Cognition And Mood Symptoms Include:

    • Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
    • Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
    • Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
    • Loss of interest in enjoyable activities

    Cognition and mood symptoms can begin or worsen after the traumatic event, but are not due to injury or substance use. These symptoms can make the person feel alienated or detached from friends or family members.

    It is natural to have some of these symptoms for a few weeks after a dangerous event. When the symptoms last more than a month, seriously affect ones ability to function, and are not due to substance use, medical illness, or anything except the event itself, they might be PTSD. Some people with PTSD dont show any symptoms for weeks or months. PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or one or more of the other anxiety disorders.

    Symptoms And Signs Of Ptsd

    Symptoms of PTSD can be subdivided into categories: intrusions, avoidance, negative alterations in cognition and mood, and alterations in arousal and reactivity. Most commonly, patients have frequent, unwanted memories replaying the triggering event. Nightmares of the event are common.

    Less common are transient waking dissociative states in which events are relived as if happening , sometimes causing patients to react as if in the original situation .

    Patients avoid stimuli associated with the trauma and often feel emotionally numb and disinterested in daily activities.

    Sometimes symptoms represent a continuation of acute stress disorder Acute Stress Disorder Acute stress disorder is a brief period of intrusive recollections occurring within 4 weeks of witnessing or experiencing an overwhelming traumatic event. (See also Overview of Trauma- and Stressor-Related… read more , or they may occur separately, beginning up to 6 months after the trauma. Sometimes full expression of symptoms is delayed, occurring many months or even years after the traumatic event.

    Depression, other anxiety disorders, and substance use are common among patients with chronic PTSD.

    In addition to trauma-specific anxiety, patients may experience guilt because of their actions during the event or because they survived when others did not.

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    What You Need To Know

    • Individual reactions to traumatic events vary greatly and most people do not develop a mental disorder after exposure to trauma

    • PTSD should be considered in any patient exposed to a major traumatic event

    • Up to 3% of adults has PTSD at any one time. Lifetime prevalence rates are between 1.9% and 8.8%

    • Psychological treatments, particularly trauma focused psychological therapies, can be effective

    • Although the effect sizes are not as high as for psychological therapies, drug treatments can be effective

    • Patients with complex PTSD should receive specialist multidisciplinary care

    How Should Ptsd And Comorbidity Be Managed

    What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? I Operation Brain Health

    PTSD is associated with depression, anxiety disorders, and drug and alcohol use disorders. Little evidence exists for the effectiveness of psychological interventions for PTSD with comorbid substance use disorders. Some evidence suggests that trauma focused CBT can be effective with concomitant interventions to stabilise drug or alcohol use, but treatment effects are not as large as for PTSD in the absence of drug or alcohol misuse.

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    International Classification Of Diseases

    The International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10 classifies PTSD under “Reaction to severe stress, and adjustment disorders.” The ICD-10 criteria for PTSD include re-experiencing, avoidance, and either increased reactivity or inability to recall certain details related to the event.

    The ICD-11 diagnostic description for PTSD contains three components or symptom groups re-experiencing, avoidance, and heightened sense of threat. ICD-11 no longer includes verbal thoughts about the traumatic event as a symptom. There is a predicted lower rate of diagnosed PTSD using ICD-11 compared to ICD10 or DSM-5. ICD-11 also proposes identifying a distinct group with complex post-traumatic stress disorder , who have more often experienced several or sustained traumas and have greater functional impairment than those with PTSD.

    Supporting Someone With Ptsd

    Research has shown that support from family and friends is important in helping someone overcome the debilitating effects of PTSD. Couples or family therapy can help to fix damaged relationships. In some cases, family members may need to seek support of their own.

    For detailed information on the most effective treatments for PTSD, see The Australian Guidelines for the Treatment of Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

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    How Do You Know If You Or A Loved One Suffers From Ptsd

    Some common symptoms include:

    • Frequent thoughts about the traumatic events and worries that it might happen again
    • Difficulties remembering details and concentrating especially details of the event
    • Feelings of defensiveness or paranoia that may be accompanied by angry outbursts
    • Problems sleeping, including difficulties falling asleep, staying asleep or nightmares
    • In unusual cases, flashbacks to the traumatic event that can be highly disorienting.

    In general, people suffering from mental health concerns are far more likely to be the victims of violence than its perpetrators and this is just as true of PTSD. To overcome the disorder, a wide range of treatments can be pursued. However, it can take years to completely control symptoms.

    Causes Symptoms And Risks


    PTSD is caused by experiencing or witnessing single, repeated or multiple events. For example:

    • serious accidents
    • physical and sexual assault abuse. This could include childhood or domestic abuse
    • work-related exposure to trauma. Such as being in the army
    • trauma related to serious health problems or childbirth
    • war and conflict torture

    Not everyone who experiences trauma will develop PTSD.

    The risk of getting PTSD depends on how the experience affects you. PTSD is more likely to develop if the traumatic event:

    • is unexpected,
    • Self help

    How can the NHS help me?

    You can speak to your GP about your concerns. They will be able to talk to you about treatment options and coping strategies. You dont have to do what your GP thinks that you should do. But you should listen to them.

    Make sure that you understand the pros and cons of your treatment options before you make a decision.

    Your treatment with be managed by your GP or the community mental health team . In some cases, your treatment maybe shared between both primary and secondary care. Healthcare professionals will agree who will monitor you.

    Some people will get care under the Care Programme Approach . This means that you will have a care plan and care coordinator to make sure that you get the support that you need.

    Look at the following section for more information on NHS treatment.

    Adult social services

    What other help is available?

    There may be a different service available, such as employment or isolation support.

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    What Is The Definition Of Combat Ptsd

    Combat PTSD is defined as a specific type of posttraumatic stress disorder experienced by men and women who have been in combat. Combat PTSD can happen to anyone in combat, from those that have experienced live fire to those who are support workers in a war zone area. Not everyone in combat experiences combat PTSD, but many do.

    Ptsd: 5 Signs You Need To Know

    According to the National Center for PTSD, posttraumatic stress disorder, about 8 million Americans have PTSD during a given year. Women are more likely to develop PTSD, with a lifetime incidence of 1 in 10. For men, its 1 in 25.

    Yet an even higher number of Americans experience trauma each year. So when does suffering a traumatic event lead to suffering from a traumatic disorder?

    PTSD is a mental health diagnosis characterized by five events or symptoms, says Dr. Chad Wetterneck, PhD, clinical supervisor for Rogers Behavioral Health.

    Here, Dr. Wetterneck walks us through each sign:

  • A life threatening event. This includes a perceived-to-be life threatening event. Whether or not it actually is, its really about the perception of the person who experienced or witnessed the event that it could happen to them again.
  • Internal reminders of the event. These symptoms typically present as nightmares or flashbacks. Its important to realize that these are not simply memories. They are unwanted, intrusive episodes in which a person feels as though they are in the life threatening situation again like theyre watching a movie or seeing it unfold in front of them. It feels very real to them.
  • Avoidance of external reminders. Those with PTSD often do whatever they can to not think about their traumatic event, to suppress the feelings associated with it. They might avoid alleys if they were assaulted in one, or they might refuse to drive if they were in a car accident.
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