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Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that is characterized by anxiety and is caused by distressing, frightening, or stressful events. People with PTSD get relief from these events through flashbacks or nightmares, and may feel isolated, guilty, or irritated. PTSD patients may experience sleeping difficulties and find it difficult to concentrate. The events that lead to post-traumatic stress disorder include: road accidents, mugging, robbery, sexual assault, continued sexual abuse or violence, severe neglect or observing violent deaths. In addition, PTSD can be caused by terrorist attacks, military combat, natural disasters, for instance, earthquakes, floods or tsunamis. People can develop PTSD immediately after they experience disturbing events. However, the condition can manifest itself weeks, months, or years later.

PTSDs were first recorded during World War I, when soldiers were shocked by the distressing conditions of the fight. Nonetheless, the condition was not considered a mental health disorder until 1980, when the American Psychiatric Association included it in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Complex PTSD may occur, when people experience repeated traumatic conditions. The symptoms of complex PTSD are similar to those of PTSD, but may develop many years later. Complex PTSD is often severe if there was a trauma in early life, which could affect the development of a child.

Diagnostic Criteria (DSM -5) / Dynamics of PTSD

In 2013 The American Psychiatric Association revised the Posttraumatic stress disorder diagnostic criteria in its fifth edition of Diagnostic and Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Diagnostic criteria for PTSD considers a patient’s history of exposure to a distressing situation that meets certain requirements and symptoms from the main symptom clusters that include intrusion, avoidance, cognition and mood alterations, as well as arousal and reactivity alterations. There are also six criteria concerning symptoms duration, while the seventh criterion assesses the function, and the last criterion gives clarification regarding symptoms that are not associated with co-occurring medical condition. There are two notable specifications, namely the dissociative subtype and delayed expression. Both of them require that full diagnostic criteria are taken into consideration, before any conclusions are made.

Criterion A concerns the stressor. It is important to determine if the patient had an exposure to death or if he was threatened by it, as well as either he experienced or was threatened by a serious injury. It also assesses whether the patient was exposed to actual sexual violence or was intimidated by it. As a consequence, it is important to identify a direct exposure or a witnessing of the traumatic event. Indirect association occurs, when a person learns that his or her closest relative or a person he/she is in a close friendship with, suffered from a trauma. Events involving actual death or a threat of death have to be accidental or violent. Another form is an extreme or repeated indirect exposure to details of traumatic events, particularly when performing professional duties. For instance, people, who collect dead bodies, and professionals, who are exposed to information regarding child abuse, need to be helped. However, non-professionals, who are involved indirectly, are not included in this group. Such non-professionals can be exposed to traumatic experiences through television, electronic media, pictures, or movies.

About the author: Triss Ward is a bachelor in English philology and literature at California University. Triss is currently working as one of the best writers at the elite paper checker free She also studies feminine psychology

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